France, Finistère, Quimper et Léon Diocese, Catholic Parish Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at
Access the records: France, Quimper et Léon Catholic Diocese, 1772-1910 .

Image Visibility

Publication of French records at is authorized by the French Commission for Informatics and Liberties (CNIL). iThis collection only contains parishes that start with the letter "A" or "B". CNIL does not allow publication of sensitive data below 150 years. If any of the entries on a film exceed the cut off dates, the entire film will be restricted from online publication  For example, a record from 1840 may not show up if there are entries for 1880 on the same film.   Images for additional years may be viewed on microfilm and through other mediums

Microfilms and microfiche are available for viewing at your nearest FamilySearch Center. For information see: Ordering Microfilm or Microfiche.

  1. You may request a digital copy of items found in the Family History Library Catalog. For information see:
  2. The archives of France are available at:

The following websites may also be helpful:

France Resources

History of France – sites and blogs (in French)

Beginning Research in France: Part 1 of 2 (video and slides)

FamilySearch Blog:

Title in the Language of the Records

France, Quimper et Léon diocèse, registres des paroisses catholiques

Record Description

This Collection will include records from 1772 to 1910.

This collection consists of name indexes and images of Catholic parish registers recording events of baptism, marriage and burial in the Diocese of Quimper et Léon. Parishes in this diocese lie within the department of Finistère. This collection only contains parishes that start with the letter "A" or "B". French commission for Informatics and Liberties (CNIL) does not allow publication of sensitive data within the past 150 years.

In earlier years, separate registers were maintained for baptisms, marriages, and burials. However, towards the end of the 17 century the entries were generally intermingled. Entries were made in chronological order, with the records being written in Latin. Confirmations were not consistently recorded. Toward the latter half of the 19th century, pre-printed forms began to be used with the date and names written in by the officiating priest.

In 1539, François I issued the edict of Villers-Cotterêts, which required the Catholic Church to record baptisms. The Pope mandated that records be kept in 1563. In 1579 the edict of Blois required the church in France to register marriages and burials. In 1667, the Code Louis required that two copies of the registers be kept, with one deposited at the bailliage. Most parishes covered a single town or village. Large cities normally had multiple parishes.

French Catholic parish registers were created to record the church’s sacraments of baptism, marriage, and burial.

French Catholic parish registers are extremely reliable sources for French family history.

For a list of records by localities and dates currently published in this collection, select the Browse.

Record Content

Baptismal records may include the following information:

  • Date and place of baptism
  • Birt date of child
  • Name and gender of child
  • Legitimacy of child
  • Names of parents
  • Names of grandparents
  • Names of godparents

Marriage records may include the following information:

  • Date and place of marriage
  • Names of the bride and groom
  • Marital status (this could be “previously unmarried” or be “widow” or “widower.”
  • Their residences and ages
  • Names of groom's parents
  • Names of bride's parents
  • Names of the witnesses and their relationship to the bride and groom
  • Publication dates of the banns (This usually occurred three separate times before the marriage, allowing people to state any objections to the marriage.)
  • Women are always identified by their maiden name.

Burial records may include the following information:

  • Date and place of burial
  • Date and place of death
  • Name of deceased
  • Age of deceased
  • Names of their parents (if unmarried) or name of the spouse
  • Names of witnesses and with their relationship to the deceased

Online Records

In August 2010 the first online records were published for the collection comprising parishes beginning with letters A and B.

The following parishes are included:

  • Argol
  • Arzano
  • Audierne
  • Bannalec
  • Brest-paroisse-Notre-Dame-des-Carmes
  • Brest Hospice Civile
  • Brest-paroisse-Lambézellec
  • Brest-paroisse-Saint-Louis
  • Brest-paroisse-Saint-Martin
  • Brest-paroisse-Saint-Pierre

Further revisions to the collection will follow as other parishes are published in future.

How to Use the Records

Parish registers are the best source for identifying individuals, parents, and spouses in France before 1792. Civil registration began in September 1792, and after this date, civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths is equally important. The information recorded in the parish registers confirms the information found in the civil registers.

Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.

To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒Select the "Department" category
⇒Select the "Township" category
⇒Select the "Parish" category
⇒Select the "Record Type and Year Range" category which takes you to the images.

Search the collection by image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.

As you are searching it is helpful to know such information as your ancestor’s given name and surname, some identifying information such as residence and age, and family relationships. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as your ancestor and that your ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.

For Help Reading These Records

These records are in Latin. For help reading the records, see the following wiki articles:

Latin Genealogical Word List
France Language and Languages

Related Websites

France, Quimper et Leon Catholic Diocese, 1772-1909

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

Citations for individual image records are available for this collection. Browse through images in this collection and click on the “Show Citation” box: France, Quimper et Léon Diocese, Catholic Parish Records, 1772-1910

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

Catholic parishes in Finistere. Parish records, Archives diocesaines de Quimper et Leon, France.