In France, tombstones with inscriptions can be found from as early as the 18th century. The inscriptions may apply to entire families, because members of the same family may be buried in the same grave in layers for several generations. Family inscriptions are especially common for the recent 20th century. Some older French graves have been replaced by new graves with recently deceased persons and new tombstones.
Cemetery records may include the name of the deceased, age, birth date, death date, and sometimes marriage information. They may also provide clues about military service, occupation, place of residence at time of death, or membership in an organization, such as a lodge. It is illegal to photograph French tombstones without permission of the cemetery keeper.
Cemetery files are usually kept at the town hall. The cemetery keeper at the entrance to a cemetery may have alphabetical files with detailed information and relationships.
A Jewish or German cemetery may be adjacent to but separated from the Catholic cemetery.
Few cemetery records or tombstone transcriptions from France have been published. Some are listed in the Place section of the Family History Library Catalog under:
FRANCE - CEMETERIES
FRANCE, [DEPARTMENT] - CEMETERIES
FRANCE, [DEPARTMENT], [TOWN] - CEMETERIES