Haute-Savoie, France Genealogy
Haute-Savoie (English: Upper Savoy) is a department in the Rhône-Alpes region of France.
To the north of Haute-Savoie is the Swiss Canton of Geneva and Lake Geneva; to the east the Swiss Canton of Valais and Italy's Aosta Valley; to the west the French department of Ain, and to the south the department of Savoie.
The modern departments of Haute Savoie and Savoie comprise the "Pays de Savoie" (Savoy).
- 1 News and Events
- 2 Prefecture
- 3 History
- 4 Places/Localities
- 5 Resources
- 6 Societies and Libraries
- 7 Mailing Lists
- 8 Web Sites
- 9 References
News and Events
- Inventory of l'état civil
The inventories of the holdings by the Departmental Archive of the état civil for all the communes of Annecy Arrondissement are now available online. However, not all registers of these communes have been digitized yet. The inventories for Saint-Julien-en-Genevois and Thonon-les-Bains will follow later this year. Explore these at Archives départementales.
The préfecture (administrative capital) is Annecy.
The Conseil Général de la Haute-Savoie is the central legislative and administrative body for the department. It is responsible for, among other services, the Archives départementales de la Haute-Savoie (the Departmental Archive of Upper Savoy).
The modern departments of Savoie and Haute-Savoie were constituted on 12 June 1860 following the Treaty of Turin (24 March 1860) by which Savoy was ceded to France.
The County of Savoy was part of the first Burgundian kingdom, then the kingdom of Arles and then the Holy Roman Empire. In 1416 the county was raised in status to the Duchy of Savoy comprising parts of modern France (Savoie, Haute-Savoie and the port of Nice), Switzerland (cantons of Geneva and Vaud), and Italy (Valle d'Aosta, Piedmont and part of Liguria).
In the 16th century, Savoy was an Italian state and, after 1713, part of the kingdom of Sardinia.
In 1792 France annexed Savoy; in 1815 its territory was returned to Sardinia; in 1860 it was ceded to France by the Treaty of Turin.
See also: Savoy.
Haute-Savoie formed part of the province of Savoy, the heartland of the independent Duchy of Savoy rather than the Kingdom of France. The modern department of Haute-Savoie more or less corresponds with the three historic Savoy provinces of Chablais, Faucigny and Genévois.
Since its creation in 1860, there have been no boundary changes to the department of Haute-Savoie.
The commune of Seynod now incorporates the former communes of Vieugy (from 1965) and Balmont (from 1973).
Census records for the arrondissements of Bonneville, Saint-Julien-en-Genevois et Thonon-les-Bains before 1886 were destroyed following a narrow reading of a ministerial circular of 12 August 1887 requiring the culling of lists of names more than 6 years old. 
Modern Haute-Savoie is divided into four (4) arrondissements (administrative subdivisions):
In turn, these are further divided into 34 cantons and then into 294 communes.
See also: France Haute-Savoie Communes
The ten largest communes (with their 2006 populations) are:
- Annecy (51 000)
- Thonon-les-Bains (31 200)
- Annemasse (28 600)
- Annecy-le-Vieux (19 800)
- Cluses (17 800)
- Seynod (17 400)
- Cran-Gevrier (16 800)
- Sallanches (15 500)
- Rumilly ( 12 800)
- Gaillard (11 500)
Other significant places are Bonneville, Chamonix and St-Julien-en-Genevois.
Haute-Savoie also borders Italy and Switzerland.
Archives and Libraries
Most records of genealogical interest are held locally and not by the central National Archives.
The Departmental Archives for Haute-Savoie (Archives départementales de Haute-Savoie) are located at 37 bis avenue de la Plaine, 74000 Annecy.
See also: France Archives and Libraries.
Civil registration (état civil) of births, marriages, and deaths began in 1792 after annexation by France but was suspended from 1814 or 1815 when Savoy was returned to the Kingdom of Sardinia. Civil registration resumed in 1863.
Before civil registration and during its suspension, it is necessary to search the local parish registers (registres paroissiaux) of baptisms, marriages and burials. In 1910, care, custody and control of these registers were transferred to the Departmental Archives who also hold the état civil.
In the late 1970s these records were microfilmed by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. To find film numbers, search by place-name of the relevant parish or commune in the familysearch.org catalog.
These records are being progressively placed on-line by the Departmental Archives. Only the records of the communes of department of Annecy are online and these are scheduled for completion in late 2013. To see which communes are available see the inventory (in French) at Etat des inventaires de l'état civil.
A number of issues of newspapers which circulated in Haute-Savoie have been digitised and are searchable online at Rhône-Alpes News and Memory, a collaborative site serving the Rhône-Alpes region.
Societies and Libraries
Family History Centers
The nearest Centers are:
- Annemasse France Family History Center
- Chambery France Family History Center
- Geneva Switzerland Family History Center
- Lausanne Switzerland Family History Center
- Yverdon Switzerland Family History Center
Société Savoisienne d’Histoire et d’Archéologie
The Savoisian Incorporated Association of History and Archaeology was formed in 1855 and incorporated in 1881. It publishes quarterly reference books, organizes conferences, seminars, public lectures, and study tours. It also maintains a large specialized library open to the public. It publishes a website (in French only).
The area of Haute-Savoie is covered by bilingual English-French mailing list for the Rhône-Alpes Region of France at Rootsweb.
A French language mailing list, GénéSavoie (généalogie en Savoie) serves those with a genealogical interest in Savoy covering both French departments of Haute-Savoie and Savoie.
- History, heritage, archives of Savoy (in French)
- Haute-Savoie Francegenweb
- Gazetteer for Haute-Savoie
- Marcel Dupuy, "Aperçu historique sur l'organisation territoriale des départements" ("Historical overview of the territorial organization of departments"), (1953) (Jan-Feb) 31 La Revue administrative, pp. 9-16 JStor accessed 1 Dec 2012.
- Luc Monnier "La savoie du nord et genève en 1814" (1977) 41 Revue européenne des sciences sociales pp. 64-80 JSTOR accessed 1 December 201
- Charles Biermann, "The Franco-Swiss Free Zones"', (1923) 13 (3) Geographical Review pp. 368-376, JSTOR accessed 30 November 2011.
- Inventaire des recensements de la population de la Haute-Savoie, Departmental Archives of Haute-Savoie accessed 22 December 2012.
- Caroline Roux, Insee, La Lettre Résultats N°108, February 2009 Haute-Savoie: un dynamisme démographique tiré par la proximité de Genève accessed 20 December 2012.