2. Classification

To better understand the detailed method, data must be organized according to the table appearing below.

Once the preliminary search is completed, you will have to identify the category of the migrant. Note the comments according to each category:
 A   Record of baptism or birth was found. 
 B   Record was found for a relative of the migrant (father, mother, sibling, etc). 
 C   Identified place, known town. 
 D   Known, but unidentified place.  For example, the St-Jean parish of a given diocese. 
 E   Unknown origin.  No source gives the European origin. 
AC and AD.  Since 1737, French vital records are held in 2 copies.  Except for smaller towns, the 1st copy is at the archives communales (AC) or municipales (AM), 2 names for town archives.  Archives departementales (AD) hold the 2nd copy in a center located in the county seat (chef-lieu) or near it.  Before 1737, AC of smaller towns are usually at the AD center, sometimes a part of them only because they were moved, or there can be a microfilm copy at the AD.  While it is not always shown as is, remember that both kinds of archives may exist.  Because the priest had to pay the paper (quite expensive), the AD copy can be of poorer quality, with smaller letters or no punctuation, ditto the AC copy.

The reference record is that giving a place of origin.  It is normally the marriage record of the migrant in New France or his/her marriage contract.  However, nearly all records could show a place of origin (baptisms and burials, confirmations and wit of freedom allowing marriage, census, notary or justice records).  If the origin is not known, then you should check any and all records about an ancestor and his/her family.

A Record of baptism or birth was found.

Try to obtain a copy of the record to make sure that it is not an erroneous information.  In particular, it can be a mention in a North American record and not of a discovery in Europe.

Records in that category are part of Fichier Origine.

B Record was found for a relative of the migrant (father, mother, sibling, etc).

Maybe the record on the migrant is in another parish, is lost or missing; maybe the migrant does not use his baptism name.  In the first case, search in the vicinity.  In the second case, seek the marriage and death of all the family members.

C Identified place, known town. 

If the parish is known, check if the name of the parish is the good one (Paroisses et communes de France, lists of records or the microfilms of the Mormons).  Note: in the DGFQ, the author checked the names of town among a list without names of parish.  Examine the registers of the town in Europe (and if you find nothing, advise me so that I indicate the absence of record in a later version).  See below how to make this search from remote location.

D Known, but unidentified place.  For example, the St-Jean parish of a given diocese.

Check the original record in North America.  Perform the same search as in category E below.  Seek systematically in all the possible parishes and do not forget that the name of a parish can have changed.  Knowledge of French (and local pronunciation) and a large-scale map can be useful to locate hamlets.

E Unknown origin.  No source gives the European origin.

Seek among records other than the marriage, in particular the notary records (Parchemin) and the judicial and military documents (in addition to the printed sources, check the originals with the ANQ, APC and ANF). Identify all the witnesses in the records on this person and their place of origin. Identify all the descendants during 3 generations and to seek the exemptions of marriage for relationship. Make a search in French telephone books (see step 5 below) for the family name if this name is not common.

Examples of searches of place of origin

Fiacre BOILEAU said he was from "paroisse de St-Christophe Vieux Chateaux, diocèse de Toul" in his marriage record (from CD-ROM RAB of PRDH).  Toul is in Lorraine, where we can't find a place called Vieux Château (Old Castel).  But, while going at the library of UCGL in Nancy and by checking their computer with lists of marriages. we can locate the marriage of his parents, François BOILEAU and Marie Anne COREL, in Neufchateau (New Castel) on February 28th, 1724.  Since the parish of Neufchateau is St-Nicolas, descendants will have to check either that place and the surrounding area to see if there is a parish called St-Christophe.

Sylvain ROBERT gives as place of birth "paroisse de Jolibois, diocèse de Bourges".  While Nos Origines en France proposes Chalivoy, we found in the towns of the area Jeu-les-Bois (Indre) where a searcher found the family.

François CLAVEL said he is from "paroisse d'Aurisse, diocèse de Grenoble".  There are 2 possible places: Auris and Oris-en-Rattier.  From a marriages listing of Oris-en-Rattier, we find the marriage of his sister, so the good place is likely Oris-en-Rattier.

Back to Homepage "Searching in France Ancestors from Quebec"

Copyrights 1999 Les productions FrancoGène