Appendix A. List of French départements

This is a list of modern French départements.  Records are available in various archives centers located in each département (2nd copy) and in each town (archives are kept if the town has more than 2,000 inhabitants).  Départements were created during the French revolution in 1791.  The provinces were the previous divisions but usually, the original records will give the dioceses or the towns.  Old borders are not strict and you should pay attention to the specific reading: diocese of a town in a province is not always meaning the town with the record is in that province, i.e. the diocese of Angers for example has a border somewhat different compared to that of Anjou, the province around Angers.
 
Number Département Chef-lieu/Capital Creation
01 Ain  Bourg-en-Bresse 1790
02  Aisne  Laon 1790
03 Allier  Moulins  1790
04 Alpes-de-Haute-Provence  Digne  1790 as Basses-Alpes, renamed in 1970
05 Hautes-Alpes  Gap  1790
06 Alpes-Maritimes  Nice  1860
07  Ardèche  Privas  1790
08  Ardennes  Charleville-Mézières  1790
09  Ariège  Foix  1790
10  Aube  Troyes  1790
11  Aude  Carcassonne  1790
12 Aveyron Rodez  1790
13 Bouches-du-Rhône Marseille  1790 
14 Calvados Caen  1790 
15 Cantal Aurillac  1790 
16 Charente Angoulême  1790 
17 Charente-Maritime La Rochelle  1790 as Charente-Inférieure, renamed in 1941 
18 Cher Bourges  1790 
19 Corrèze Tulle  1790 
2A Corse-du-Sud  Ajaccio  1790 (the island of Corsica was later only one département, and then was divided against in 1975)
2B Haute-Corse Bastia 1790 (the island of Corsica was later only one département, and then was divided against in 1975)
21 Côte-d'Or Dijon  1790 
22 Côtes d'Armor St-Brieuc  1790 as Côtes-du-Nord, renamed in 1990
23 Creuse Guéret  1790 
24 Dordogne Périgueux  1790 
25 Doubs Besançon  1790 
26 Drôme Valence  1790 
27 Eure Evreux  1790 
28 Eure-et-Loir Chartres  1790 
29 Finistère Quimper  1790 
30 Gard Nîmes  1790 
31 Haute-Garonne Toulouse  1790 
32 Gers Auch  1790 
33 Gironde Bordeaux  1790 
34 Hérault Montpellier  1790 
35 Ille-et-Vilaine Rennes  1790 
36 Indre Châteauroux  1790 
37 Indre-et-Loire  Tours 1790 
38 Isère Grenoble  1790 
39 Jura Lons-le-Saunier  1790 
40 Landes Mont-de-Marsan  1790 
41 Loir-et-Cher Blois  1790 
42 Loire Montbrison (1793) puis St-Étienne  1793 
43 Haute-Loire Le Puy  1790 
44 Loire-Atlantique Nantes  1790 as Loire-Inférieure, renamed in 1957
45 Loiret Orléans  1790 
46 Lot Cahors  1790 
47 Lot-et-Garonne Agen  1790 
48 Lozère Mende  1790 
49 Maine-et-Loire Angers  1791
50 Manche St-Lô  1790 
51 Marne Châlons-sur-Marne  1790 
52 Haute-Marne Chaumont  1790 
53 Mayenne Laval  1790 
54 Meurthe-et-Moselle Nancy  1871 (part of Meurthe, Moselle)
55 Meuse Bar-le-Duc  1790 
56 Morbihan Vannes  1790 
57 Moselle Metz  1790 
58 Nièvre Nevers  1790 
59 Nord Lille  1790 
60 Oise Beauvais 1790 
61 Orne Alençon  1790 
62 Pas-de-Calais Arras  1790 
63 Puy-de-Dôme Clermont-Ferrand  1790 
64 Pyrénées-Atlantiques Pau  1790 as Basses-Pyrénées, renamed in 1969
65 Hautes-Pyrénées Tarbes  1790 
66 Pyrénées-Orientales Perpignan  1790 
67 Bas-Rhin Strasbourg  1790 
68 Haut-Rhin Colmar  1790 
69 Rhône Lyon  1793 
70 Haute-Saône Vesoul  1790 
71 Saône-et-Loire Mâcon  1790 
72 Sarthe Le Mans  1790 
73 Savoie Chambéry  1860 
74 Haute-Savoie Annecy  1860 
75 Paris Paris  1964, when the Paris area was redefined
76 Seine-Maritime Rouen  1790 as Seine-Inférieure, renamed in 1955
77 Seine-et-Marne Melun  1790 
78 Yvelines Versailles  1964, when the Paris area was redefined
79 Deux-Sèvres Niort  1790 
80 Somme Amiens 1790 
81 Tarn Albi  1790 
82 Tarn-et-Garonne Montauban  1808
83 Var Toulon  1790 
84 Vaucluse Avignon  1793
85 Vendée La Roche-sur-Yon  1790 
86 Vienne Poitiers  1790 
87 Haute-Vienne Limoges  1790 
88 Vosges Épinal  1790 
89 Yonne Auxerre  1790 
90 Terr. de Belfort Belfort  1871 (the part of Haut-Rhin Dep. not absorbed by Germany)
91 Essonne Evry  1964, when the Paris area was redefined
92 Hauts-de-Seine Nanterre  1964, when the Paris area was redefined
93 Seine-St-Denis Bobigny  1964, when the Paris area was redefined
94 Val-de-Marne Créteil  1964, when the Paris area was redefined
95 Val-D'Oise Pontoise  1964, when the Paris area was redefined

Départements renamed or lost

The countries are that of today.  At the time of change, the map of Europe was very different and many countries were actually a group of smaller ones.  The recent changes were two-step: a vote and the actual change of the border or name.  Some departements were created when France conquered other countries during the Napoleonic wars and were lost after the peace treaty.
 
Département Chef-lieu/Capital Creation Origin Renamed or lost Fate
Apennins Chiavari 1805 part of Italy (and other?) 1814 part of Italy (and other?)
Arno Florence 1808 part of Italy (and other?) 1814 part of Italy (and other?)
Basses-Alpes  Digne 1790 Initial name 13-04-1970 Alpes-de-Haute-Provence (04)
Basses-Pyrénées  Pau  1790 Initial name 10-10-1969 Pyrénées-Atlantiques (64)
Bouches-de-la-Meuse La Haye 1811 part of Netherland (and other?) 1814 part of Netherland (and other?)
Bouches-de-l'Elbe Hambourg 1811 part of Germany (and other?) 1814 part of Germany (and other?)
Bouches-de-l'Escaut Middelbourg 1811 part of Netherland (and other?) 1814 part of Netherland (and other?)
Bouches-de-l'Yssel Zwolle 1811 part of Netherland (and other?) 1814 part of Netherland (and other?)
Bouches-du-Rhin Bois-le-Duc 1811 part of Netherland (and other?) 1814 part of Netherland (and other?)
Bouches-du-Weser Brême 1811 part of Germany (and other?) 1814 part of Germany (and other?)
Charente-Inférieure  La Rochelle  1790 Initial name 04-09-1941 Charente-Maritime (17)
Corse Ajaccio  1811 Golo and Liamone   Haute-Corse and Corse-du-Sud 
Côtes-du-Nord  St-Brieuc 1790 Initial name 27-02-1990 Côtes d'Armor (22)

 

Deux-Nèthes Anvers 1795  part of Belgium (and other?) 1814 part of Belgium (and other?)
Doire Ivrea 1802 part of Italy (and other?) 1814 part of Italy (and other?)
Dyle Bruxelles 1795  part of Belgium (and other?) 1814 part of Belgium (and other?)
Ems-Occidental Groningue 1811 part of Netherland (and other?) 1814 part of Netherland (and other?)
Ems-Oriental Aurich 1811 part of Germany (and other?) 1814 part of Germany (and other?)
Ems-Supérieur Osnabrück 1811 part of Germany (and other?) 1814 part of Germany (and other?)
Escaut Gand 1795  part of Belgium (and other?) 1814 part of Belgium (and other?)
Forêts Luxembourg 1795  part of Luxemburg (and other?) 1814 part of Luxemburg (and other?)
Frise Leuwarden 1811 part of Netherland (and other?) 1814 part of Netherland (and other?)
Gênes Gênes 1805 part of Italy (and other?) 1814 part of Italy (and other?)
Golo Bastia 1793  Dép. de Corse (1792) 1811 Corse (20)
Jemmapes Mons 1795  part of Belgium (and other?) 1814 part of Belgium (and other?)
Léman Genève 1798 part of Switzerland (and other?) 1814 part of Switzerland (and other?)
Liamone Ajaccio 1793  Dép. de Corse (1792) 1811 Corse (20)
Lippe Munster 1811 part of Germany (and other?) 1814 part of Germany (and other?)
Loire-Inférieure  Nantes  1790 Initial name 09-03-1957 Loire-Atlantique (44)
Lys Bruges 1795  part of Belgium (and other?) 1814 part of Belgium (and other?)
Marengo Alexandrie 1802 part of Italy (and other?) 1814 part of Italy (and other?)
Mayenne-et-Loire  Angers 1790 Initial name 12-02-1791 Maine-et-Loire (49)
Méditerranée Livourne 1808 part of Italy (and other?) 1814 part of Italy (and other?)
Meurthe   1790 part of Germany (?) 1814 part of Germany and Meurthe-et-Moselle (1871)
Meuse-Inférieure Maestricht 1795  part of Netherland (and other?) 1814 part of Netherland (and other?)
Mont-Blanc Chambéry  1793  Savoie 1814 part of Italy or independant; later dép. of Savoie (73) and partie of Haute-Savoie (74)
Montenotte Savone 1805 part of Italy (and other?) 1814 part of Italy (and other?)
Mont-Terrible Porrentruy 1793 pays de Montbeliard and part of canton of Jura in Switzerland 1800 partie du Haut-Rhin et du Doubs
Mont-Tonnerre Mayence 1798 part of Germany (and other?) 1814 part of Germany (and other?)
Ombrone Sienne 1808 part of Italy (and other?) 1814 part of Italy (and other?)
Ourthe Liège 1795  part of Belgium (and other?) 1814 part of Belgium (and other?)
Turin 1802 part of Italy (and other?) 1814 part of Italy (and other?)
Rhin-et-Moselle Coblence 1798 part of Germany (and other?) 1814 part of Germany (and other?)
Rhône-et-Loire Lyon 1790 Initial name 1793 Rhône (69), Loire (42)
Roër Aix-la-Chapelle 1798 part of Germany (and other?) 1814 part of Germany (and other?)
Sambre-et-Meuse Namur 1795  part of Belgium (and other?) 1814 part of Belgium (and other?)
Sarre Trèves 1798 part of Germany (and other?) 1814 part of Germany (and other?)
Seine Paris 1790 Initial name voted 1964, actual 1968 75, 78, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95
Seine-et-Oise Versailles 1790 Initial name voted 1964, actual 1968 75, 78, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95
Seine-Inférieure  Rouen  1790 Initial name 18-01-1955 Seine-Maritime (76)
Sésia Verceil 1802 part of Italy (and other?) 1814 part of Italy (and other?)
Simplon Sion 1810 part of Switzerland (and other?) 1814 part of Switzerland (and other?)
Stura Cuneo 1802 part of Italy (and other?) 1814 part of Italy (and other?)
Taro Parme 1808 part of Italy (and other?) 1814 part of Italy (and other?)
Tibre Rome 1810 part of Italy (and other?) 1814 part of Italy (and other?)
Trasimène Spoleto 1810 part of Italy (and other?) 1814 part of Italy (and other?)
Yssel-Supérieur Arnhem 1811 part of Netherland (and other?) 1814 part of Netherland (and other?)
Zuyderzee Amsterdam 1811 part of Netherland (and other?) 1814 part of Netherland (and other?)

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