Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Find French Birth Records

My 2nd great-grandparents, Ignace "Charles" and Caroline Wey Huber, were born in France, were married in France, and had their first child in France. As I indicated in an earlier post (see link at the end), they left this son in France for several years while they built a life in the United States.

The French archives are absolutely wonderful since many birth, marriage, and death records have been scanned and are available online for free. They aren't searchable but, as long as you know the town, you can browse the images to find key records for your family members. Finding my uncle Alphonse Huber's birth record in the large Paris archives took a lot of patience, but it was worth it.

Birth record for Alphonse Antoine Huber, Paris, France, March 16, 1864

I wish I could read French, but I was able to understand a few things:
  • Alphonse's middle name was Antoine, which was his paternal grandfather's name;
  • His father, Ignace Hubert [sic], was a tailleur or tailor; and  
  • His mother, Caroline Wey, was a couturière or dressmaker.
I also used the Bas-Rhin archives to locate Ignace's birth record in Artolsheim and Caroline's in Dambach-la-Ville. If my research was successful without knowing the language, then others looking for their French ancestors definitely can do it, too.

If you can read French and see any other important details in the birth record above, I would love to hear from you!

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  1. Hello, my name is Belinda and I have been doing some family history research into my French relatives but have hit a wall with my search. My Great Grandfather came to Australia as a young man but the only information I have on his birth place is that his naturalisation papers from Aust say he was born in Marseille. I have the name of my G-G-Grandparents and the birth date of my G-Grandfather but I can not seem to find any birth records or any further info on any of them . Could you suggest any help.

    1. Belinda, I'm in no way an expert in French genealogy and I don't know where you've searched so far. Also, it is possible that your great-grandfather wasn't actually born in Marseille as his naturalization papers indicate. However, if I was looking for my ancestor, I would start with the Bouches-du-Rhone archives which has records for Marseille. The website is http://doris.archives13.fr/dorisuec/jsp/system/win_main.jsp
      If you want me to try to find the birth record of your great-grandfather, please email me at jecowden2 -at- gmail.com and provide his name, birth date, and his parents names. I'd be happy to give it a shot!

    2. Belinda, I did not get your email but I saw the additional comments you submitted. I have not published them in case you don't want to share this info publicly. I will search for him and let you know if I have any success. If you want to try to email again so I have a way to contact you directly, my email is jecowden2 -at- gmail.com (just replace the -at- with the @ sign). I'll update you after I've taken at look at the archive records.


Do you have a genealogy problem or need guidance on where to search next? Send me a message if you'd like me to help!