About the Hautes-Alpes, France Census, 1856
General collection information
This collection contains records from the 1856 census, in Hautes-Alpes, France. Most records are in French, but some are in Latin. French census records up to 1936 are available to the general public.
Using this collection
Records in the collection may include the following information:
Not all of the above information may be available, depending on which year you're researching. Earlier records will contain less information, and some may not even include names.
If you don't speak French, knowing a few common words can aid in your search:
When searching these records, knowing your family's address can be very helpful, especially if they lived in a large city. If you're having difficulty finding your family members, France has a wealth of civic and vital records available, including civil registration and parish records. Try searching Ancestry's catalogue of French records for additional information.
Collection in context
In 1792, the French Revolution brought about a more equal society. The Civil Code of 1804 took power from the monarchy and church and gave male citizens equal legal standing, regardless of birth. To ensure equal rights, France instituted a civil registration system and regulated national censuses to account for all citizens. Prior to civil registration and the census, the church collected most citizens' vital records.
From 1836 to 1936, the French census was conducted every five years, with two exceptions. The 1871 census was delayed for one year due to the Franco-Prussian war. Due to the World Wars, the 1916 and 1941 censuses were skipped entirely. Most French census records aren't kept in the national archive, but rather within a "department" or territory. Most departments are located in France, but Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, and Réunion are also included.
Lenoble, Elise. "How to Use French Census Records." My French Roots. Last modified April 14, 2019. https://www.myfrenchroots.com/how-to-use-french-census-records/.
Morddel, Anne. "The Census - Les Recensements." The French Genealogy Blog. Last modified October 11, 2011. https://french-genealogy.typepad.com/genealogie/2011/10/census.html.