General Collection Information
This collection contains civil registries of births, marriages, and deaths between 1792 and 1930 from Paris, France. Most records are in French, but some records may be in German or Latin.
Using this Collection
Birth registrations may contain the following:
Marriage registrations may contain the following:
Death registrations may contain the following:
If you don’t speak French, knowing a few common words can aid in your search:
When searching for female ancestors (both brides and mothers of each spouse), it’s useful to search both married and maiden names.
From 1880 onwards, per French law marginal notes were kept on the documents relating to later events in life. These marginal notes are privacy restricted and are redacted from the documents.
This collection only contains an index of civil registries. Though French civil registration records are known to be thorough, it may be beneficial to try searching Ancestry’s catalogue of French records for additional information: https://www.ancestry.com/search/places/europe/france/
Collection in Context
French civil registration records are some of the oldest tools available to genealogists. In 1792, the French Revolution brought about the need for a civil registry system as a means to guarantee citizens’ rights.
Most French civil registration 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. Within the department, records are housed at the local mairie (town hall) or bureau de l’etat civil (civil registrar’s office).
Mulcahy, Brain. “French Civil Registration Records” GenealogyBlog. Last Modified March 2, 2016. https://www.genealogyblog.com/?p=37457 .
Powell, Kimberly. “French Civil Registration: Vital Records of Birth, Marriage and Death in France.” ThoughtCo. Last modified July 27, 2018., https://www.thoughtco.com/french-civil-registration-1421945/ .
The French Institute for Demographic Studies. “Civil Registration.” Last Modified 2020, https://www.ined.fr/en/glossary/civil-registration/ .