Thursday, February 28, 2013

French tables

I am not talking about furniture or a good table in a restaurant, although I would probably adore them. I am looking at the civil indexes of my Fougerons in the Etat Civil of France. These are the civil records for France. The civil records are different from the church records for my villages in the Belfort Territory of France. The ones I am looking at are bounded in books, in volumes, by years, for each village or town. But the thing that is so lovely about them is instead of squinting through each individual entry of marriage, birth or death, I flip over the pages to the end of each year and the registrant hand - drew a table and indexes all the entries within each year.

An example for the registration of Joseph Jules Fougeront, and for a death table for
Jean Joseph Clerc in 1871 (click to enlarge) : JosephJulesFougeron1871

You can read more about the fascinating history of French civil registration at this lovely website ( and Google will ask if you want to read it in English because it will instantly translate it for you ). It's here at : History of Civil Registration in French Government 1.

According to the author of this website , the "Code Louis" (Order of Saint-Germain-en-Laye April 1667) requires the keeping such records in duplicates, one (the "minute") remains in the parish and the other (the "big") is always transmitted to the court nearest you. But it is only from the new code of 9 April 1736  that the parish registers were held routinely in doubles for all the parishes in France. So many European countries are lucky that the law requested duplicate records. I have learned about the beauty of having duplicates sometimes in doing Hungarian records.


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