I would appreciate your help. I am visiting Paris from London in October, and would like to take the opportunity of checking up on my great grandmother's roots. Her name was Angele Gastinel, born in Paris in 1852, father Hypolite Gastinel (wine merchant.) I believe she was a governess. She married Augustus Edwin Mitchell on 5 August 1875 in London. I am not sure where I should go to look at the records and wonder if you can advise me. -- Many thanks.
I think this is a WONDERFUL opportunity to visit your great-grandmother's homeland. Your research challenges are greatly aided by Napoleon, since he pushed for what we consider the earliest civil registration in Europe. This wasn't required in the US until 1920, though states/towns places started earlier.
FRANCE RESEARCH OUTLINE
You'll also find guides on the following topics:
Church Record Baptisms
Church Record Baptism 1792-Present
Church Record Marriage 1564 -1791
Church Record Marriage 1792-Present
Civil Registration Birth 1792-Present
Civil Registration Marriage 1792-Present
Genealogical Word List
French Letter-Writing Guide
French Republican Calendar
How Do I Begin?
Latin Genealogical Word List
For instance, the description of the Civil Registration of Birth 1792-present suggests the following steps:
Step 1. Find the year of your ancestor's birth record.
Step 2. Find the entry for your ancestor.
Step 3. Find the entries for each brother and sister of your ancestor.
Step 4. Copy the information, and document your sources.
Step 5. Analyze the information you obtain from the birth record.
We also learn that the birth records are filed CHRONOLOGICALLY, and that illegitimate births may be filed separately.
WHERE DO YOU FIND THESE RECORDS?The FHLCatalog at http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Library/FHLC/frameset_fhlc.asp lists these two items for "Paris" as a part of "France."
-- France, Paris (Département)
-- France, Paris (région)
The Family History Library does not appear to have microfilm of the Paris France Civil Registration, so it looks like you will be viewing these records in person. From what I can determine, it would be in the "bureau de l'état civil département de la Seine" which makes sense from a geographical point of view.
KIMBERLY POWELL'S HOW-TO ARTICLES:
Kimberly explains "In large cities, such as Paris or Lyon, you will also need to know the Arrondissement (district) where the event took place. If you are not certain of the year of the event, you will have to conduct a search in the tables décennales (ten-year indexes). These indexes usually index births, marriage, and deaths separately, and are alphabetical by surname. From these indexes you can obtain the given name(s), document number, and date of the civil register entry."
Apparently, Kimberly has more experience than most when it comes to researching records created in the last 100 years. She states you will need 2 photo ID (including a passport) as well as your birth record and other documentation for your parents & grandparents to prove the lineage to your great-grandmother and be allowed access to the record. I am not sure if owing to recent changes with international security if that requirement holds true for records in the 150 year time period you seek. See: http://genealogy.about.com/library/weekly/aa070700c.htm
BEFORE YOU GO CHECK OUT:
-- FRANCE GenWeb http://francegenweb.org/ of course this is in French, but you might have success writing to the volunteer coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org.
-- FRENCH MAILING LISTS at RootsWeb http://lists.rootsweb.com/index/intl/FRA/
-- SURNAME MAILING LISTS at RootsWeb http://lists.rootsweb.com/
-- CYNDIS LIST - FRANCE: http://www.cyndislist.com/france.htm
Happy family tree climbing!
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