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Geneanet > Genealogy > Search Your French Ancestors > Postal Code and INSEE Code

Search Your French Ancestors

Postal Code and INSEE Code

To search for genealogical records, you must know in which administrative division called department your ancestors lived.

Two codes are assigned to each French town:

  • The Postal Code
  • The INSEE Code

These are five-digit numeric codes, and the first two digits are representing the department in which the town is located.

The Postal Code is used by the postal service of France to locate the post office in charge of delivery to a town.

Many websites can help you find the Postal Code of a town. For example, go to www.codespostaux.com then enter the name of the town in the search form and click the “Recherche” button. It will give you the Postal Code, the name of the department and the name of the region.

The INSEE Code is used by the French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) to identify French towns and it’s not identical to the Postal Code.

To know the Code INSEE of a town, go to www.insee.fr/fr/methodes/nomenclatu..., select the “Une commune” option, then enter the name of the town in the search form and click the “Rechercher” button.

You can also search for the name of the town in the French Wikipedia at http://fr.wikipedia.org. The Postal Code (Code postal) and the INSEE Code (Code commune) will be shown in the right infobox.

Now, you can know in which department your ancestors lived by reading the first two digits of the Postal Code or the INSEE code:

01 - Ain
02 - Aisne
03 - Allier
04 - Alpes-de-Haute-Provence (former Basses-Alpes)
05 - Hautes-Alpes
06 - Alpes-Maritimes
07 - Ardèche
08 - Ardennes
09 - Ariège
10 - Aube
11 - Aude
12 - Aveyron
13 - Bouches-du-Rhône
14 - Calvados
15 - Cantal
16 - Charente
17 - Charente-Maritime (former Charente-Inférieure)
18 - Cher
19 - Corrèze
2A - Corse-du-Sud
2B - Haute-Corse
21 - Côte-d’Or
22 - Côtes-d’Armor (former Côtes-du-Nord)
23 - Creuse
24 - Dordogne
25 - Doubs
26 - Drôme
27 - Eure
28 - Eure-et-Loir
29 - Finistère
30 - Gard
31 - Haute-Garonne
32 - Gers
33 - Gironde
34 - Hérault
35 - Ille-et-Vilaine
36 - Indre
37 - Indre-et-Loire
38 - Isère
39 - Jura
40 - Landes
41 - Loir-et-Cher
42 - Loire
43 - Haute-Loire
44 - Loire-Atlantique
45 - Loiret
46 - Lot
47 - Lot-et-Garonne
48 - Lozère
49 - Maine-et-Loire
50 - Manche
51 - Marne
52 - Haute-Marne
53 - Mayenne
54 - Meurthe-et-Moselle
55 - Meuse
56 - Morbihan
57 - Moselle
58 - Nièvre
59 - Nord
60 - Oise
61 - Orne
62 - Pas-de-Calais
63 - Puy-de-Dôme
64 - Pyrénées-Atlantiques (former Basses-Pyrénées)
65 - Hautes-Pyrénées
66 - Pyrénées-Orientales
67 - Bas-Rhin
68 - Haut-Rhin
69 - Rhône
70 - Haute-Saône
71 - Saône-et-Loire
72 - Sarthe
73 - Savoie
74 - Haute-Savoie
75 - Paris (former Seine)
76 - Seine-Maritime (former Seine-Inférieure)
77 - Seine-et-Marne
78 - Yvelines (former Seine-et-Oise)
79 - Deux-Sèvres
80 - Somme
81 - Tarn
82 - Tarn-et-Garonne
83 - Var
84 - Vaucluse
85 - Vendée
86 - Vienne
87 - Haute-Vienne
88 - Vosges
89 - Yonne
90 - Territoire de Belfort
91 - Essonne (former Seine-et-Oise)
92 - Hauts-de-Seine (former Seine and Seine-et-Oise)
93 - Seine-Saint-Denis (former Seine)
94 - Val-de-Marne (former Seine and Seine-et-Oise)
95 - Val-d’Oise (former Seine-et-Oise)

Read ’Online Departmental Archives’ to see what you can expect to find in the French online archives.