Geneanet Homepage > Saint Helena Medal: Frequently Asked Questions

Saint Helena Medal: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Saint Helena Medal?

It was established in 1857 by Napoleon III. It is estimated that about 405,000 soldiers of the French Imperial Army (Grande Armée) from France, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, etc. were awarded. Numbers are uncertain due to the loss of these archives by fire. All recipients had to prove that they served in the Grande Armée between 1792 and 1815.

Could my ancestor have been awarded?


There is one key requirement: he must have been alive, between 60 and 90 years old, in 1857.

Where can I find my ancestor’s record?

There are no records available, but if your ancestor was living in France in 1857, you may find some information in the Archives Départementales, particularly the document proving that he served in the Grande Armée.

How can I find out more about a recipient?

If you know the Regiment where your ancestor served, you can try to find his military records at the Service Historique de l’Armée de Terre (French Defence Historical Service) at Vincennes, France.

Could the medal have been granted posthumously?

No.

Why is a recipient not in the database?

The records related to this person have been lost, or they have not yet been processed. Please contact us if you have documents proving that a person was awarded.

How much does a medal or a certificate cost? Where can I buy some?

They are easy to find at flea markets or on auction websites like eBay. Expect to pay between 60 and 90 Euros for a medal and ribbon in good condition, and between 60 and 140 Euros for a certificate.

What are the sources for this database?

See below the list of archival records we used to build this database. Please contact us if you have some other records about the Saint Helena Medal.

  • Germany
    • The Germans of Württemberg – The Grand Chancery of the Legion of Honour, Paris, France
  • Belgium
    • Marie-Anne Paridaens, historian at the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History, Brussels
    • Newspaper “La Meuse”, microfilm at the Chiroux Library, Liège
    • Louis Ridelle: “La médaille Sainte-Hélène et le pays de Liège” (“The Saint Helena Medal and the Liège area”), self-publishing
    • Newspaper “Le Moniteur Belge”, Chiroux Library, Liège
    • National Archives of Belgium, Ministry of the Interior, n°856, 861, 866
    • Wavriensa: “Bulletin du cercle historique et archéologique de Wavre” (“Newsletter of the historical and archaeological society of Wavre”)
  • Denmark
    • Rigsarkivet, Copenhagen
  • Italy
    • Archivio Di Stato di Torino
  • Luxembourg
    • “Base des répertoires 1792-1815, Les Luxembourgeois Soldats de la France” (“Directory database 1792-1815, Luxembourg soldiers for France”), Charles Schaack, 1909 (National Library)
  • France 
01AinPartly lost
02AisneLost?
03Allier1 M 984
04Alpes-de-Haute-Provence1 M 216
05Hautes-Alpes1 M 139 
06Alpes-Maritimes1 M AD 608 – FS 126
07ArdècheR 772-773 
08ArdennesLost?
09Ariège3 M 17-3 M 18 
10Aube7 R 21
11AudeRW 1159
12Aveyron 
13Bouches-du-Rhône1 M 216 à 218 (Marseille 1 M 637)
14CalvadosM 2604
15Cantal13 M 1 – 13 M 1bis
16Charente 
17Charente-Maritime3 M 2/2 – 3 M 2/3
18Cher24 M 9
19CorrèzeR256-R259-R261
2ACorse-du-SudLost?
2BHaute-CorseLost?
21Côte-d’OrR
22Côtes-d’Armor1 M 415 – 3 R 22 à 24
23Creuse1 M 280 – 1 M 281 
24Dordogne1 M 114, 1 M 116, 1 M 117, 1 M 125, 1 M 126 et 2 Z 42
25Doubs4 R 61- 4 R 62
26Drôme1 M 885 – 1 M 889 et 890
27Eure7 R 2 à 7 R 6
28Eure-et-Loir1 M 123
29Finistère1 M 375 
30Gard1 M 1046 
31Haute-Garonne2 R 216 – 2 R 315
32GersNothing?
33Gironde1 M 973 à 980
34Hérault3 R 76 à 3 R 80 
35Ille-et-Vilaine2R 357 et 1M 203
36Indre1 M 565 à 1 M 570/ M2087 à 2092
37Indre-et-Loire1 M 296
38Isère26 M 2  (AM Vienne 5H-1R-C)
39JuraR 277-R 278
40Landes1 M 379
41Loir-et-Cher1 MV 1 à 2
42Loire1 M 668 – 1 M 669
43Haute-Loire1 M 129 – R 5544
44Loire-Atlantique1 M 411-412
45LoiretLost
46Lot1 M 242
47Lot-et-Garonne1 M 677
48LozèreLost by fire at the end of the 19th century?
49Maine-et-Loire1 M 8/31 à 1 M 8/39
50MancheLost
51Marne16 M 1 à M 9
52Haute-MarneR 25
53MayenneM 2031-M 2650-M 2508
54Meurthe-et-Moselle1 M 708 à 716
55Meuse56 M 1 à 56 M 3
56Morbihan1 M DH 25 – 1 M DH 26
57Moselle53 M 1 – 53 M 31
58NièvreM 936 à 940
59NordM 123-4 à M 123-9
60OiseRP 1322-RP 1133
61OrneM 101-M 102
62Pas-de-Calais3 Z (57-105-237) – R 509-510-388 – C 306/1
63Puy-de-DômeR0 263 – R0 162 à 164
64Pyrénées-AtlantiquesLost
65Hautes-Pyrénées1 M 309 à 1 M 311 
66Pyrénées-Orientales1 M 838
67Bas-RhinRP757 (and other RP) 
68Haut-Rhin3 R 95 – 3 R 136 
69Rhône1 M 263- 1 M 264
70Haute-Saône 
71Saône-et-Loire2R3 et M 360-361-362-363
72SartheLost?
73Savoie1 M 888 – 192 R 1
74Haute-SavoieM 152 
75Seine/ParisDR2-21 – 10eme – Hôtel des invalides/VD6 : 218, 560, 290, 334, 362, 2201, 1244, 686, 1568 and DR2 22 to 28 (for recipients from the Paris suburb)
76Seine-Maritime1 M 441 à 1 M 445 
77Seine-et-Marne3 R 18 – 3 R 34
78Yveline3 R 45 à 3 R 62
79Deux-Sèvres1 M 537 et 538
80Somme99 M 23/1 à M 27/1
81TarnIII M – 14 (1) et III M – 14 (2
82Tarn-et-Garonne67 R 2 – 67 R 3 – 67 R 3bis 
83Var2 R 2 
84Vaucluse1 M 922
85Vendée1M584
86VienneM 4 154
87Haute-Vienne2 R 113 – 2 R 114
88Vosges2R201 à 2R205
89Yonne4 M 4 
90Territoire de Belfort1 M 329
91EssonneSee Yvelines
92Hauts-de-Seine 
93Seine-Saint-DenisSee Yvelines
94Val-de-MarneSee Yvelines
95Val-d’Oise