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Searching your French roots is easier than ever with Ancestry’s collections at Geneanet

Posted by Jean-Yves on Mar 21, 2023

Geneanet’s rapprochement with Ancestry is bearing fruit: Ancestry has been supplying Geneanet with a number of European collections, available to Premium members. This week, let’s look at Ancestry’s French collections — you may be surprised!

It’s no secret, Geneanet is France’s #1 genealogy site and Europe’s biggest community of genealogists. Since November 2021, Geneanet has been part of the Ancestry group of companies. The goal? To bring to Geneanet members a multitude of European record collections and to connect Ancestry users with their European cousins who have built trees, all while keeping intact Geneanet’s founding principles: contributive, collaborative and freemium.

In the past few months, we have been adding many of Ancestry’s European collections to Geneanet — Geneanet Premium members are already finding ancestors through these collections at no additional cost through the end of this year. This week, spotlight on France, Geneanet’s original focus since its founding 27 years ago.

If you are new to French genealogy, look at our “Search Your French Ancestors” page for a helpful overview! If, on the other hand, you have some experience researching French ancestry, you already know about the tools and challenges in France: the importance of finding the département (county) and municipality, the parish records in the archives départementales, using name heatmaps for quick information, censuses, the INSEE deaths register, the tables décennales… Geneanet has a rich range of indexes contributed by members and local genealogy associations, and vital records (birth/marriage/death) and censuses are added every month — but the new Ancestry collections will help you go further and faster!

It’s easy to check if a record is from Ancestry!

350 million individuals in over 80 collections throughout France!

These collections, which complement Geneanet’s already extensive collections, cover 23 départements of France from the 16th to the early 20th centuries. Ten collections are from Paris and its region!

Here are highlights from the new collections — there are others; database teams from Ancestry and Geneanet have worked together for months to bring these collections, nearly all with images, to you. Check your tree to see if new record matches have appeared for your missing ancestors!

Births, Marriages, Deaths: Aisne, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Ardennes, Aube (Troyes), Calvados, Charente, Doubs, Haut-Rhin, Haute-Saône, Ile-de-France (Paris + region: Yvelines, Seine-Saint-Denis), Indre, Rhône, Somme, Tarn-et-Garonne, Territoire de Belfort, Vienne

Census: Aisne, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Aube, Corrèze, Doubs, Haut-Rhin, Haute-Saône, Hautes-Alpes, Indre, Rhône, Saône-et-Loire, Somme, Tarn-et-Garonne, Territoire de Belfort, Vienne, Yvelines

Voter lists: Paris 1891

If reading French handwriting is a challenge, be sure to visit our forums where you may find helpers!

Accessing these collections

Don’t know where to start? Just search on your ancestor’s name in our main search engine. If you know the département of interest, you can browse the collections in the “Our collections” page.

Beyond these new collections which join Geneanet’s existing rich collections, we have other features of interest for researching French genealogy such as our free Postcards collection (nearly three quarters of a million images — visit your ancestor’s village!) and our Genealogy Library of books and newspapers, where over 3.7 billion individuals are indexed (Premium feature).

And don’t forget Geneanet’s collaborative projects such as Save our Graves and especially Napoléon’s Soldiers: 1.1 million young men (and two million parents!) indexed by the Geneanet community over the past decade – a collection you won’t find elsewhere.

Find your French ancestors today!



To research French names, start in the U.S. with Huguenot genealogy organizatiions. For example, The Huguenot Society of the Founders of Manakin in the Colony of Virginia has extensive Fontaine records.

I have been searching information on emigration from France to Germany ,probably after 1652 . My last name is Bouillon and I know that they were living in Germany before further emigrating to to Saint Petersburg , Russia in the 1800’s where they stayed till 1917 or so . Can you please direct me of where to look . IBS

Answer from Geneanet: Check out our article, Resources for German Genealogy.

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