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French ancestry? Geneanet is the #1 genealogy database in France!

Posted by Sean Daly on Mar 2, 2024
Geneanet logo over La Liberté guidant le peuple d'Eugene Delacroix

Do you have French ancestry? Geneanet’s rich collections include many not found elsewhere, contributed by members of our community. And our forums are a great place to get help tracking down your French ancestors!

Geneanet is the biggest French genealogy database, and it’s the right place to start your French family history research! Break your brick walls in France with Geneanet’s rich collections and helpful community.

The Geneanet genealogy database contains 9 billion individuals, 2 million family trees, over half a million historical books and newspapers, more than 830,000 vintage postcards, and much more. And among Geneanet’s 5 million members are many researching French ancestors just like you, a vibrant community ready to help you in your research!

Geneanet has a rich array of resources for French genealogy:

Family Trees

Genealogists have shared 2 million family trees in the Geneanet database. Feel free to contact tree owners if you find common ancestors!

Start a tree at Geneanet from scratch, or upload a GEDCOM file to get started — our Help section has instructions for all the major platforms. There is no limit on tree size for free members, and you get 1 Gb of storage for your documents and photos! And if you choose Premium membership, you will have 10 Gb available, more than enough for even the largest trees.

Remember, you should always verify data provided by other genealogy researchers – don’t just copy & paste. Many Geneanet trees are carefully researched and have reference information about source documents in French which are usually available free on the websites of the Archives Départementales (every département in France manages its archives, the way states or counties do in other countries). Often, a Geneanet tree can point you to the correct town and département your French ancestor was from.

Geneanet Collections

French genealogists have shared digitized records and indexes: parish and civil vital records, censuses, notarial records, military records, family pictures, vintage postcards, grave photos, etc. Don’t forget the Tables Décennales, key resources for locating your people!

You can search these records by French département or by an individual’s name in the collaborative index.

If you have some free time, consider contributing to our collaborative projects such as the Filles du Roy collaborative tree, honoring the 770 17th century Frenchwomen sent to Québec, ancestors the of over 20 million people in North America today!

Origin of Last Names

Enter a last name here and generate a heatmap on the fly of where in France (or Europe!) that name appears in our 2 million trees. Scroll the cursor back to 1800 or 1700 – you may get a valuable clue about the region your people are from!

Save our Graves

In Europe, churchyard and village cemeteries are small and grave plot concessions are short — 20 or 30 years — and expire every day, with old graves dug up for new ones. Our Save our Graves project aims to document graves before they disappear and offers a free app to help you upload photos from your local cemetery! And if your ancestor fought in the World Wars and was buried in France or Belgium, it’s quite possible a Geneanet volunteer has photographed the grave.

Genealogy Society Indexes

Many French family history societies have shared their indexes on Geneanet so you can search for your French ancestors in more than 57 million records!

The Genealogy Library

Nearly 4 billion names are indexed in over 600,000 books and 30,000 historical newspaper titles, some of which have over 10,000 editions. With our affordable Premium membership, you can easily search for your French ancestors and browse the digitized images.

Our blog: Genealogy news & tips

Don’t miss our blog with articles about genealogy news, tips for using Geneanet, resources for researching genealogy by country, and more! Our weekly newsletter will tell you about the newest articles.

Geneawiki

Geneawiki is a fabulous resource for everything related to French genealogy. There’s just one downside: it’s only in French, and would be unwieldly to translate as text is updated all the time on many pages at once, just like with any other wiki. As you start to learn about the exact places your ancestors came from, Geneawiki can complement your information about a town and its canton or the département it is in.

Postcards

Visit your ancestor’s village! Search our fabulous vintage Postcards collection: over 830,000 images, with more uploaded daily by Geneanet members. And not just in France, either! You can link a postcard to your tree and Geneanet even shows you postcards from places you’ve entered in your tree. And don’t miss our Now and Then series, side-by-side images of a vintage postcard and a modern photo!


Questions? Visit our forums! Or, if you are a Premium member, open a support ticket!

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