November 9, 2024 Meeting – Bryna O’Sullivan – Decoding French Civil Registration

If your ancestor lived in regions once part of the French Empire, their records may be in French. Learn how to navigate their civil registration of births, deaths, and marriages. This presentation will introduce the French system of civil registration, which impacted record keeping in Alsace Luxembourg, Lorraine, and more.

It will begin by discussing the history of the system up to the 19th century, including the Decree of 20 September 1792. It will next offer guidance for decoding these records when the genealogist does not speak French, including common phrases, models, and dictionaries. Finally it will touch on where a genealogist can go for help, including how to find professional genealogical translators.

Bryna O’Sullivan is a Middletown, CT based professional genealogist and French to English genealogical translator. As proprietor of Charter Oak Genealogy, she specializes in lineage society applications.