Services

Why wouldn’t you hire a French professional genealogist to help you with your Family History?

Here are some fields a French genealogist can help you with.

Research in French archives

I can do research for you in French archives. I can go to town archives, departemental archives, Natianal archives… I am able to check almost any kind of record: BMD records, notary records, land records, tax records, censuses… I can help you on very different subjects: genealogical researches  and especially if you have a brick wall in France, military researches, law researches… I can do research from the 1500s century till nowadays.

Support

You are planning to come to France to do your own research? Congratulations! I can go with you to the archives in order to help you. Indeed it is not always easy to know where to look for the right information, to read the documents, to understand what is written… I can help you with all this. Prices start from €100.

Paleography, transcription and translation

If you have some difficulties deciphering or understanding French manuscripts, I can make a transcription of the text. I am a specialist of the texts from the 16th century until nowadays. I usually keep the spelling as it is written in the handwritten tewt but I can also transcribe into modern French for a better understanding. I am also able to translate what Google cannot translate, that is to say from old French into English. Here is an example of a death record of the 17th century from St-Maurice-sur-Eygues (Drôme) :

“Le huictiesme dudit mois de septambre annee 1684 est decedee Spirite Martin agee de septante anees munye de touts les sacremants, a esté ensevelie. Presents Marc et Jaques Gambus ses enfans illitérés et par moy L.Sauvand prebtre.”

This is how Google translates this text:The ugliness of the said month of september 1684 is dead Spirite Martin, aged seventy years, with all the sacremants, was buried. Presents Marc and Jaques Gambus his illegitimate children and by mean L. Sauvant prebtre.”

This is how I would translate this text: “On the eighth day of september 1684 died Spirite Martin, aged 70, with all the sacraments, and she was bureid (on the same day). Witnesses are Marc and Jaques Gambus, her illiterate children, and me L.Sauvant, priest.”

This example shows that you cannot rely upon Google to understand a text in old French. Google says that September is ugly whereas it is just a lovely month, and worst of all, Google says that the two children are illegitimate whereas there are illiterate and this is quite a huge mistake for those interested in genealogy ! So don’t trust Google Translate or any other automatical translator but trust a human being who knows what he is talking about.

Prices start from €10.

History of your house

You are the owner of a house or a farm or a castle in France and you are interested in its history, I can trace its history for you. When it was built  or when it is first mentioned in the archives. I can also tell you who were the landlords, who lived in your house, how many windows and doors there were… I obviously use land records but there are also many other records that can be useful. It is possible to trace the history back to the end of the Middle Ages depending on the location of your house (and obviously it also depends on how old is your house !).

Contact me for the prices, I propose several packages.

DO NOT HESITATE TO CONTACT ME, ENGLISH SPOKEN.

How does a French professional genealogist work?

Online resources

For the last past years, lots of records have been digitized and are now online. Therefore many informations can be found from home by genealogists but they are scatered on many websites. Almost each archive depository has its own website. Just to give you an idea, each French departement has a website on which archives can be consulted and there are 96 departements in Metropolitan France… You must add the website of the National Archives and those of the town archives. Therefore digitized archives are scattered on several hundreds of websites, which are very often only in French.

Archive centres

Though many informations can be found online, soon or later it is necessary to go to the archive depositories because what is online is just a small part of all that is kept. But where ?  As I said above there are many depositories in France: the town archives, the departemental archives, the diocese archives, the French National Archives and many other centres… That is why if you are not trained, you might get lost !

Let’s talk about money !

Before starting any research, I draw up a quotation so that if you accept it, there is absolutely no surprise about the amount of money you will have to pay. I can charge from only one hour to sevral days, I also propose packages, so contact me for further information.