French Genealogy Records Online

French Databases — Actes Etat Civil

France genealogy research is fairly easy to conduct online, with plenty of digitized records and genealogical databases available for viewing, browsing and searching on the Internet. French departments across the country have digitized and made available a variety of records on their websites, including such records as French birth, marriage and death records ( actes etat civil ), French census records ( recensements de population ) and French parish registers ( registres paroissiaux ). The records and years available vary by department, but most now have at least a few records of genealogical interest online. 

If you don't read French, then a basic French genealogy word list, such as this one available from FamilySearch, can help you to recognize the key terms and make sense of many of these genealogical documents.

1
GeneaNet

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Vézelay, Yonne, France. Getty / Hiroshi Higuchi / Digital Vision

Over 2 million user-contributed civil and parish records are available online through the French site GeneaNet.org, plus subscription-based access to additional records, including civil and parish registers, digitized books and additional French genealogy sources. Subscription or credits required to access some of their records but many, including family trees, are free.

2
Actes en Vrac

Translating as "actes in bulk," this site by JeanLouis Garret includes more than 4 million actes drawn from civil and parish records across France. The majority are from the departments of Pas de Calais, Somme and Nord, but many other departments are represented as well. Access is free but registration is required to view record details.

3
Ain (01) - Archives Départementales de l'Ain

Civil registers (etat civil) and registres paroissiaux (parish registers) are searchable by name. Plus, decennial tables (10-year indexes), censuses (1836-1975), searchable estate records, military records, Napoleonic cadastre and old newspapers, photographs and postcards.

4
Aisne (02) - Archives Départementales

The online digitized archives of Aisne include civil and parish register of births, deaths and marriages, plus Casastral maps and the tables decennales (from 1792).

5
Allier (03) - Archives Départementales

Parish and civil registrations, plus decennial tables (10-year indexes) are available online for free for all 321 communes in the department of Allier. Not all records have yet been digitized.

6
Alpes de Haute Provence (04) - Archives Départementales

Consult  vital records, parish registers, census records, indexes  and postcards online - état-civil, registres paroissiaux, tables décennales (> 1792) et annuelles (registres paroissiaux), cadastre napoléonien, rencensements de 1836 à 1906 and cartes postales.

7
Hautes-Alpes (05) - Archives Départementales

Digital resources include searchable civil records of births, deaths and marriages, census records and plans cadastraux, plus the database of the Genealogical Association of Hautes-Alpes.

8
Alpes-Maritimes (06) - Les Archives Departementales

The archives of Alpes-Maritimes, which includes the city of Nice, offers online access to the actes d'etat civil and old newspapers (la presse ancienne). Under Outils de Recherche et Archives Numérisées, you can access indexes to some of these records, including immigration (1880-1935), Nice baptisms (1814-1860) and Nice marriages (1814-1860), plus census and some notarial records.

9
Cannes (06) - Archives Municipales

The acts of birth, marriage and death for over 100 years (etat civil) in Cannes (located in Alpes-Maritimes) are available for research online through the Cannes municipal archives.

10
Ardèche (07) - ves de l'Ardèche

The tables décennales (10 year indexes) of births, marriages and deaths are available for online for 1793-1902. They also have the vital records (actes des naissances, mariages et décès), parish registers (registres paroissiaux), Protestant registrations, land records, military records, censuses, and plans cadastraux available for online consultation.

11
Ardennes (08) - Archives Departementales

The decennial tables (10-year-indexes) of civil registers (1802-1892) as well as the ancient cadastral maps are currently available online. The civil registers (actes d'etat civil) are also being digitized and will soon be added to the online records.

12
Ariège (09)

Ariège does not yet have their civil records of birth, marriage, and death online, but a 2-year project to digitize and make the records available online is expected to be completed by the end of 2014. The cadastral maps (land registry) is expected to follow.

13
Aube (10) - Archives de l'Aube

Explore tables decennales (10 year indexes of births, marriages and deaths), cadastres napoleoniens and charts of the abbey of Clairvaux, plus registres de recrutement militaire (records of military recruitment).

14
Aude (11) - Archives Départementales

Access parish and civil registrations from 1547 to 1872, as well as decennial tables (ten-year indexes of vital records) and census records from 1836–1906. You will be required to create a free personal account before you can access the records (for security purposes only).

15
Aveyron (12) - Les Archives Départementales

The website of the Aveyron archives offers free online access to parish and civil registrations of births, marriages, deaths, and burials, from the 16th to the end of the 19th century. You can also access over a century of digitized copies of "Le Narrateur" and its predecessors, a weekly publication covering Villefranche-d'Aveyron.

16
Bouches-du-Rhône (13) - Archives Départementales

The registres paroissiaux (parish registers) and d’état-civil (civil records) of births, deaths, marriages and divorces have been digitized and put online for all parishes and municipalities in the department of Bouches-du-Rhone.

17
Calvados (14) - Archives Départementales

The etat civil (civil records) and registres paroissiaux (parish records) of births, deaths andmarriages are online for free browsing, along with the recensements de population (census records) and cadastre napoléonien (old cadastral maps).

18
Cantal (15) - Archives Départementales

Browse the tables decennales (10-year indexes) to find births, marriages and deaths from municipalities across the department, as well as census records. Volunteers are collaborating to create searchable indexes as well.

19
Charente (16) - Les Archives départementales

Browse census records for 1842 to 1872, plus land records, 19th century newspapers, and old postcard images of local villages. Digitized parish and civil records are also available, but you'll need to select one of several paid subscription options for access.

20
Charente-Maritime (17) - Archives Départementales

Photographs and postcards, plus 4+ million digitized pages of registres paroissiaux and etat civil (parish and civil records).

21
Cher (18) - Archives départementales et patrimoine du Cher

  • Access parish and civil registration records, censuses, maps, and military enlistment registers from the French department of Cher. Some of the records have even been indexed and allow you to search by name. To comply with regulations on the reuse of public information, you will be required to create a (free) account prior to accessing the records.

22
Corrèze (19) - Archives Départementales

Vital records online include the decennial tables, as well as civil records and parish registers to1902 for all municipalities except Brive-la-Gaillarde (which will be online later). Census records, military recruitment records and indexes of deaths/estates (until 1940) are also online for Corrèze.

23
Haute-Corse (20) - Archives Départementales

All civil records (etat civil) for the municipalities of Haute-Corse and the first batch went online in 2010. Cadastral maps are also available.

24
Côte d'Or (21) - Archives de Côte d'Or

This departmental archives has online images of the tables decennales (1802-1902) of births, marriages and deaths, as well as images of parish registers and civil registers from the late 1600s through mid-1800s for most communes.

25
Côtes d'Armor (22) - Archives Departementales

The registres paroissiaux (parish registers) of Côtes d'Armor have been digitized and made available for online browsing. The Cadastre Ancien (land register) is also available.

26
Creuse (23) - Accueil des Genealogistes

The Tables Decennales are online for most communes in Creuse, and registres of naissances (births), mariages (marriages) and décès (deaths) are online for some communities. You have to register to view the documents, but registration is free.

27
Dordogne (24) - Archives Départementales

Nineteenth century cadastral maps, plus the tables décennales de l’état civil (10-year vital records indexes) are currently online, with plans to eventually add the parish and civil registers, as well as census records.

28
Doubs (25) - Archives Départementales

The tables decennales (1793-1902), military registrations and cadastral maps are available online. Most recently, images of more recent 10-year civil indexes were added (1903-1942, A-F), with census records expected soon. Registration is required, but access is entirely free.

29
Drôme (26) - Archives Départementales

Civil and parish records from 1792 to 1900 (still in progress for some municipalities), plus the decennial tables and cadastre napoléonien.

30
Eure (27) - Archives Départementales

Parish registers and civil records (until 1902) are digitized and viewable online for all municipalities and parishes of Eure, plus censuses (1891-1906) and cartes postales (historic postcards).

31
Eure-et-Loir (28) - Archives d'Eure-et-Loir

Explore parish and civil registers of birth, marriage and death (through 1883), as well as the tables decennales (through 1902) online through the archives.

32
Finistère (29) - Les Archives départementales

The site offers free online access to civil registrations, parish records, census returns and military recruitment lists. Digitized record copies are not yet available from all localities.

33
La Ville Nîmes (30) - Municipal Archives

The department of Gard (30) does not yet have any genealogical records online. If your Gard ancestors happen to come from the city of Nîmes, however, you can access select birth and marriage indexes online through the Nimes municipal archives.

34
Haute-Garonne (31) - Archives Départementales

View and browse civil records for all municipalities and parishes in Haute-Garonne except Toulouse, plus parish registers for all municipalities including Toulouse. Online records also include the Cadastre napoléonien and historic postcards.

35
Archives Municipales de Toulouse (31)

The civil and church records of Toulouse are online at the municipal archives, rather than the departmental archives of Haute-Garrone (see the previous entry).

36
Gers (32) - Archives départementales du Gers

View online census returns from 1861–1911, maps, and finding aids on the website of the Gers archives. Military conscription lists have been digitized and will be online in late 2014. Parish and civil registrations are not yet available online.

37
Gironde (33) - Archives Départementales

Vital and church records for over 500 municipalities and parishes of Gironde are available for access online.

38
Hérault (34) - Archives Départementales

 Explore online digitized copies of parish and civil registers, censuses, land records, military recruitment registers, and even notarial records. Global search allows you to search for keywords, such as names, but please note that most of these records (e.g. civil records of birth, marriage and death) have not been indexed and will not appear in the list of results -- you still have to search them manually.

39
Rennes (35) - Archives municipales de Rennes

The Rennes municipal archives has census records, etat civil and registres paroissiaux for the city of Rennes, located in the department of Ille-et-Vilaine. Theres also an index of naissances (births) from 1807 to 1880.

40
Indre (36) - Archives Départementales de l'Indre

Access civil registration records through 1902, decennial indexes, population censuses until 1901 (search the capital of each canton/municipality) and a number a finding aids.

41
Saint Etienne (42) - Archives Municipales de Saint-Etienne

The municipality of Saint-Etienne, in the department of Loire, has many of their records online, including archives paroissiaux, registres paroissiaux, registres d'etat civil and the cadastre napoleonien. Follow the link for "Accès direct."

42
Loire-Atlantique (44) - Archives de Loire Atlantique

Follow the link to "archives numerisees" to find plans cadastraux, cartes postales, registres paroissiaux et d'etat civil (1792-about 1880) and tables décennales (1792-1902).

43
Mayenne (53) - Archives de la Mayenne

The online archives for the French department of Mayenne includes over 5 million acts of birth, marriage and death in the commune, plus tables decennales (1802-1902), census lists (recensement de population) from 1836-1906, the ancien cadastre, and registres matricules d'incorporation militaire (military registration).

44
Meurthe-et-Moselle (54) - Archives départementales

Parish and civil records are online, digitized primarily from FHL microfilm created by the Genealogical Society of Utah in the 1970s. Digitization of original records for the period 1873–1932 will be added as completed upon transfer from district clerks. Digitized newspapers from Meurthe and Vosges can be found online here.

45
Meuse (55) - Archives départementales

Research in digitized parish and civil registers through 1902, as well as census records through 1931 and military conscription records from 1867–1932.

46
Morbihan (56) - Archives Départementales

Browse and view parish and civil registers, ten-year indexes, military conscription lists, maps, and 19th century local newspapers online via the website of the Morbihan archives.

47
Moselle (57) - Service départemental d'Archives

Both Catholic and Protestant parish registers have been color scanned from both available department and county archives and made available online to 1793 for almost 500 towns and villages in Moselle. Decennial tables are also available.

48
Nièvre (58) - Archives Départementales

 This well-organized website offers free, online access to a variety of helpful genealogical records, including civil and parish registrations, census records, military conscriptions, and pregnancy declarations. Some of the records have been indexed and are searchable by name. Look under "Aides à la recherche" (Research Aids) for helpful research guides such as lists of documents that have been digitized, information on which records have been indexed, etc.

49
Nord (59) - Depouillements Actes Nord

A small number of births, baptisms, marriages, deaths and burials from the department of Nord are available for free online consultation.

50
Pas-de-Calais (62) - Archives Départementales

Online digitized records from Pas-de-Calais include decennial tables (indexes) of births, deaths, and marriages; population censuses (1820–1911), directories and registers of military recruitment; and the Napoleonic cadastral maps.

51
Haute-Saone (70) - Archives Départementales de la Haute-Saône

Explore vital, census, military records and more. Includes état-civil (1792 - 1872),  recensements (1836 - 1906), table des registres matricules and Cadastre napoléonien.

52
Sarthe (72) - Archives Departementales

Parish registers, civil registers and the Le Cadastre index (land records) are available for online searching and viewing in the French department of Sarthe.

53
Yvelines (78) - Archives Departementales

The archives for the French department of Yvelines has digitized a large collection of its genealogical records, including the actes etat civil (birth, marriage and death), recensements de population (census records) and parish registers (registres paroissiaux) for Yvelines and the ancient department of Seine et Oise.

54
Val-d'Oise (95) - Archives Départementales

Enjoy free online access to digitized census returns from 1817–1911, plus 10-year vital record indexes, records of civil registration from 1793–1900, and parish records covering the prior years (mid- to late-15th century through 1792).