Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen
France has a long history of civil registration of births, marriages
and deaths--starting in 1792. It covers people of all denominations.
French records also include "margin records"-- these are hand-written notes
that may lead to additional records. Records of civil registration are
typically held in registries in the local town hall, with copies deposited
each year with the local magistrate's court. Records over 100 years old are
placed in the Archives Départementales (series E) and are available for
public consultation. Many Departmental Archives have placed portions of
their holdings online, often beginning with the civil records. To read
more about French civil records see: http://tinyurl.com/9j4v2v9
civil registration records, however, are accessible only by knowing
the town, identifying the department that now holds those records and
locating the online holdings of the Archives Départementales for your town.
One place to search for these are: http://tinyurl.com/9qkzw6q
online access to the indexes and digital images has been restricted to 120
years by the Commission Nationale de l'informatique et des
Libertés (CNIL)--due to concern over privacy. This restriction has been in
effect since late 2011. Forbidden access on the Internet includes the
of certain information about people, whether living or dead.
That information includes: racial or ethnic origins, political
opinions, philosophies or religions, memberships to groups or associations,
health, sexuality, crimes, convictions, imprisonments AND marginal notes on
civil registrations. The prohibition of including religion or ethnic
origins impedes searching for Jewish records.
To read more on the CNIL
edict see: http://tinyurl.com/8lmd7x2
IAJGS Vice President
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records
Access Monitoring Committee