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Finding the France Place of Origin

Knowing the place of origin (town) in France is essential in finding the desired ancestor. Most records were kept on the town level, so in order to find these records the town must be known. Try the following suggestions:

  • Survey previous research of the ancestor and their family (including parents, siblings, spouses, children).
  • Search records in country of arrival. Some useful records include:
  • Biographies
  • Birth, marriage, death certificates
  • Cemetery records
  • Census records
  • Church records
  • Citizenship papers
  • County histories
  • Family Bibles
  • Funeral cards
  • Genealogies
  • Journals
  • Land and property
  • Letters
  • Military records
  • Naturalization records
  • Newspapers
  • Obituaries
  • Passenger lists
  • Passport Applications
  • Photographs
  • Probate records
  • Localize the surname. Some surnames are more common in certain areas, so searching for the surname may help narrow down where your ancestor came from.
  • Check for correct spelling of surname.

After place is located:

Go to France Guided Research to find the vital records of your ancestor.

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