French Roots project now official and accepting volunteers

+31 votes

The French Roots project is now official and ready to co-ordinate the efforts of Wikitree-ers with French ancestors (those who are not already covered by the existing Huguenot, Quebecois and Acadian projects), or who want to help improve the profiles of French people.

Want to be part of the project?

1. Be informed : start by reading the Project Page and follow the french_roots tag.

2. Contribute: there are lots of ways you can get involved (check the Project Page): correct errors, find sources (France has lots of great records available), categorize, improve profiles for French notables... Or participate in one of the sub-projects (Catherine de Baillon, French Notables, Presidents of France or the new Departments project).

If you are ready to help, please post an answer to this question to tell us what you'd like to do, and you'll receive one of our shiny new badges.

French Roots Project

(EDT: made this the new official join thread)

asked Nov 19, 2017 in Requests for Project Volunteers by Isabelle Rassinot G2G6 Pilot (160,620 points)
retagged Jan 7 by Isabelle Rassinot
I would like to join a group and help specifically with anything having to do with the Alsace Lorraine area of France. That said I will help leadership with anything else that needs to be done. I am a rookie at this but willing to learn.

My great grandfather came from Alsace Lorraine to the USA in 1871. I have his name and self report birth day but nothing else about his family. his name was Michael Gerber.
I would like to join the group. I would love to help with one of the sub-projects or anywhere that I'm needed! I've just recently discovered a long line of ancestors from France so I hope theres something in there that I can provide or I love searching for records!
I would love to join the French Project, I'm already a member of the Huguenot project. My husband is descended from at least 2 families, Michaux & LeGrand. Going even further back William the Conqueror is both his 32nd & 34th great grandfather. So I have a lot of information to share.
Hi Betty,

If you have well sourced data for a couple of Huguenot ancestors, this would be extremely helpful. In most cases it' only possible to find their ancestors up to about 1550-1600, perhaps not even that depending on how well the records survived.  Pre-1500 profiles almost always fall in Euro Aristo territory.

French Roots doesn't work on William the Conqueror and contemporaries, this is Euro Aristo territory and we don't have members with real expertise in this era.

We would be happy to welcome you if you are still interested in spite of these limitations to our scope :-)
I would love to join the French Roots project. My 2x great-grandparents were from France. I have some experience with Bretagne and Paris and would love to help out where I can. I wouldn’t call myself bilingual by any stretch but my French is okay enough to understand the basics.


I would be excited to join this French Roots Project!  I just found out last week after years of searching that my maternal grandparents are originally from France.  I can't wait to learn more!
Thanks, James - could you please make an answer to the thread (helps us make sure we overlook no one) - click on the "answer" link at the bottom of the top post on this page. It would be helpful if you can give an idea of which area of France you're interested in. Thank you!


My grandfather’s branch of our family is from Nova Scotia.  (He was John MacDonald, descended from Alexander MacDonald and Mary Jane MacNeil).  Through DNA connections, I recently discovered that my 5th great grandparents (Pierre Maillard and Marguerite Elisabeth "Gratto" Gretteau) were from Montbeliard, France. They were French Protestants and I am very interested in the history around this emigration.  I’m learning about it from “Montbeliard Emigration to Nova Scotia,1749 - 1752” by Terrence M. Punch, (Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, Maryland, 2015, Revised edition). In this book the genealogies of the Montbeliardais are carefully researched and extensive, in my case going back to my 10th great-grandparents!

I would like tor work with the French roots project to learn more about French ancestry, and to contribute what I am learning in my family research.

(I volunteered earlier this month, but did not receive approval or a response.)

- Pat Hanrahan

Hi Pat, your project badge has been awarded. You did it right the first time around, it was just me not checking every day :-)
I found out through research that one of my direct ancestors is Nicholas Martiau 1591-1657.  He was ordered by the King of France to go to Colonial America to build fortifications to keep the Indians out of the colony. He was granted a special naturalization by the King of France which allowed him to own property, vote and hold public office. He had 1,300 acres which was known as the Martiau plantation.  I am really interested in continuing to research the Martiau's.

33 Answers

+7 votes
C'est magnifique, Isabelle!! Woo hoo :-)

I hope to work on the project by helping with categorization, correcting errors and improving profiles and supporting our fearless leader of course.
answered Nov 19, 2017 by Emma MacBeath G2G6 Pilot (491,770 points)
Thanks Emma. And thanks for all your help in building the project!
+8 votes
Thank you, Isabelle! I plan to continue my work on Martinique and the Comté de Nice. I plan to work on correcting errors, writing and polishing bios, and so on. As well as researching and adding family lines.
answered Nov 19, 2017 by Duane Poncy G2G2 (2,330 points)
Thanks again Duane, And welcome! (officially, this time).
Fantastique Duane!!
+7 votes
horray! badge please :)
answered Nov 19, 2017 by Kyla H G2G6 Mach 1 (13,900 points)
Welcome again Kyla! And thanks for great work you've already done with Catherine de Baillon's ancestors !
+7 votes
I plan to contribute in the following ways:

1.  Tag all of my French glass and crystal makers with the new category.

2.  Act as a resource for anyone with French glass and crystal makers as I am an officer in an international organization dedicated to the preservation of information including genealogy and craft making techniques (genverre).  We maintain databases and publish a magazine twice a year that contains genealogical studies of various families.

3.  Help with research as I have access to many of the Moselle records including some not covered by the regional archives.

4.  help with pre-1500 French research as I am pre-1500 certified

5.  Help with Departments Project I just put my name on Moselle

I have several profiles I need to add hopefully after the US Thanksgiving this coming Thursday.  I am booked up until then...
answered Nov 19, 2017 by Laura Bozzay G2G6 Pilot (367,610 points)
Hooray! Five times thank you Laura !

Hi Laura, one of my ancestors Hervé Danemont would be in your area of interest, do you have anything on him?


Chris,  I looked in the glass and crystal maker index and did not find that surname.  There is a Danne but that was the closest to it...

I also looked in a database for surname distribution in France and it did not show up on it either

To look him up in archives I need a place and a time period.  I did a quick search on Family Search and only user trees came back.  Which can be wrong but they do give clues sometimes.  8 trees came back with a lot of the same info  All of these would need to be verified.  

There were 291 in Geneanet which is the French version of Ancestry with user donated trees... but sometimes you get lucky and they list sources at the bottom!

This one for example has sources listed
+6 votes
Sure- I have plenty of ancestors from Alsace Lorraine that I am actively researching.
answered Nov 19, 2017 by Beth Stephenson G2G3 (3,800 points)
Great ! There are already many profiles for people from Alsace Lorraine and your help with be most welcome.
+7 votes
I'm in. I can do work on the department of Vienne (I just added my name in the table), maybe on a few notables, correct errors and add sources when I find them.
answered Nov 19, 2017 by Julien Cassaigne G2G3 (3,920 points)
Thanks Julien, I've awarded you a badge.

I've mentioned you can help translating records, since you've already demontrated your skills with that.
+6 votes
Hello Emma,

Thank you for getting this project up and running. I am very interested in finding out more about my French Canadien ancestors, in particular some ancestral information about the men who married the descendants of my Filles du Roi 7x gr-grandmother, Anne Masson (1642-1710). I do know Pierre Blanchard (Abt. 1734-Aft. 1767) was my 4x gr-grandfather and he emigrated from La Rochelle, Charente-Maritime, France circa 1754. He married Anne Masson's granddaughter, Marie Louise Julienne Clement (1737-1795) in that year, However, I have no information for the men who married Anne's daughter (Marie Louise Giraud, 1719-1757) or granddaughter, Marie Louise Julienne Clement.

I look forward to more discoveries!

Barbara (Blanchard) Petepiece
answered Nov 19, 2017 by Glengarry Barbara
+6 votes
Willing to help with research,  correct errors. Would love to find family records
answered Nov 19, 2017 by Michael Sabot G2G5 (5,510 points)
Welcome Michael. We certainly need help with errors! Thank you.
+6 votes
I am glad to be part of this project.  I have L'Acadian roots,  plus those from France.  I seem to have royal blood. i don't know if it is true,  but it is worth finding out.
answered Nov 19, 2017 by Fritz Maher G2G1 (1,970 points)
+7 votes
Happy to be part of this !
answered Nov 20, 2017 by Michèle Calonnec G2G5 (5,510 points)
Thank you Michèle! I believe you would like to focus on the ancestors of immigrants to New France? I see you've already helped with a few of them.
Bonjour Isabelle,

J'ai effectivement  l'intention de travailler sur les ancêtres français des nouveaux québécois.  J'avais déjà bien des données avant de me joindre à Wiki et je dois maintenant y mettre de l'ordre pour respecter la manière de faire.  Je voudrais compléter la lignée des "Dugon" et de leurs alliés, ce qui n'est pas une mince tâche, mais aussi participer avec le groupe  pour faire de la recherche et traduire, le cas échéant.


Merci Michèle!
+6 votes
I would definitely like to help and volunteer to contribute.  Thanks, Isabelle.
answered Nov 20, 2017 by Ann Royal

Hi Ann, do you have a more precise idea of how you could help? It is better to have an idea of this before I award the badge, since we use the badge report to see where everybody is helping. Taking a look might help you find ideas, too. Thanks for volunteering !

+6 votes
I see my name on the list so I'm in.  The badge would be fine, too.  I work on items 1-9 (would be afraid to touch famous people), but enjoy learning how to better source with French records.  One of my personal to-do tasks is to mark all my immigrant ancestors with the French Immigrants tag.  I could do that for others as well.  How about having our own mini-challenge for a weekend - might help people like me who need to get more comfortable with French sources?
answered Nov 20, 2017 by Cindy Cooper G2G6 Mach 2 (20,350 points)
I like the challenge idea, Cindy.  I would join you ;-)
Also like the challenge idea! And there would be plenty to do with fixing locations, cleaning up GEDCOM junk from profiles, adding categories and stickers...

I'm adding you for overall profile improvement. Thank you !
+4 votes
Many thanks to Isabelle for launching the French Roots project-she's been very dedicated to seeing this through and it's exciting now that it's 100% official.  

I've been working on the first three mini-projects for some time now, and will continue to do so.  For French Notables, I've been able to connect the Edgar Degas, Jean-François Millet, and the Landrieu family.  Hopefully, I'll be able to have continued success in those endeavors.  I'm also looking forward to beginning work on the department pages for Seine-Maritime and Eure.
answered Nov 20, 2017 by Greg Lavoie G2G6 Mach 9 (95,920 points)
Not to mention coordinating the effort to clean up all those puzzling French-Canadian early ancestors ! Thanks for all your hard work, Greg.
+6 votes
I would like to work on the Departments area for Guadeloupe, will Saint Barthélemy eventually get it's own page or remain part of Guadeloupe? Either way, I'm still interested in helping in this area.

I currently live in Department 38 and willing to help in this area as well.
answered Nov 20, 2017 by Lynnette Dovy G2G6 (9,260 points)
A special page for Saint-Barthélemy would be great! Thank you, Lynnette, and welcome.
+5 votes
Mais oui!  Would be able to help with research
Please add the badge to my profile
answered Nov 20, 2017 by Barbara Cutter G2G4 (4,560 points)
edited Nov 20, 2017 by Barbara Cutter

Thank you Barbara! Any more specific ideas of where you'd like to help? Or just general sourcing? It is more interesting to have the info before I give the badge so the badge report is accurate. I know sometimes it's not easy to say beforehand, but it would be very hepful. Thanks !

I already started working on Henri Matisse - just looked at the to do list and I love his work sooo - hope that is ok
Oh that's great - lots of French notables need some tender loving care. Thank you!
+5 votes
I am ready and willing to assist
answered Nov 20, 2017 by Gershwin Stephen G2G Crew (350 points)

Hello Gershwin! As with Ann and Barbara, do you have any more specific ideas? there are lots of ideas on the project page, or you could have a look at the badge report. Thank you !

+6 votes

So glad this project is happening! I wasn't too sure about becoming an active member, because my free time over the next month-and-a-half will be very limited. I could start by searching for documents at the Archives Départementales, for my friends' families or for "French Roots" WikiTreers who need un coup de main.  And more involvement as time goes on.

(I don't have any French roots, but I live here so that's a root.)


answered Nov 20, 2017 by C Ryder G2G6 Mach 1 (16,200 points)
Welcome! Everybody who wants to help the project is welcome. We'll be happy to have your help.
+5 votes
Salut bonjour mes cousins,

Would love to join since most of my roots are French, and sprawl considerably.

Au plaisir de travailler ensemble.
answered Nov 21, 2017 by Bruce Codère G2G6 Mach 1 (15,750 points)

Bonjour Bruce,

I am right in supposing you are looking to correct errors? We have lots of those !

FYI, the French Roots project does not cover people of French origin who lived in New France, those are under the Quebecois or Acadians projects. We do cover the ancestors who stayed in France and more recent immigrants.

Bonjour Isabelle,

De rigueur. Since I'm just starting at Wiki there's lots to learn, and lots of correcting, starting with profiles I manage, car, bon, voila, euh... ahem, bien, oui. So the further I dig the more I find cousins who wandered far or not at all. Seeing who stayed in France will be another level of digging I'll enjoy.
+5 votes
Ready to Help .. Happy to Serve .. Pleasure to Learn .. Thank You Isabelle Rassinot ..

Baraboo et Barbeau et Barbot et Barbu et Barbeaux et Barbaut et Barbaud dit Boisdore dit Poitevin dit LaForest dit Burren dit Bruyere .... etc
answered Nov 21, 2017 by Jerry Baraboo G2G6 Pilot (391,550 points)
Thank you Jerry, welcome!
+6 votes
I'm late but please, give me a badge quand même ! I will categorize my numerous french ancestors and contribute to the departments project (and invite my french cousins to join Wikitree !). Encore une fois, thank you Isabelle, Emma and Greg for the work !
answered Dec 5, 2017 by Stéphane Wendlinger G2G Crew (810 points)
Bienvenue ! Et merci pour votre travail.
Ah! Bienvenue encore Stéphane.  Vous n'êtes jamais en retard!

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