French Roots project now official and accepting volunteers

+35 votes

The French Roots project is now official and ready to co-ordinate the efforts of Wikitree-ers 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 in Requests for Project Volunteers by Isabelle Rassinot G2G6 Pilot (181k points)
edited by Isabelle Rassinot
That is neat that we both share lineage with Blanche of Artois. Their is good information on wickpedia about Blanche of Artois and her mother. If you look at her wiki tree profile, of Blanche of Artois's profile you can find the link to wickpedia about her family history. I am searching some books about her and her mother. Or just google search her name, and you can find historical information about her.

According to one site, my ancestor, Nicolas Godefroy Barbin, Prosper’s father was the private secretary of Louis XIV, King of France.  He was commissioned by the king to take charge of the government store at La Balize, just south of New Orleans.  He died in 1759.  But other sources indicate that it was his father, Louis Barbin de Bellevue (born 1698 in Paris, France; died 1759) who was given that appointment.  (Nicholas was born in 1700 and this document is dated September 8, 1703).  This is a translation of that document.


“Today the 8th day of the month of September in the year 1703, the king being at Versailles and wishing to select a capable and loyal person to serve as Warehouse-Keeper at La Balize in the province of the Louisiana, and knowing that Sr. Barbin has the necessary qualities   to acquit himself well; His Majesty has engaged and commissioned him, engaging and commissioning him Warehouse-Keeper at La Balize in the said province, to take charge in said capacity of the merchandise and munitions which have been or will be sent to him for the service of His Majesty, to record both the incoming and outgoing of said merchandise and munitions and to render an account thereof to the Directorate of the Naval Commissary in the said province of the Louisiana; And he is to send nothing without [a requisition] and for the said use, and to implement the [instructions] which will be directed to him by the state and the regulations which will be drawn up for that end. His Majesty sends word to the said Directorate to make known to the said Sr. Barbin his appointment as  Warehouse-Keeper and matters relating to the said service. And in testimony of his wish, His Majesty has commanded me to dispatch the present commission which it has pleased him to sign with his own hand and to be countersigned by me, Counsellor-Secretary of the State and of his Commandments and Finances.

LOUIS                                                                      PHELYPEAUX”


La Balize was the first French fort and settlement near the mouth of the Mississippi River in what became Plaquemines Parish.  

The contract of the marriage of Nicolas Godefroy Barbin to HélèneModeste Voisin in 1735 indicates that Nicolas was “Gard de Magazine” (chief administrator)  (or warehouse keeper) at Fort La Balize, the post once held by his father, Louis.  Among witnesses to the wedding was Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville, Governor of Louisiana at that time and Louis Barbin, Nicolas’ father.  Nicholas and Hélène had nine children, all born in New Orleans.


It was also Balize that was one of the stopping off points for the Acadian exiles from Nova Scotia. 


From there they moved on to the prairie regions west of the Atchafalaya Basin or to the upper stretches of Bayou Lafourche.  Few Acadians remained in New Orleans.

I learned that the French Roots Project doesn't want me.  That is because I am primarily interested in going back earlier from the ancestors I already have information on, and perhaps correcting dates and finding documentary proof.

They seem to be more interested in connecting celebrities with kings of France.
Hi Keith,

"I learned that the French Roots Project doesn't want me."  Isabelle may be able to elaborate based on her conversations with you once she's back next week, but it's my understanding that you were given the opportunity to join, and then decided not to.

"They seem to be more interested in connecting celebrities with kings of France."  I would not describe that as an accurate statement of the French Roots project.  Our members work on a number of tasks, including addressing database suggestions, fixing problems with faulty GEDCOM uploads, and correcting the sometimes faulty genealogies of those who emigrated to other parts of the world.
I would also add that if you have concerns about your membership in a project, it's probably best to address them privately with the project leaders, rather than doing so on a welcome G2G post.  The G2G is a great place to ask and answer many things, but sometimes it's more appropriate to engage in private correspondence if there is question as to whether the project is a good fit for you.
Point taken.

Keith Guillory

I understood from communications with Mr Guillory that he no longer wished to join. If he feels he was "not wanted", there has been a major misunderstanding.

"They seem to be more interested in connecting celebrities with kings". I take exception with this description of the project and its members, and invite anyone interested to check the project page or this thread, or this, or this for a few examples of what project members are doing to help. We are not particularly interested in kings, since they are the domain of the European Aristocrats project(s). We do emphasize work on Notables, or "celebrities" to use the term chosen by Mr Guillory and which I find disparaging (pejorative) (I may be wrong, I'm not a native English speaker) but notable profiling is by no means our only activity and many of the project members don't work on this.

Thank you for your response.  If my view of the purpose of the group was pejorative, I apologize.  I will continue to research my ancestors using alternative tools.

Keith Guillory
Yes, I have a lot of sources and would love to join the French Roots Project.

Hi all, for those who wish to join the project please post an answer (on the top message, click "answer") and not a comment. This helps us keep track of the requests so we can make sure we aren't forgetting anyone. Thank you!

48 Answers

+8 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 by Emma MacBeath G2G6 Pilot (511k points)
Thanks Emma. And thanks for all your help in building the project!
+9 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 by Duane Poncy G2G2 (2.8k points)
Thanks again Duane, And welcome! (officially, this time).
Fantastique Duane!!
+8 votes
horray! badge please :)
answered by Kyla H G2G6 Mach 2 (22.5k points)
Welcome again Kyla! And thanks for great work you've already done with Catherine de Baillon's ancestors !
+8 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 by Laura Bozzay G2G6 Pilot (417k 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
+8 votes
Sure- I have plenty of ancestors from Alsace Lorraine that I am actively researching.
answered by Beth Stephenson G2G6 (6.6k points)
Great ! There are already many profiles for people from Alsace Lorraine and your help with be most welcome.
My husband's original Bartholow ancestor is reportedly from Alsace-Lorraine.  We have no information on him and wish to learn how to better research his arrival and his prior life data.
+8 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 by Julien Cassaigne G2G5 (5k 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.
+7 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 by
+7 votes
Willing to help with research,  correct errors. Would love to find family records
answered by Michael Sabot G2G5 (5.6k points)
Welcome Michael. We certainly need help with errors! Thank you.
+7 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 by Fritz Maher G2G2 (2k points)
+8 votes
Happy to be part of this !
answered by Michèle Calonnec G2G6 (6.3k 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!
+7 votes
I would definitely like to help and volunteer to contribute.  Thanks, Isabelle.
answered by

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 !

+7 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 by Cindy Cooper G2G6 Mach 2 (25.2k 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 !
+6 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 by Greg Lavoie G2G6 Pilot (124k points)
Not to mention coordinating the effort to clean up all those puzzling French-Canadian early ancestors ! Thanks for all your hard work, Greg.
+7 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 by Lynnette Dovy G2G6 Mach 1 (11.4k points)
A special page for Saint-Barthélemy would be great! Thank you, Lynnette, and welcome.
+6 votes
Mais oui!  Would be able to help with research
Please add the badge to my profile
answered by Barbara Cutter G2G6 (6.6k points)
edited 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!
+6 votes
I am ready and willing to assist
answered by Gershwin Stephen G2G Crew (380 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 !

+7 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 by C Ryder G2G6 Mach 2 (20.5k points)
Welcome! Everybody who wants to help the project is welcome. We'll be happy to have your help.
+6 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 by Bruce Codère G2G6 Mach 1 (16k 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.
+6 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 by Jerry Baraboo G2G6 Pilot (449k points)
Thank you Jerry, welcome!
+7 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 by Stéphane Wendlinger G2G Crew (840 points)
Bienvenue ! Et merci pour votre travail.
Ah! Bienvenue encore Stéphane.  Vous n'êtes jamais en retard!

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