France records: hit & miss?

+3 votes
Good day everyone; I'm currently trying to follow some ancestor line in 19th century France, but I'm only finding reconstituted civil records that were lost during WWI. Those are useful, but far from complete, as they don't list the parent's names and place of origin for a wedding record, for example. They also only cover from 1835 to 1935, just enough so that people living at the time could get their birth and wedding records. I'm seeing this for the Ardennes dept., as well as some others. I understand that these reconstructed archives were based on existing church records, but I haven't been able to find those online. Does anyone know if the original church records still exist and if they are available somewhere?
WikiTree profile: François Marie Joseph Jalliot
in Genealogy Help by Yves Jolly G2G1 (1.4k points)
edited by Yves Jolly
You may want to add green “tags” to your question to get more visibility on the g2g forum - like “France”, “french_roots”, and “sources”

The answer is on the website of the Archives départementales des Ardennes here

Thanks, from what I read there my understanding is that the catholic archives (at least the ones I'm looking for) are only available for consultation on site.

You're right.

See this family tree on Geneanet

Wow merci! This has a whole lineage that I was trying to build.
Ask the owners what sources they used.

1 Answer

+1 vote
Some French records are available online at FamilySearch, many more are available at the French Departmental Archives. The sites like and geneanet have extracted/indexed records as well, although these two sites require a subscription.

For example, I have found church records from Pyrénées-Atlantiques back to the 1600s at the department archives.

Do a google search for the archives of the department you are interested in.
by George Fulton G2G6 Pilot (286k points)
I know about the dept. archives. What I'm saying is that they are very incomplete sometimes. Family search doesn't have anything post 1792 for the dept. in question. I'm asking specifically for the sources of the reconstructed post war archives.

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