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France from Provinces to Departments

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France Project > Orphaned Profiles Team page > France Orphan Trail Pre-1792 > From Provinces to Départements

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Provinces and Departments

France was organized into provinces until March 4, 1790, when the establishment of the department (French: département) system superseded provinces. In some cases, several modern regions or departments share names with the historic provinces, and their borders may cover roughly the same territory.

Provinces

Below is a list of the provinces with the current departments they correspond to. Click on the image thumbnail for to see a larger version of the images.

ProvinceProvincial capitalSucceeding departmentsMap
Île-de-FranceParisSeine (Paris, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis, Val-de-Marne),
most of Seine-et-Oise (Yvelines, Val-d'Oise, Essonne), parts of Oise, Seine-et-Marne, Aisne,
small part of Eure-et-Loir, Loiret, Yonne; one commune in Ardennes and one in Somme
Île-de-France
Berry BourgesCher, Indre, small parts of Creuse, Loiret and Loir-et-Cher,
one commune in Allier
Berry
Orléanais OrléansLoiret, Loir-et-Cher, part of Eure-et-Loir, small parts of Yvelines,
Essonne, Seine-et-Marne, Yonne, Cher, Indre-et-Loire, Sarthe
Orléanais
Normandie
(Normandy)
RouenCalvados, Eure, Manche, Seine-Maritime (Seine-Inférieure),
most of Orne
LanguedocToulouseArdèche, Aude, Gard, Hérault, Lozère, Tarn, parts of Haute-Garonne,
Tarn-et-Garonne, Ariège and Pyrénées-Orientales (Basses-Pyrénées)
Languedoc
LyonnaisLyonRhône, Loire, part of Haute-Loire, one commune in Puy-de-DômeLyonnais
DauphinéGrenobleIsère, Drôme, part of Hautes-Alpes, small parts of Rhône,
Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Vaucluse, and Italy
Dauphiné
ChampagneTroyesArdennes, Aube, Marne, most of Haute-Marne, parts of Yonne,
Seine-et-Marne, Aisne, Meuse, small parts of Vosges, Haute-Saône and Côte-d'Or
Champagne
AunisLa Rochellepart of Charente-Maritime (Charente-Inférieure),
three communes in Deux-Sèvres, one in Vendée
Aunis
SaintongeSaintesParts of Charente-Maritime, Charente, Deux-Sèvres,
one commune in Dordogne
Saintonge
PoitouPoitiersVienne, Haute-Vienne, Vendée,
small parts of Charente, Charente-Maritime, Indre,
one commune in: Loire-Atlantique, Maine-et-Loire, Haute-Vienne
Poitou
GuyenneBordeauxDordogne, Lot, Aveyron, parts of Gironde, Lot-et-Garonne
Tarn-et-Garonne, small part of Corrèze, one commune in Charente
Guyenne
GascogneLandes, Gers, Hautes-Pyrénées, parts of Gironde, Lot-et-Garonne,
Tarn-et-Garonne, Haute-Garonne, Ariège, Pyrénées-Atlantiques
Gascogne
Bourgogne
(Burgundy)
DijonCôte-d'Or, Saône-et-Loire, Ain, part of Yonne,
small parts of Haute-Marne, Nièvre, Allier, Haute-Loire, Rhône, Jura, Switzerland
Bourgogne
Picardie
(Picardy)
AmiensSomme, parts of Pas-de-Calais, Aisne, Oise,
small part of Nord
Picardie
AnjouAngersMaine-et-Loire, parts of Mayenne, Sarthe, Indre-et-Loire, Vienne,
two communes in Deux-Sèvres and one in Loire-Atlantique
Anjou
ProvenceAix-en-ProvenceVar, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence (Basses-Alpes), parts of Var, Vaucluse,
small parts of Drôme, one commune in Hautes-Alpes
Provence
AngoumoisAngoulêmeCharente, small parts of Haute-Vienne, Deux-Sèvres, DordogneAngoumois
BourbonnaisMoulinsAllier, part of Cher, small parts of Puy-de-Dôme and Nièvre,
one commune in Saône-et-Loire
Bourbonnais
MarcheGuéretCreuse, part of Haute-Vienne, small parts of Indre, Vienne, and CharenteMarche
Bretagne
(Brittany)
RennesCôtes-du-Nord, Finistère, Ille-et-Vilaine, Loire-Atlantique (Loire-Inférieure), Morbihan
MaineLe Mansmost of Sarthe, Mayenne
PercheParts of Orne and Eure-et-Loire, small parts of Eure, Sarthe, Loir-et-CherPerche
TouraineToursIndre-et-Loire, part of Indre, small parts of Vienne and Loir-et-CherTouraine
LimousinLimogesCorrèze, part of Haute-Vienne, small part of DordogneLimousin
FoixFoixPart of Ariège
AuvergneClermont-FerrandCantal, Puy-de-Dôme, parts of Haute-Loire and AllierAuvergne
BéarnPauPyrénées-Atlantiques (Basses-Pyrénées)
Basse-NavarreSaint-Jean-Pied-de-PortPyrénées-Atlantiques (Basses-Pyrénées)
AlsaceStrasbourg and ColmarBas-Rhin, Haut-Rhin (dont Territoire de Belfort)
ArtoisArrasPart of Pas-de-Calais
RoussillonPerpignanPyrénées-OrientalesRoussillon
Flandre
(Flanders)
and Hainaut 
Lille and DouaiNord
Franche-ComtéBesançonDoubs, Jura, Haute-Saône
LorraineNancyMost of Vosges, Moselle, former Meurthe (Meurthe-et-Moselle),
parts of Meuse, Bas-Rhin, Haut-Rhin, Bas-Rhin, Germany, one commune in Haute-Saône
Lorraine
BarroisBar-le-DucParts of Meuse, Meurthe-et-Moselle, small parts of Vosges, Haute-Marne,
Moselle, Haute-Saône, two communes in Luxembourg, one in Belgium.
Barrois
Trois-Évêchés
(Three Bishoprics)
MetzParts of Moselle, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Meuse, Vosges,
one commune in Luxembourg
Trois-Évêchés
Corse
(Corsica)
Ajaccio and BastiaCorse
NivernaisNeversNièvre, small parts of Cher and Yonne, one commune in AllierNièvre


Gained territories

Areas that were not part of the Kingdom of France, though they are currently parts of Metropolitan France:

ProvinceProvincial capitalCurrent DepartmentFormerly part ofWhen gained
Comtat VenaissinCarpentrasVauclusePapal States1791
Free City of MulhouseMulhouseHaut-RhinAllied to Swiss cantons1798
Duché de Savoie (Savoy)ChambérySavoie, Haute-SavoieSardinia1860
Comté de NiceNiceAlpes-MaritimesSardinia1860
Principauté de MontbéliardMontbéliardDoubsWürttemberg (HRE)1793
Villes libres de Menton et RoquebruneMenton and Roquebrune Alpes-Maritimes1861
Comté de TendeTendeAlpes-MaritimesSavoie1946
SarrewerdenSarrewerdenBas-RhinHRE1793
Principauté de Salm-SalmSenonesVosgesHRE1793


Lost territories

Areas that were part of France in the past but no longer are.


Departments

Below is a list of current departments with the former provinces on their territory.

DepartmentPrefectureFormer ProvincesNotes
AinBourg-en-BresseBourgogne (Bresse, Bugey, Dombes, Pays de Gex),
small part of Lyonnais
Ain
AisneLaonPicardie, Île-de-France, ChampagneAisne
AllierMoulinsBourbonnais, Auvergne, communes from Bourgogne, Nivernais and BerryAllier
Alpes-de-Haute-ProvenceDigne-les-BainsProvence
Hautes-AlpesGapDauphiné, some communes from Provence
Alpes-MaritimesNiceComté de Nice, Provence
ArdèchePrivasVivarais (part of Languedoc)
ArdennesCharleville-MézièresChampagne
AriègeFoixComté de Foix, Couserans and Comminges (parts of Gascogne)Ariège
AubeTroyesChampagne
AudeCarcassonneLanguedoc
AveyronRodezRouergue (part of Guyenne)
Bouches-du-RhôneMarseilleProvence
CalvadosCaenNormandie
CantalAurillacAuvergne
CharenteAngoulêmeAngoumois, parts of Saintonge, Poitou, Marche,
one commune from Périgord
Charente
Charente-MaritimeLa RochelleAunis and Saintonge, small parts of Angoumois and PoitouCharente-Maritime
Cher BourgesBerry, parts of Bourbonnais, Nivernais, OrléanaisCher
CorrèzeTulleLimousin
Corse-du-SudAjaccioCorse
Haute-CorseBastiaCorse
Côte-d'OrDijonBourgogne
Côtes-d'ArmorSaint-BrieucBretagne
CreuseGuéretMarche
DordognePérigueuxPérigord (part of Guyenne)
DoubsBesançonFranche-Comté, Montbéliard
DrômeValenceDauphiné, parts of Provence and Comtat-VenaissinDrôme
EureÉvreuxNormandie
Eure-et-LoirChartresOrléanais, Perche, Île-de-France, two communes from NormandieEure-et-Loir
FinistèreQuimperBretagne
GardNîmesLanguedoc
Haute-GaronneToulouseLanguedoc and GascogneHaute-Garonne
GersAuchGascogne (including Armagnac)
GirondeBordeauxGuyenne and Gascogne
HéraultMontpellierLanguedoc
Ille-et-VilaineRennesBretagne
IndreChâteaurouxBerry, Touraine, parts of Marche and PoitouIndre
Indre-et-LoireToursTouraine
IsèreGrenobleDauphiné
JuraLons-le-SaunierFranche-Comté
LandesMont-de-MarsanGuyenne and Gascogne
Loir-et-CherBloisOrléanais, small parts of Touraine, Berry, Maine and PercheLoir-et-Cher
LoireSaint-ÉtienneLyonnais (including Forez and Beaujolais), two communes from BourgogneLoire
Haute-LoireLe Puy-en-VelayAuvergne and Velay (part of Languedoc),
smaller parts of Languedoc and Lyonnais
Haute-Loire
Loire-AtlantiqueNantesBretagne
LoiretOrléansOrléanais, Berry
LotCahorsQuercy (part of Guyenne)
Lot-et-GaronneAgenGuyenne and GascogneLot-et-Garonne
LozèreMendeGévaudan (part of Languedoc)
Maine-et-LoireAngersAnjou
MancheSaint-LôNormandie
MarneChâlons-en-ChampagneChampagne
Haute-MarneChaumontChampagne, Lorraine, Bourgogne, Franche-Comté
MayenneLavalMaine, Anjou
Meurthe-et-MoselleNancyLorraine, including Barrois and Trois-Évêchés
MeuseBar-le-DucLorraine, including Barrois and Trois-Évêchés, Montmédy, CarignanMeuse
MorbihanVannesBretagne
MoselleMetzLorraine, including Barrois and Trois-Évêchés
NièvreNeversNivernais
NordLilleFlandre (including Hainaut and Cambrésis)
OiseBeauvaisÎle-de-France, PicardieOise
OrneAlençonNormandie, PercheOrne
Pas-de-CalaisArrasArtois, Picardie
Puy-de-DômeClermont-FerrandAuvergne
Pyrénées-AtlantiquesPauBéarn
Hautes-PyrénéesTarbesGascogne (including Bigorre)Hautes-Pyrénées
Pyrénées-OrientalesPerpignanRoussillon, part of LanguedocPyrénées-Orientales
Bas-RhinStrasbourgAlsace
Haut-RhinColmarAlsace, Mulhouse
RhôneLyonLyonnais, including Beaujolais and Forez
Haute-SaôneVesoulFranche-Comté
Saône-et-LoireMâconBourgogne
SartheLe MansMaine, Anjou
SavoieChambérySavoie (part of Sardinia)
Haute-SavoieAnnecySavoie (part of Sardinia)
ParisParisÎle-de-France
Seine-MaritimeRouenNormandie
Seine-et-MarneMelunÎle-de-France, Champagne, two communes from OrléanaisSeine-et-Marne
YvelinesVersaillesÎle-de-France, small parts of Orléanais
Deux-SèvresNiortPoitou, a few communes from Anjou and Angoumois
SommeAmiensPicardie
TarnAlbiLanguedoc, including Albigeois
Tarn-et-GaronneMontaubanLanguedoc, Guyenne, GascogneTarn-et-Garonne
VarToulonProvence
VaucluseAvignonComtat-Venaissin, Provence, Principauté d'Orange (part of Dauphiné)Vaucluse
VendéeLa Roche-sur-YonPoitou
ViennePoitiersPoitou, Anjou, small parts of Touraine and MarcheVienne
Haute-VienneLimogesLimousin, Marche, a few communes from Angoumois
and one from Poitou
Haute-Vienne
VosgesÉpinalLorraine (including Barrois and Trois-Évêchés), principalty of Salm,
small parts of Champagne and Franche-Comté
Vosges
YonneAuxerreBourgogne, Champagne, Orléanais, small parts of Nivernais
and Île-de-France
Yonne
Territoire-de-BelfortBelfortAlsace
EssonneÉvryÎle-de-France, small part of Orléanais
Hauts-de-SeineNanterreÎle-de-France
Seine-Saint-DenisBobignyÎle-de-France
Val-de-MarneCréteilÎle-de-France
Val-d'OisePontoiseÎle-de-France

Name changes

The following departments underwent a name change. Two were changed during the Revolution and reverted back to their former names later. Most of the renames happened during the 20th century to remove such adjectives as "Bas" or "Inférieur" because of their perceived negative connotation.

Former nameCurrent NameDate changed
Mayenne-et-LoireMaine-et-Loire1791
GirondeBec-d'Ambès1793
VendéeVengé1793
Bec-d'AmbèsGironde1795
VengéVendée1795
Charente-InférieureCharente-Maritime1941
Seine-InférieureSeine-Maritime1955
Loire-InférieureLoire-Atlantique1957
Basses-PyrénéesPyrénées-Atlantiques1969
Basses-AlpesAlpes-de-Haute-Provence1970
Côtes-du-NordCôtes-d'Armor1990


Departments created after 1790

The following departments are the result of changes that occurred after the 1790 reform.

New DepartmentFormer TerritoriesDate Created
VaucluseComtat-Venaissin, part of Bouches-du-Rhône1793
RhôneRhône-et-Loire1793
LoireRhône-et-Loire1793
Tarn-et-GaronneAveyron, Haute-Garonne, Gers, Lot, Lot-et-Garonne1808
Alpes-MaritimesComté de Nice, part of Var1860
Meurthe-et-MoselleParts of Meurthe and Moselle1871
Territoire de BelfortBas-Rhin (portion not formerly annexed by Germany)1921
ParisSeine1968
Hauts-de-SeineSeine, Seine-et-Oise1968
Seine-Saint-DenisSeine, Seine-et-Oise1968
Val-de-MarneSeine, Seine-et-Oise1968
YvelinesSeine-et-Oise1968
EssonneSeine-et-Oise1968
Val-d'OiseSeine-et-Oise1968
Corse-du-SudCorse1976
Haute-CorseCorse1976


Former departments

The following departments ceased to exist but remained (at least in part) in France.

Former DepartmentReplacedDate
GoloCorse (later Haute-Corse)1811
LiamoneCorse (later Corse-du-Sud)1811
MeurtheMeurthe-et-Moselle, Germany (Bezirk Lothringen)1871
SeineParis, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis, Val-de-Marne1968
Seine-et-OiseYvelines, Essonne, Val-d'Oise1968


These departments were created during the First Empire and ceased to exist after Napoléon's defeat in 1814. These territories are no longer part of France.

Former DepartmentPrefectureCurrent territoryDate created
ApenninsChiavariLiguria, Italy1805
ArnoFlorence (Firenze)Tuscany, Italy1808
Bouches-de-l'ElbeHambourg (Hamburg)Germany1811
Bouches-de-l'EscautMiddelbourgZeeland, Netherlands1810
Bouches-de-l'YsselZwolleOverijssel, Netherlands1811
Bouches-de-la-MeuseLa Haye (Den Haag)South Holland, Netherlands1811
Bouches-du-RhinBois-le-Duc ('s Hertogenbosch)North Brabant and Gelderland, Netherlands1810
Bouches-du-WeserBrême (Bremen)Germany1811
Deux-NèthesAnvers (Antwerpen)North Brabant, Netherlands and Antwerp, Belgium1795
DoireIvrée (Ivrea)Italy1802
DyleBruxellesBrabant, Belgium1795
Ems-OccidentalGroningue (Groningen)Netherlands and Germany1811
Ems-OrientalAurichGermany1811
Ems-SupérieurOsnabrückGermany1811
EscautGand (Gent)East Flanders, Belgium and Zeeland, Netherlands1795
ForêtsLuxembourgLuxembourg (GD), Belgium, Germany1795
FriseLeeuwardenFriesland, Netherlands1801
GênesGênes (Genova)Liguria, Italy1805
JemmapesMonsHainaut, Belgium 1795
LémanGenèveSwitzerland, Italy1798
LippeMünsterGermany1811
LysBrugesWest Flanders, Belgium1795
MarengoAlexandrie (Alessandria)Piedmont, Italy1802
MéditerranéeLivourne (Livorno)Tuscany, Italy1808
Meuse-InférieureMaastrichtLimburg (Belgium and Netherlands)1795
Mont-BlancChambéryItaly, France (Savoie) and Switzerland1797
Mont-TonnerreMayenceGermany1797
MontenotteSavone (Savona)Liguria, Italy1805
OmbroneSienne (Sienna)Tuscany, Italy1808
OurtheLiègeLiège, Belgium1795
Turin (Torino)Italy1802
Rhin-et-MoselleCoblenceGermany1801
RoerAix-la-ChapelleNetherlands and Germany1801
RomeRomeItaly1809
Sambre-et-MeuseNamurNamur, Belgium and Luxembourg1795
SarreTrèves (Trier)Germany1801
SesiaVerceil (Vercelli)Piedmont, Italy1802
SimplonSionValais, Switzerland 1810
SturaConiItaly1802
TrasimèneSpolète (Spoleto)Italy1809
TaroParme (Parma)Italy1808
Yssel-SupérieurArnhemGelderland, Netherlands1811
ZuyderzéeAmsterdamNetherlands1811




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