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Using the Paris Archives

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France Project > France Orphaned Profiles Team > France Orphan Trail 1793-1900 > France 1806-Present Resources > Using the Paris Archives

The Archives de Paris website is at this link : http://archives.paris.fr/r/123/archives-numerisees/

The Archives de Paris website offers a lot of interesting sources, but for now we only want to look at civil registration acts (births, marriages, deaths). Click on « Etat-Civil de Paris ».

Contents

Using the Archives de Paris (1860-1987)

Before starting

You must know what you're looking for.

  • Is it a death, a birth, or a marriage?
  • When? You need to know the exact date of the event.
  • Where? Paris has 20 arrondissements and the records are kept separate in each arrondissement. You have to know in which of the 20 the record you're looking for took place.

If you have all this information, skip to Finding acts.

If you don't know the arrondissement, try to find out using the tips found [[1]]. If you still haven't got your information, you will unfortunately have to check the 10-year indexes (tables décennales) for all arrondissements until you find it.

If you don't know the exact date, but know the year, or have a good enough idea of the year, start with the ten-year index (supposing you know the arrondissement) in order to get the date the event was recorded, and possibly the number of the record.

Using the index tables

From this page, click on "Tables décennales".

Fill the form.

  • Type d'acte: choose "Naissances" (births), "Mariages" (marriages) or "Décès" (deaths).
  • Décennie: select the group of years that applies.
  • Arrondissement: choose the arrondissement number, if you know it, otherwise leave blank.
  • Nom de la personne recherchée: enter the name. If the name is in several words, type all the words together, without spaces or hyphens (ex. demontmorencylaval, and not "de Montmorency-Laval").

Once on the result page, click on the red eye icons to access the images. The entries are sorted alphabetically. Browse through the images until you find the record you're looking for and note down the date, and the record number if it is there.

If you don't find what you're looking for, move on to the next arrondissement until you find it.

Once you have the arrondissement, date, and possibly record number, use this information to find the act proper.

Finding acts

From this page, click on « Actes d’état-civil »

Fill the form:

  • Type de document : choose "Naissances" (births), "Mariages" (marriages) or "Décès" (deaths).
  • Arrondissement : choose the arrondissement number
  • Année : enter the year in 4 digits if you have the record number. Otherwise, leave blank.
  • Date de l’acte : fill in the date using the DD/MM/YYYY format. If you have the act number, leave blank.
  • Numéro de l’acte : fill in if you know it (you must fill in the year too), otherwise leave blank.

On the results page, click on the red eye to view the numerized pages.

Browse until you reach the date of the event. Check the names in the margin for the name of the person. The events recorded on a single day make run on several pages, and any event can be recorded up to 4 days after it took place.

The source citation you are going to add to the profile must include :

  • A description of the source: a marriage/birth/date record, indicate the record number
  • Where it was found – in the Archives de Paris website, in the register for (year) (type of record) in nth arrondissement, and the register number (shelf mark) which we call « cote ».

Finding reconstituted acts (before 1860)

The Archives of Paris burned in May 1871, destroying almost all civil registration books and parish registers for records before 1860. A reconstitution was undertaken, but only about one third of the acts could be reconstituted, mostly 19th century acts.

The Paris archives have an index of reconstituted acts (the acts themselves are not available on the website, but can be found on FamilySearch).

From the main état-civil page, choose "Fichiers de l’état-civil reconstitué".

Fill the form:

  • Type de document: choose "Naissances" (births), "Mariages" (marriages) or "Décès" (deaths).
  • Nom de la personne recherchée: enter the name. If the name is in several words, type all the words together, without spaces or hyphens (ex. demontmorencylaval, and not "de Montmorency-Laval").

On the results page, click on the red eye to view the numerized pages. The cards are sorted alphabetically by family names, and then chronologically by date of the event.

If you find the event you are looking for, make sure you note the exact date. You can access the numerized act via Family Search:

The records are not indexed. Choose the type of act you are looking for. This takes you to a chronological catalog of lots of images. Choose the lot corresponding to the date of the act and browse until you find it.

To make a citation, click on right arrow at the bottom left of the page (this is labelled "Renseignements" in French, probably something else in English). Copy the "Reconstitution chronologique des actes de ----- (série ----), 1568-1859 Mariages DD MMM YYYYY - DD MMMM YYYY" line to use in your citation.





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