This post is part of a series about genealogy in France. You can read the complete series HERE.
Before 1792, there was no death registration in France. The closest record available was burial records, these were written by priests and these contained:
- Date of the burial, written in full
- Date of death, often written as the day before, or other indications of when the death took place
- Burial place, churchyard, with, in some cases in the church
- Name of deceased with occupation
- Age of deceased
- Name of the spouse of the deceased
- or, if a child, the parents
- Name of witnesses and relationship to the deceased, but this is not always provided
- There might be an indicator if the death was sudden, or the deceased was given the last rites.
Burials were undertaken by priests and are not generally speaking a mechanism for recording the cause of death. It might be possible to potentially construct a hypothesis based upon other materials available, such as when it is known there was a significant outbreak of a particular condition or illness.