European Ancestors – Understanding France (21) Religions and the Roman Catholic Church

Courtesy of Wikipedia
Flag adopted 15 Feb 1794

This post is part of a series about genealogy in France. You can read the complete series HERE.

Catholicism has been the predominate faith in France from the 6th Century. There were other religious denominations that gained foothold and momentum in France, in particular the Alsace Lorraine region and the Montbeliard region near the border with Germany and Switzerland – more on these in the coming posts – Mennonities, Huguenots, and Waldensians

  • Baptisms began to be recorded in many regions of France from around 1540, with some regions starting a few years later. In a few instances, Catholic baptisms can be found in earlier records, some as early as 1334, within the region of Saône-et-Loire
  • Marriage records began around 1545
  • Death records from about 1555.

Parish Registers (Registres paroissiaux) from 1540 to 1793, and Civil Registers (Registres de l’état civil) were the responsibility of the departements.

  • Some records date back to 1334 in the City of Givvy, but these are are until circa 1539.
  • Council of Trent of 1563 issued the mandate that Roman Catholic parishes keep baptisms from 1579
  • Later, records were extended to incorporate deaths and marriages.
  • Huguenot records from 1559, but some of these have not survived.
  • Migrants to neighbouring countries before further migration to the United States, South Africa, especially after 1685.

Catholic Encyclopaedia 

About Julie Goucher

Genealogist, Author, Presenter, native Guildfordian, avid note taker and journal writer. Lover of Books, Stationery & History; Surnames, Butcher & Orlando One-Name Studies. Pharos Tutor for all One-Name Studies/surname courses as well as Researching Ancestors from Continental Europe.
This entry was posted in European Ancestors, France, Understanding France Series. Bookmark the permalink.

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