This post is part of a series about genealogy in France. You can read the complete series HERE.
One of the things that is useful, is to see a visual display of where a surname appears across a country. In the case of France, the site http://www.geopatronyme.com displays the births of a given surname across varying periods of time.
In the example below, I used the surname of my paternal Great Grandmother, VIRCIGLIO and the results show there were four births between 1941 and 1965, all of which were in the department of Moselle (57). The only other births for the surname occurred in the same department (57) between 1966-1990 when there were eight.