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Source Information

Ancestry.com. Paris, France & Vicinity Births, 1700-1899 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008.
Original data: Maurice Coutot, comp. Etat civil reconstitué 1798-1860: Mariages, naissances, décès. Paris: ARFIDO S.A., 2006. © ARFIDO S.A.

About Paris, France & Vicinity Births, 1700-1899

This database contains birth extracts from the historic department of Seine, France from 1700-1899. It also includes some records as early as 1661. However, the majority of the records cover the year range 1798-1860. The department of Seine encompassed Paris and vicinity. Today it is divided into the departments of Paris, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis, and Val-de-Marne.

About the Collection:

In 1924, Maurice Coutot, a prominent genealogist and heir researcher, started to reconstruct a collection of civil registration by extracting information from original parish church records of births, marriages, and deaths. This database includes all of the birth records that he transcribed, consisting of more than 200,000 records. While this is a significant amount of records, it does not include all birth records in existence for this time and place.

About the Records:

Information from the original parish church records were transcribed, or copied by hand, onto pre-printed extraction forms. These extraction forms are the records that make up this database. Information listed on these forms may include:

  • Name of child

  • Birthplace

  • Birth date

  • Names of parents

  • Marriage date and place of parents

  • Other remarks or notes

France is divided into regions, departments, and communes (cities/towns). The city (commune) of Paris is further divided into neighborhoods called arrondissements. From 1795-1860 the city was divided into 12 arrondissements. These arrondissements are simply referred to by their number (i.e. 1st, 2nd, 3rd). Birthplaces listed in these records may include one or more of the different geographical jurisdictions, including the arrondissements. If you see a number listed on the birthplace line, this is most likely signifying an arrondissement of Paris.

Why this Collection is Important:

Pre-1860 civil registration records for Paris and suburb communes were destroyed in a fire that burned the archives of the Seine department (Archives de la Seine) and the Paris courthouse (Palais de justice de Paris) in 1871. With the loss of these civil registration records, it is necessary to use other sources to find information that would otherwise be available in those records.

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