Drôme, France Genealogy

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Guide to Drôme Department ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.

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History[edit | edit source]

Drôme was one of the original 83 departments of France, established on March 4, 1790. It was formed from part of the former French province of Dauphiné. The boundaries of the department have changed several times, with the incorporation of the Comtat Venaissin in 1792 and the creation of the Vaucluse department in 1793.[1]

Localities (Communes)[edit | edit source]

Church Records and Civil Registration (Registres Paroissiaux et Etat Civil) Online[edit | edit source]

The vast majority of your research will be in church records and civil registration. For more information on these records and how to use them, read France Church Records and France Civil Registration. Additional instructions and practice activities are available:

Fortunately, these records are available online from the archives of each department:
Here is the website for the Department Archives of Drôme, where you will find these records.

For a demonstration of navigating archives websites, watch the video, Using France Department Archives Online.

Online Census Records[edit | edit source]

Census records can support your search in civil and church records. They can help identify all family members. When families have similar names they help determine which children belong in each family. See France Census.

Online Local Databases and Extracted Records[edit | edit source]

Groups devoted to genealogy have also extracted and/or indexed records for specific localities, time periods, religious groups, etc. Since church records at the departmental archives are generally not indexed, you might find an index here that will speed up your searching.

Microfilm Records of the FamilySearch Library[edit | edit source]

The church and civil registration records have all been microfilmed. Currently, they are being digitized, and plans are to complete that project by 2020. Check back occasionally to see if your records have become available. In the meantime, some of them might be available at a Family History Center near you. To find a microfilm: Click on Drôme , find and click on "Places within France, Drôme," and choose your locality from the list.

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Online records tend to cover only the time before 100 years, due to privacy laws. You can write to civil registration offices and local churches who might honor requests for more recent records of close family members for the purpose of genealogy.

For a civil registration office, address your request to:

Monsieur l'officier de l'état-civil
Mairie de (Town)
(Postal code) (Town)
France

For a parish church:

Monsieur le Curé
(Church --see The Catholic Directory for church name and address)
(Town) (Postal Code) France

For other addresses and for help writing your request in French, use French Letter Writing Guide.

Learning to Read Enough French to Do Genealogy[edit | edit source]

It's easier than you think! You do not have to be fluent in French to use these records, as there is only a limited vocabulary used in them. By learning a few key phrases, you will be able to read them adequately. Here are some resources for learning to read French records.

During the reign of Napoleon, a different calendar was used. You will want to translate the dates written in these records back to normal Julian calendar dates. Charts in this article will help you:

Also, see:

  • Alsace-Lorraine: Converting French Republican Calendar Dates - Instruction


These lessons focus on reading church record and civil registration records:


Another resource is the French Records Extraction Manual. The full manual or individual lesson chapters are downloadable from this webpage. A number of helpful lessons are available here, but the first five lessons are especially useful.

  • Chapter 1: Old Records
  • Chapter 2: Christening, Marriage, and Other Entries
  • Chapter 3: Marriage
  • Chapter 4: Other Entries
  • Chapter 5: French Handwriting and Spelling


Before 1539, many church records are in Latin. In 1539 French was made the administrative language of France through the Ordinance of Villers-Cotterêts. As a result, there is only the occasional Latin word or phrase in church records after 1539.

Search Strategy[edit | edit source]

  • Begin with the death information of the focus ancestor and locate the death record.
  • Use the information on that death record to locate the ancestor's marriage record.
  • Use the information on that marriage record to locate the ancestor's birth record.
  • Once the birth record is found, search for the focus ancestor's siblings.
  • Next, search for the marriage of the focus ancestor's parents. The marriage record will have information that often helps locate the birth records of the parents.
  • Search the death registers for all known family members.
  • Repeat this process for both the father and the mother, starting with their birth records, then their siblings' births, then their parents' marriages, and so on.
  • If earlier generations (parents, grandparents, etc.) do not appear in the records, search neighboring parishes. It is possible they may have moved or boundaries changed.

Genealogical Societies and Help Groups[edit | edit source]


  • Association Études Généalogiques Drôme
BP 722
14, rue de la Manutention
26007 Valence
France
Email: egda@geneadrome.org


  • Centre Généalogique du Dauphiné
BP 311
38011 Grenoble Cedex 1
France
Telephone: 09 52 22 00 02
E-mail:admin@cgdauphine.org


  • Centre Généalogique de la Drôme Provençale
Maison des services publics
1 avenue Saint-Martin
26200 Montelimar
France
Tel. : 04 75 51 22 03


  • Centre Généalogique de Romans Bourg de Péage et de la Drôme des Collines
1 Rue des Clercs
26100 Romans-Sur-Isere
France
  • E-mail:cgcollines26@yahoo.fr
  • Website

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Drôme," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drôme (accessed November 2, 2017).