Ille-et-Vilaine, France Genealogy

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Guide to Ille-et-Vilaine Department ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.

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Ille-et-Vilaine Department
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History[edit | edit source]

Ille-et-Vilaine is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790. It was created from part of the province of Brittany. The English Channel borders the department to the north.[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 Ille-et-Vilaine, where you will find these records.

  1. Click on the link above and the Recherche documentaire (Documentary research) page will appear.
  2. Click Recherche documentaire on the left sidebar to expand the menu.
  3. Click Registres paroissiaux et état civil (Parish registers and civil status) to access the commune search page.
  4. Enter the name of the commune in the search bar.
  5. Click the Rechercher (Search) button to access the church and civil records of the commune.

See Using France Online Department Archives for step by step instructions on finding and reading 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.

  1. Click on the link above and the Recherche documentaire (Documentary research) page will appear.
  2. Click Recherche documentaire on the left sidebar to expand the menu.
  3. Click Généalogie on the left sidebar to access and the Type de documents search area.
  4. Check the box next to RECENSEMENT DE POPULATION (Population Census).
  5. Enter the name of the commune in the Lieu (Location) search bar.
  6. Click the Rechercher (Search) button to access the census records of the commune.
  • FamilySearch Collections:

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 Ille-et-Vilaine , find and click on "Places within France, Ille-et-Vilaine," 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)

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

There is a three-lesson course in reading handwriting in old French records:

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

Another resource is the French Records Extraction Manual, Full Manual. Much more is covered, but these first four lessons are especially useful.

Some Catholic Church records will be written in Latin:

Search Strategy[edit | edit source]

  • Search for the relative or ancestor you selected. When you find his birth record, search for the births of his brothers and sisters.
  • Next, search for the marriage of his parents. The marriage record will have information that will often help you find the birth records of the parents.
  • You can estimate the ages of the parents and search for their birth records.
  • Search the death registers for all family members.
  • Then repeat the whole process for both the father and the mother.
  • If earlier generations are not in the record, search neighboring parishes.

Genealogical Societies and Help Groups[edit | edit source]

  • Cercle Généalogique d'Ille-et-Vilaine
18 bis rue Frédéric-Mistral
35200 RENNES

  • Association généalogique du pays de Redon et de Vilaine Mairie

  • Cercle Généalogique Centre Est Bretagne
5 rue Pierre-Curie

  • Entraide généalogique Bretagne-Maine-Normandie
16 rue d'Audrieu
14250 BROUAYCG de la Côte d'Emeraude
Mailing address:
B.P. 60204
35802 DINARD Cédex

  • Cercle Généalogique de l'Est de l'Ille-et-Vilaine
2 place du Prieuré

  • Histoire et Généalogie de Grand-Fougeray
Les Sables Noirs

  • Association Bretonne de Généalogie et d'Histoire (Parchemin)

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Introduction to Family History Centers

  • Family History Centers (FHCs) are branches of FamilySearch and the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah (United States), located all over the world. Their goal is to provide resources to assist you in the research and study of your genealogy and family history by:
    • Giving personal one-on-one assistance to patrons
    • Providing access to genealogical records through the Internet or microfilm loan program
    • Offering free how-to classes (varies by location)
  • There is no cost to visit a Family History Center or FamilySearch Library. They are open to anyone with an interest in genealogical research. They are operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  • Partner sites such as,,, and many CD based collections can be searched free of charge.

Finding a Family History Center

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Ille-et-Vilaine," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed November 3, 2017).