Tunisia Church Records

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For information about records for non-Christian religions in Tunisia, go to the Religious Records page.

Online Resources and Websites[edit | edit source]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The majority of Tunisia's population (around 98%) are Muslims while about 2% follow Christianity and Judaism or other religions. Tunisia has a sizable Christian community of around over 25,000 adherents, mainly Catholics (22,000) and to a lesser degree Protestants. The Russian Orthodox Church has approximately 100 practicing members and operates a church in Tunis and another in Bizerte. The Reformed Church of France maintains a church in Tunis, with a congregation of 140 primarily foreign members. The Anglican Church has a church in Tunis with several hundred predominantly foreign members. There are 50 Seventh-day Adventists. The 30-member Greek Orthodox Church maintained 3 churches (in Tunis, Sousse, and Djerba).[1][2]

Information Recorded in the Records[edit | edit source]

Different denominations, different time periods, and practices of different record keepers will effect how much information can be found in the records. This outline will show the types of details which might be found (best case scenario):

Baptisms[edit | edit source]

In Catholic and Anglican records, children were usually baptized a few days after birth, and therefore, the baptism record proves date of birth. Other religions, such as Baptists, baptized at other points in the member's life. Baptism registers might give:

  • baptism date
  • the infant's name
  • parents' names
  • father's occupation
  • status of legitimacy
  • occasionally, names of grandparents
  • names of witnesses or godparents, who may be relatives
  • birth date and place
  • the family's place of residence
  • death information, as an added note or signified by a cross

Marriages[edit | edit source]

Marriage registers can give:

  • the marriage date
  • the names of the bride and groom
  • indicate whether the bride and groom were single or widowed
  • their ages
  • birth dates and places for the bride and groom
  • their residences
  • their occupations
  • birthplaces of the bride and groom
  • parents' names (after 1800)
  • the names of previous spouses and their death dates
  • names of witnesses, who might be relatives.

Burials[edit | edit source]

Burial registers may give:

  • the name of the deceased
  • the date and place of death or burial
  • the deceased's age
  • place of residence
  • cause of death
  • the names of survivors, especially a widow or widower
  • deceased's birth date and place
  • parents' names, or at least the father's name

How to Find Records[edit | edit source]

Digital Copies of Church Records in the FamilySearch Catalog[edit | edit source]

Watch for digitized copies of church records to be added to the collection of the FamilySearch Library. Some records might have viewing restrictions, and can only be viewed at a Family History Center near you, and/or by members of supporting organizations. To find records:

a. Click on the records of Tunisia.
b. Click on Places within Tunisia and a list of towns will appear.
c. Click on your town if it appears, or the location which you believe was the parish which served your town or village.
d. Click on the "Church records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
e. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the listing for the record. FHL icons.png. The magnifying glass indicates that the record is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the records.

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

You will probably need to write to or email the national archives, the diocese, or local parish priests to find records. See French Letter Writing Guide for help with composing letters.

Roman Catholic Church Records[edit | edit source]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

Roman Catholic parish registers begin as early as 1734.[3] The Diocese of Tunis was established in 1843 as an apostolic vicariate. Major historical churches are the Cathedral of St. Vincent de Paul in Tunis and the former Cathedral of St. Louis in Carthage (now a museum).

Online Catholic Indexes[edit | edit source]

1. Index of Baptisms, Marriages, and Deaths[edit | edit source]

Efforts to index the baptism-, marriage-, and death registers of this diocese begun in 2004 have resulted in a free Geanum.com: Tunisia Databases of over 500,000 entries. The website is written in French. Only indexes are available here. Please do not contact the compiler to request copies of records or further genealogical research. Reasons why a person may not be found in the index:

  • variant spellings of given name or surname
  • the event may have occurred in another country, such as neighboring Algiers, or the immigrant's country of origin 

Information Recorded in the Index[edit | edit source]

Baptism indexes provide the following information:

  • time period covered: 1830-2005
  • given name and surname of the child (may be written in a French, Italian, or Latin form]
  • father's given name, followed by the mother's given name and surname
  • the parish where the baptism was performed
  • the year of baptism
  • the entry number in the baptismal register

This index can also be browsed by clicking on the alphabetical segments found below the search box.

Marriage indexes provide the following information:

  • time period covered: 1801-1949
  • names of bride and groom [index is searchable by either name]
  • name of parish where the marriage was performed
  • year and record number in the register

Burial indexes provide the following information:

  • given name and surname of the deceased
  • spouse's name, if given in the record
  • parish where the ceremony took place
  • year of burial and record number in the register

2. Burial Records of the Parish of St. Croix de Tunis[edit | edit source]

Another index of 1620 burials from the records of the parish of St. Croix de Tunis, which covers the years 1736 to 1831 is found at Geanum.com: Burials in Tunisia . This was the only Catholic parish in Tunisia in the 18th and beginning of the 19th centuries. This list can be searched alphabetically or chronologically.

Obtaining Copies of Records[edit | edit source]

The actual church records are the property of the Catholic Church of Tunisia. To obtain copies, follow these steps, send a written request to:

M. le Chancelier de la Prélature de Tunis
4 rue d'Alger
1000 Tunis, TUNISIE

Enclose the cost of 6.10 Euros per record requested. Be patient. It may take several months to receive a reply.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Tunisia", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tunisia, accessed 15 March 2020.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Religion in Tunisia", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Tunisia, accessed 15 March 2020.
  3. The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Tunisia,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1991-2001.