TYPES OF PARISH REGISTERS
The process of marrying in French societies potentially generated several different records:
- Pre-marriage investigation (l'information, la diligence, ou certificat de mariage)
- Parish marriage register entry (certificat de mariage)
- Marriage dispensation (exemption maritale)
- Church and civil court records relating to marital relations
- Dowry inventories and pre-nuptial/post-nuptial contracts
The first two record types on the above list relate to the marriage performed by the parish priest. The third one refers to the application by a future bride and groom to the bishop, and subsequent investigation to waive an impediment to the proposed marriage. The fourth category refers generally to broken promises to marry—lawsuits and prosecutions relating to marital conflicts and annulments found in the diocesan and civil courts. The last items are contracts defining property contributions to and ultimate property distributions from the marriage, often not only involving the bride and groom, but their respective parents as well.
LIVRE DE MARIAGES OR MARRIAGE ENTRIES
Marriage records for most French countries may include the following information, depending on the time period when they were created:
- Date of the marriage
- Given name and surnames of the bride and groom
- Marital status of the bride and groom
- Age of the bride and groom
- Profession of the bride and groom
- Given names, surnames, residence and birthplaces of the parents
- Note regarding the reading of the banns
- Note as to impediments dispensed with
- Names of witnesses
- Name or signature of the officiating priest
The information included in these records usually follows a specific order; however, it is not uncommon to find the same information in different order. See example below.
French Records Extraction Guide - Chapter 3 : Section 2 - Marriage Entries.
SAMPLE MARRIAGE RECORD
M-122 P.Vachone Marguerite l’Anglois
Le mesme jour e tôs apres publication faite de Trois Bans le 12 18 E° 19 0Ct ne s’estant trouvé aucun empeschement le v. p. Barthel(emy) Vimon ayant commision a interrogé Paul Vachone fils de Vincent Vachone e de Sapience Rateau de la Paroisse de Comp-Chamer en poitou, e Marguerite l’Anglois fille de Noel Langlois e Françoise Garnier de cette paroisse, lesquels ayant donné leur mutuel consentement par paroles de present il a solennellement mariés au logis du Sieur de la ferté en presence de tesmoins Eugene, robert Giffar, Seign(eur) de Beauport, Jean Juchereau S(ieur) de la ferté.
M-122 P. Vachone Marguerite l'Anglois
The same day and shortly after the publication of three banns the 12 18 190 and not being found any objection the v. p. Barthel(emy) Vimon having authority questioned Paul Vachone son of Vincent Vachone and of Sapience Rateau of the Parish of Comp-Chamer in Poitou, and Marguerite l'Anglois daughter of Noel Langlois and Françoise Garnier of this parish, the which having given their mutual consent by words of present assent he solemnly married at the home of the Mister de la Ferté in the presence of witnesses Eugene, robert Giffar, Seign(eur) of Beauport, Jean Suchereau Lord of la Ferté.
For more examples of Marriage parish records click here.