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Making sense of old handwriting

Records Extraction Guide

About the Guide

If you are interested in learning how to read old French handwriting for the purpose of extracting parish records, you may consult the French Records Extraction Guide. This resource provides basic principles, examples, and practice exercises that will enable you to identify specific parts and characteristics of christening and marriage record entries. The French Records Extraction Guide was first published in 1981 by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is now available for download on this website in PDF format.

To download the French Records Extraction Guide in its entirety (65MB), click here.

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French Records

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Chapter 1: Old Records
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Chapter 2: Christening, Marriage, and Other Entries
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Chapter 3: Marriage
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Chapter 4: Other Entries
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Chapter 5: French Handwriting and Spelling
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Chapter 6: Name Identification

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Chapter 7: Gender
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Chapter 8: Dates
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Chapter 9: Putting it All in Practice

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Appendix A - French Occupation List
Appendix B - Common Abbreviations
Appendix C - Answers to Self-Evaluation Exercises


Paleography Introduction