French ancestors – notaries' records

Once you have consulted the main resources, you can shift your research up a gear by searching other groups of records held in departmental archives.

Though you might need more experience – or to hire a professional researcher – to find what you’re after, notaries records are a rich source of information and are well worth consulting.

These documents, some dating back to the 1300s, contain detailed information, but are not indexed. They include papers such as marriage settlements, wills, guardianship agreements, inventories and property transfers. You will probably need to know the date of an event and the name of the notary to find what you are looking for in the minutes notariales. Each event is ordered by date.

Other related documents that you can consult while you are at the archives include property maps and records, plans and photos. These should be easy to find as the French archives are well organised.

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