French ancestors – military records

Military records are another important resource. They are centralised in Paris at the Castle of Vincennes in the Archives des armées, some dating from as far back as the 17th century.

To find a specific individual you need to know their name and regiment. The records often give information on a soldier’s wife, children, date of marriage, names and addresses for next of kin, some physical details (size, height, eye colour) and his service history during war and peace time.

These can be very hard to find, but are well worth the extra effort. However, at 120 years, the closed period for these records is longer than for others, so you may not be able to access them to help you with your research. Records of those conscripted into the army are held by the departmental archives.

French ancestors – notaries' records
previous Step
French ancestors – going there
next Step
We use cookies to improve your experience of our website. Cookies perform functions like recognising you each time you visit and delivering advertising messages that are relevant to you. Read more here