Final day of the Commune 28 May 1871

Vintage postcard series ~ The caption on the postcard reads “The last positions of the insurgents [communards] - despite their valor their positions became untenable under the fire from Mont-Valerien” a fort in Suresnes, a western suburb of Paris and seen on the far left of the image below.

Note the monument on the far right, the grave of Félix Beaujour in present-day D48.


Below: Avenue Circulaire separating D97 on the right from D76 and the Communard's’ Wall on the left. This would have been roughly the final position of the communards when they surrendered on 28 May 1871.


Timbrunne de Valence in D24

Vintage postcard series ~ Jean-Baptiste-Cyrus Timbrune duc de Valence (1757–1822). French general and senator. Relief of various life-size military accouterments by Gilet and Duboc.

D24 Chemin Laplace, line 2.

Normand 1863 plate 40

Normand 1863 plate 40

Quaglia 1832

Quaglia 1832

Marty 1840

Marty 1840

photo 2006 by Steve Soper

photo 2006 by Steve Soper

photo 2011 by Pierre-Yves Beaudouin (cropped)

photo 2011 by Pierre-Yves Beaudouin (cropped)

La Chapelle Expiatoire

vintage postcard series - Built by order of King Louis XVIII over the ancient cemetery for the nearby Madeleine Church, La Chapelle Expiatoire was inaugurated in 1826 to commemorate those who perished on the guillotine at nearby Place de la Concorde and whose bodies were dumped into the church cemetery. The bodies of King louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette were removed to the basilica at Saint-Denis north of Paris, the traditional burial place for French monarchs. More information.

photo by Gérard Janot, wikipedia

photo by Gérard Janot, wikipedia

Using the Online Paris Cemeteries Database

By now most of you know that the Paris city archives has made burial records covering 1804-1968 for 19 of the city’s 20 cemeteries accessible online (Calvaire is the exception). Great news indeed!

Of course, you will still need to know the name of the cemetery where the deceased is buried and at least an approximate date of death/interment. Even then, the challenge for non-French speakers is navigating your way through the tangle of steps it will take to get your information and then to decipher what you find.

So, I’ve created a page that I hope will make your task a bit easier:

By all means let know what you think and if the steps need retweaking.

Carvalho in D65

Vintage postcard series ~ Marie-Caroline Carvalho (1827–1895). French soprano opera singer. Life-size relief of Madame Carvalho with hands clasped, rising to heaven, and at the bottom of the sculpture is a lyre carved from flowers with a warbler sitting on the lyre; by Antonin Mercié.

D65, along Avenue Circulaire.

photo 2006 by Steve Soper

photo 2006 by Steve Soper

Communards' Wall in D76

Vintage postcard series ~ Many of the burials in this division, particularly those close to the Mur des Fédérés/Communards’ Wall consist of revolutionaries, former Communards, and socialist activists such as Laura Marx and her husband, Paul LaFargue.


The Soviet version:


Square Père-Lachaise

Vintage postcard series ~ Between the cemetery’s northern wall and Avenue Gambetta Square Père-Lachaise has been renamed in honor of the French explorer Square Samuel du Champlain, who also has a lake named him in North America. Rarely visited by tourists, the park is a peaceful place to sit and plan how you’re going to spend the rest of your life in Paris.

Note that one of the views you can see the old northern entrance to the cemetery, which has been closed for many years.

inside Porte des Osieux

inside Porte des Osieux

News from Père-Lachaise

Méliès tomb renovation.

t appears that the family of cinema pioneer Georges Méliès has started a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for renovating his tomb in D64. You can find out more online:

Georgian hero

Georgia Today reports that one of the early heroes of Georgian independence, Nikoloz Cheidze, is buried in PL, although that has yet to be confirmed.

Update on Marie Beleyme’s research

I’ve posted here recently that Marie has provided online access to the first 3400 earliest burials to PL on her blog. Well, she’s now posted a wonderful timeline of important historical moments in the early historical development of the cemeteries of Paris:

Chaudet in Montparnasse

Sculptor Antoine Denis Chaudet (1763-1810) and his wife, painter Jeanne Elisabeth Gabion madame Chaudet (1767-1832). Both buried in D4 Montparnasse Grande.

The following print of Antoine Chaudet’s grave is from Monuments funéraires choisis dans les cimetières de Paris et des principales villes de France, 2nd part, 1863, by L. Normand ainé; plate 40 and his wife’s grave is from plate 5. The photo of Antoine’s grave is from 2006.

photo © Steve Soper

photo © Steve Soper

Thierry and Boichard in Montparnasse

H. Thierry (d. 1828) and A. Boichard (d. 1832); D2 Montparnasse Grande. Two carved portrait medallions, one of each man. Curiously Normand shows 11 May 1832 as the the death date for Thierry but visual examination shows 11 May 1828 and 18 July 1832 for Boichard. Normand does not mention Boichard. Sculptor: Hogler (Boichard) and unknown (Thierry).

The following print is from Monuments funéraires choisis dans les cimetières de Paris et des principales villes de France, 2nd part, 1863, by L. Normand ainé; plate 24; the photos were taken in 2006.

photo © Steve Soper

photo © Steve Soper

photo © Steve Soper

photo © Steve Soper

Lenoir in Montparnasse

Marin Alexandre Lenoir (1762-1839), founder of the Musée des monumens Française. A singularly unique individual he rescued a great many monuments during the upheavals of the French Revolution of 1789. Stop by and pay your respects.

The following prints are from Monuments funéraires choisis dans les cimetières de Paris et des principales villes de France, 2nd part, 1863, by L. Normand ainé; plate 24; and Perrott 1855-65; the photo is from 2006, followed by a photo from 2006.

photo © Steve Soper 2006

photo © Steve Soper 2006