database

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:

http://www.pariscemeteries.com/online-records

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

Database of the earliest burials in Père-Lachaise

For historians and genealogists Marie Beleyme has posted a user-friendly database more than 3,000 of the earliest burials in Père-Lachaise on her website: http://perelachaisehistoire.fr/releve-des-inhumations-au-pere-lachaise-1804-1815/.

Drawing on her exhaustive study of the daily registers of burials in the cemetery (now accessible on the city archives webpage (http://archives.paris.fr/r/216/cimetieres/) she provides a much easier and quicker way of accessing the same critical information: you can arrange her database by order of burials, name, or date of inhumation (typically one-three days after death). You can also use the search box to track down specific individuals.

Database of Paris cemeteries

At long last the city of Paris archives has begun the process of providing online access to their central cemetery database. BUT, and there are in fact several BUTs, you must pay close attention to the multi-step process to find a particular individual.

First, the database covers just 19 cemeteries managed by the city of Paris and the period 1804-1918. Registers for the years 1919-1968 are available only in the reading room of the city archives.

Second, you must know the name of the deceased, the date (or at least a date range) of death, and the cemetery in which he or she is buried.

Finally, you’re going to need patience, perseverance and your own intuition to finish your search.

HOW IT WORKS

First follow this link: http://archives.paris.fr/r/216/cimetieres/ Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Répertoires link. Enter the name of the cemetery, deceased (surname is fine), and death date range. Click the eye symbol to load the relevant pages and then scroll through to find the person’s name. Now, note the date of inhumation.

Now return to the main cemetery page and scroll down to the Registres link. When prompted enter the name cemetery and date of inhumation. For example, 12 August 1830 would be entered as 12/8/1830. Again, open the group of pages provided and scroll through them until you find the date of inhumation and then look for the deceased’s name. Along with the name should the person’s age, the arrondissement they died in and the location of the grave.

If you are unfamiliar with French by all means use your translate feature in your browser. (I use Google as needed and it works just fine.)

WARNING!

This process is neither quick nor easy to use but for historians and genealogists it is a huge leap forward in accessing critical information. For relatives of loved ones buried in Paris, I would still suggest contacting the relevant cemetery directly for details.

1804-1815 PÈRE-LACHAISE DATABASE BY MARIE BELEYME

Marie Beleyme has posted a user-friendly database more than 3,000 of the earliest burials in Père-Lachaise online: http://perelachaisehistoire.fr/releve-des-inhumations-au-pere-lachaise-1804-1815/.

Drawing on her exhaustive study of the daily registres in the cemetery (part of step two above) she provides a quicker and easier way of accessing critical information for those earliest burials in Père-Lachaise: you can arrange her database by order of burials, name, or date of inhumation (typically one-three days after death). You can also use the search box to track down specific individuals.

Paris cemeteries central database - yes and no

Every so often I get an email asking how to find where someone is buried in Paris. I have to break the bad news: there is no central database in for the cemeteries in Paris.

That is, of course, only half true. There IS a central database BUT and this is a big one, you must demonstrate a family connection to the deceased before they will release any information to you. Once they have proof of your relationship it can then take up to a month before the request is processed.

If you qualify, then by all means contact the following department:

Service central des Cimetières
71 rue des Rondeaux
75020 Paris

Remember, you MUST be able to prove a familial relationship.

Of course, if you know the name and date of death and cemetery it's easy and simple to learn the grave location; that information is available to anyone. Just contact the cemetery in question (the conservation or office), provide the full name and date of death and they should be able to give you the precise location within the cemetery. It works best if you can go in person, of course. . .