View Full Version : Born in Paris

27-08-2008, 12:30 PM
My Grandmother Edith Emily Cecile Basse was born in Paris 1868 a Brit Sub.
Her mother i think must have married in France to a Gustave Basse.The 1871 census shows Edith and her mother living in Chelsea,Charlotte (Ediths mother) was a widow in receipt of an annuity.My question is how do I trace birth and marriage certs and do you think as an annuity was being paid Gustave was perhaps a member of the forces.Hope someone can help.Thanks

27-08-2008, 2:18 PM
Hello and welcome to the B-G forums

Do you have a marriage certificate for your grandmother/ If so, what does that record for her dad's name and occupation?

Army births are indexed and available online at pay-per-view sites such as findmypast. If you find a relevant entry, you can order a copy of the certificate from the GRO.

There are registers of British Subjects registered overeseas, coverage is variable. Baptisms for Paris are held at The National Archives (TNA) at Kew, in RG33/71. Marriages 1856-1869 are in RG33/75

27-08-2008, 6:06 PM
Thanks for your reply Geoffers,I dont have any cert my only info is census return and of course marriage cert when Edith married my Grandfather.her father was shown as decd,I have tried Find my Past and nothing there.I thank you for your welcome to the forum which I have found to be most interesting ,a nice crowd of people.

27-08-2008, 8:41 PM
I dont have any cert my only info is census return and of course marriage cert when Edith married my Grandfather.her father was shown as decd

I take it that the marriage certificate is where you got her dad's name?

In case he died in the UK and left a will, it may be worth a trawl of the Probate Calendar (available at most/all record offices). It's easy to use and provides a fair bit of information in itself)

Any witnesses to the marriage who were related to her and who might give a lead?

Did the family gain naturalzed British citizenship? Try seaching TNA's catalogue (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/search.asp)
In the word or phrase field, enter the surname BASSE (it's an unusual surname, so don't try adding a forename, you shouldn't get too many hits)
In the department or series code, enter HO

In case the family was in business and there is some record of it - try searching the London Gazette (http://www.londongazette.co.uk/home.aspx?geotype=London)(it's free, nothing ventured, nothing gained)

28-08-2008, 1:34 PM
Thanks again Geoffers for your reply,I have checked out all your suggestions...no luck
I believe Charlotte went to France and met Gustave there,cant guess what nationality he was.I know Edith was born in Paris and showed for the first time in uk on the census.So I am stuck...not easy to search French records unless of course you speak the language.....sorry i didnt learn it. I will keep hoping thanks for your help

30-09-2008, 7:35 PM
Paris is more difficult than a lot of cities in France because it's divided into "arrondissements", each of which has its own Town Hall where the BMD records are kept. So it's helpful to know which bit of Paris.

But all is not lost! I've found an address for Paris in general :) with a telephone number. As you say you don't speak French, I'll ring them up tomorrow and see what I can do for you.

Do you have any idea of Charlotte's maiden name?

01-10-2008, 3:51 PM
Hi Pottaka thanks a lot for your interest and offer to make enquiry for me.Charlotte's full maiden name is Charlotte Radford Martin.Im really pleased and hopefull that maybe you can help me out
Regards Edith

01-10-2008, 4:47 PM
Hi Edith,

I am in France, and will be willing to help if you need anything.

My experience of the Paris archives is excellent, and although each Arrondisment has it's own archives, those over 100 yrs are stored centrally. So the phone call may well produce a result.

The only difficulty I see is that many of these older records were destroyed in a fire early last century. I'll keep my fingers crossed that yours survived!

If you need translations then let me know.


01-10-2008, 5:49 PM
Thanks Martin all help greatly received.....I live in hope of some goodnews.

02-10-2008, 12:24 AM
Thank you for posting Charlotte's maiden name, Edith.

The Paris Archives website says: "all the Parish Registers of baptisms, marriages and burials, recorded before 1792, and all the Registry Office records drawn up before 1859 in the former 12 Parisian arrondissements and in the suburb parishes fully annexed in 1860, were lost in May 1871 in fires which devastated the Archives of the Seine and the Paris Law Courts. It is estimated that some eight million records were destroyed."

It must have been one h*** of a blaze, all that dry paper, but, given the dates, I don't think your records will have been burned.

I didn't manage to get through to them today, but will try again tomorrow. I've lived for longer in France than I did in England before I married my own personal Frog, so I have a pretty fair smattering of the language |laugh1| but if you prefer Martin to take over, let me know.

02-10-2008, 9:08 AM
Hi pottoka,
Thanks for your information and effort to phone Archives.I would like for you to continue helping me,Martin has offered his help and as I said all help will be greatly received,I have been researching for quite sometime now and been succesful except for Edith. I have never given up hope,however today I am 65 and have more time behind me than in front and would like to find the family in France to complete my research before the old brain matter diminishes Lol.
Thanks again look forward to hearing from you.

02-10-2008, 11:47 AM
I got through to the Archives today and am now pursuing two avenues towards getting your records. Neither will be instantaneous, but you're young at 65! :) My father-in-law was 85 only yesterday!

So don't worry if you don't hear for a while; I won't have forgotten you.

02-10-2008, 5:03 PM
Wow Pottoka you have made my day....I will keep my fingers crossed and hope you find something.I will patiently await your findings.

03-10-2008, 10:52 PM
I'm afraid I have bad news. One of my possible sources has been to the Archives (yes, already!) but has found no trace of Edith's birth, nor of a marriage between Charlotte and a Gustave Basse. He wants to know how sure I am that Edith was born in Paris.

I can find her and Charlotte on the 1871 Census, but not in 1881. I see that Charlotte married again in 1875, so I tried both the men's surnames, but still came up with nothing. Do you have that marriage certificate? Does it say anything about Gustave in the occupation column for Charlotte - widow of Gustave Basse (I'm clutching at straws here!)

Have you found them on the 1881 Census, and Edith on later ones? (I've found Charlotte in 1891, but Edith has left home). What do they say for Edith's birth place?

In 1871, it just gives Paris for Edith. Paris, Texas? |laugh1|

But don't give up hope yet! We'll soldier on.

04-10-2008, 10:03 AM
Hi again some quick work Pottoka.I was told by my father his mum was born in Paris France..thats all i ever knew.She married in the year 1895 to my grandfather John William Coney...birth cert shows her fathers name as Gustave Basse decd.Her age shown was 26 ? not sure accurate that was as my grandfather was younger than her..
I found her mother Charlotte re married to Cornelius Hemsley and she is with them on 1881 census.I dont have marriage cert for there marriage didnt think it would show details of Gustave only his name.Perhaps i should send for it.

04-10-2008, 10:06 AM
sorry Pottoka I meant to say marriage cert not birth cert for Edith

04-10-2008, 7:28 PM
I'm afraid that I must be looking in the wrong place, but I can't find Charlotte and Edith at all on the 1881 Census. Can you tell me where they are living or how the surname is spelled? Or the source citation from the bottom of the page?

I've asked the volunteer who went to the Archives if he has any bright ideas for looking for Edith, but Paris is Paris. If she was born in one of the suburbs, it'll be like looking for a needle in a haystack.

I don't really think there'll be anything about Gustave on Charlotte and Cornelius' marriage certificate. It was just the fact that she is an annuitant in 1871. Maybe it would be worth putting a post somewhere to see if someone could do you a look-up of the registers of overseas records at Kew as Geoffers suggested at the beginning of this thread.

05-10-2008, 3:53 PM
One of the volunteers has suggested trying the Consular Section of the British Embassy in Paris as Edith was a British Subject.

http://bestsmileys.com/doh/2.gif I should have thought of that myself as I had to register our first brat there for him to have British nationality. The law changed soon after, and his siblings inherited it through me instead.

I'll ring up and find out what's what tomorrow. http://bestsmileys.com/talking/2.gif

05-10-2008, 7:11 PM
Hello Pottoka,sorry today is family day everyone for dinner,so not been on computer untill now.Thanks again for the great effort and time you have spent doing my research..I cant get on Ancestry for my access to census dets that you asked for, but i have Charlotte in 1901 Lewisham and in 1891 in Lambeth.The whole family lived in chelsea and stayed in the area,I believe Edith was a servant,I remeber it took me ages to find her as the spelling was incorrect...the old grey matter wont recall what it was so will have to rely on my Ancestry records when i get access.Im hoping Consular records will come up with something...thanks yet again

06-10-2008, 2:53 PM
Results from the British Embassy are disheartening: while they will look up Edith's birth in their registers, they will also relieve you of 78 (just over 60 at the current rate of exchange http://bestsmileys.com/eek/2.gif) for doing so. This is without any assurance of finding a result, and, if they do find a record, they expect a further 78 per copy of the certificate!! http://bestsmileys.com/eek/2.gifhttp://bestsmileys.com/eek/2.gif

This is the link you need to read all about it (in English): http://ukinfrance.fco.gov.uk/en/help-for-british-nationals/living-in-france/genealogicalresearch

But, if you read the page fully, it says that you can send 11.50 to the GRO and ask them to do a search in their overseas records, and that that includes the certificate if they find the person registered. It seems to me that that is your way forward.

Here: http://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/research/investigatingyourfamilytree/Records_held_by_General_Register_Office.asp it says, among other things, that the GRO holds the Consular Records of Births, marriages and deaths of British subjects registered at British Consulates from 1849 12 months prior to the present date. Let's hope that Charlotte did go and register Edith's birth! http://bestsmileys.com/fingers/1.gif

07-10-2008, 7:04 PM
My thanks yet again Pottoka for the great effort you have made.I think I will go to GRO as you mentioned...cheap at half the price.I will keep you informed if I get any where with it.

26-02-2009, 1:20 AM
I was wondering if you had looked up Edith on the 1911 Census?

I did a search with the free part and found her living with her husband in Brentford, Middlesex. She is given as being 42, birth year 1869. He is 39, birth year, 1872.

At first I put in Edith Emily and John William but the site said that there were no results, so I removed their second names and found them. I also only put France for Edith's place of birth. When I added Paris, the site would not find her. So, maybe, just maybe, it says something more precise than Paris on that Census.

Fingers crossed! http://bestsmileys.com/fingers/1.gif