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Reft
02-01-2009, 9:00 AM
I have been looking for a birth and marriage records for a Margauritta Maria Chapont, born Paris France about 1878, possible marriage to a Foster in France about 1897, give or take a couple of years. Can anybody explain to someone like myself with no knowledge of the French language, how to research French Records. Happy New Year Everybody.

Richard |banghead| |help| |wave|

Jan1954
02-01-2009, 6:10 PM
Hello Richard,

Have a look at this Beginner's Guide (http://genealogy.about.com/od/france/a/french_ancestry.htm) to researching your French family history.

If it comes to the point that something needs to be translated, I know that there are a number of members who speak French and who may be able to help.

Happy New Year!

MartinM
02-01-2009, 6:30 PM
Hi Richard,
I'm in France, and have used the Paris archives, which are excellent.

Do you know which 'arrondisment' your ancestor was born or married in? Archives are kept in the Mairie or town hall for all civil records, for 100 years. After this time Paris records are transferred to a central Paris archive, but it helps if you know the original arrondisment.

One word of caution.. many Paris records were destroyed by fire around a hundred years ago, and there are some gaps. However, if your records exist they are very complete and will give you much detailed information regarding the families of your ancestor and spouse.

If you need addresses or anything translated, please don't hesitate, I'll be happy to help.

Martin

Reft
02-01-2009, 9:48 PM
Thank you Jan, interesting site, appears to be very useful.

Richard |bowdown|

Reft
02-01-2009, 10:00 PM
Hi Martin,
Unfortunately, I don't have her complete place of birth. It is a bit complicated, have only found her on the 1911 census, married the Henry James Craker in Harrow, Middlesex, England, aged 33, born Paris, France. We believe she could have been married before to a Foster. Two Step Children, oldest born in Paris, France, Archibald Foster, aged 11, and Step Daughter, Cicely Foster aged 8. born Harrow. Though would like to keep contact with you for future reference, if anything new crops up, thanks Martin.

Richard |wave|

MartinM
03-01-2009, 4:26 PM
No problem, the offer is open to all.

Martin

pottoka
15-01-2009, 1:36 AM
Have you tried looking up Archibald Foster in the GRO Consular Birth Indices1849-1965 on findmypast? His birth may have been registered at a Consulate - all the more so if he was born in Paris - to make sure he got British nationality.

Reft
16-01-2009, 8:44 AM
Hi Pottoka,
Thanks for the suggestion, I have just been and checked, and found nothing, put it could still be useful for future reference.

Richard |wave|

pottoka
16-01-2009, 1:07 PM
One word of caution.. many Paris records were destroyed by fire around a hundred years ago, and there are some gaps. However, if your records exist they are very complete and will give you much detailed information regarding the families of your ancestor and spouse.


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."

This means, Richard, that your records of around 1878 and 1897 would not have been touched - if they are there. I've posted a request for a look-up for you at the Paris Archives with a list of volunteers. It might take some time, but keep your fingers crossed!

pottoka
16-01-2009, 1:49 PM
Have you got the marriage certificate for Marguerite and Henry James Craker? I was wondering what her maiden name and status (single/widowed) were on the certificate. Presumably Mr Foster died in England some time after the birth of Cicely, and her mother remarried, but I can't find a marriage reference.

There is a birth reference to a Violet Cicely Foster, born Jul-Aug-Sep 1902 in Hendon, Middlesex (vol 3a, page 221); she is the only Cicely Foster born in Hendon R.D. at the right time. Her birth certificate (you could put a reference check on it for her mother to be Marguerite) would give you her father's full name and occupation.

Reft
17-01-2009, 11:19 AM
Hi Pottoka,
Thank you for all your help so far and I have everything crossed for the rest. We have the birth certificate of Violet Cicely Foster and it is the one, father Arthur William Foster, died Oct, Nov, Dec quarter of 1901 aged 37, Builder's Foreman, we believe possibly also born in France. Found that Margueritte married to Henry Craker around 1904, but found only one Henry on Free BMD, waiting for Certificate.
Also have the1911 census, married 7 years with 5 of their own children, oldest vera 6 years old and two step children Cicely 8, born 1902, and Archibald Foster, 11 years old, born Paris, France. So, we are assuming they were married in Paris, France around 1895-1899, no records in Britain. We also know, that Margueritte re-married again in 1929 and have the marriage certificate, saying her father was Emile Chapont from Paris, France.

Again, thak you for all your help,

Richard

kcapes
17-01-2009, 12:13 PM
Hello Martin
Sorry to but in my step-fathers father disappeared between 1920-1929 when he re-appears to marry in London, he never talked much about his life I know he joined the navy as a boy but was invalided out about 1920. Only thing he ever said was he lived in France and worked possibly for Thomas Cook ( they have no record) he spoke fluent French, would ther be any records of him working, tax etc. Any help would be great
Kim

pottoka
15-02-2009, 7:57 AM
Hi, Reft,
A search of the Paris Archives has thrown up the birth of a Marguerite Marie Julie Chapont in 1874, but her father's name was Pierre Marie François Chapont, so it doesn't look as though it's the right person. There are no marriages between a Chapont and a Foster between 1893 and 1903.
Given the lack of a Foster marriage, the volunteer put Archibald's birth on one side until I got back to her as I will later today.

However, it does rather look as though Marguerite was born in one of the outlying towns or villages around Paris, and put Paris as her place of birth as the British enumerator would recognise it. It's strange that she wasn't more precise on the 1911 Census. We'll just have to hope that this is not the case with Archibald.

Reft
27-02-2009, 9:29 AM
Hi Pottoka,
Apologies, for not replying sooner, been very busy with Gwnet FHS stuff (Membership Secretary), new year, membership renewals etc. What can I say, thank you for all you have done so far, does not seem enough. I accept it's not great news in finding Marguerite, but we have moved forward in a way, by counting out Paris itself, yes means even more slow progress on our part, but not knowing how the French system works, would have taken a lot longer to get this far. So. I thank you and cross my fingers in hope of discovering something through Archibald. As for the little information on 1911 census, Henry probably filled in the form and picked easiest way to do it.

Richard

pottoka
24-07-2009, 3:30 PM
Céline has continued looking for records since I last posted and has finally written to say that she has come up with nothing, I'm afraid. In the twenty arrondissements of Paris, she has found two Marguerite Marie Chaponts, one born in 1873 and one born in 1882, but neither of them to an Emile, so between the father's name being wrong and the date being way out, I think we can presume that neither are yours.

There is also no Chapont / Foster marriage in the twenty arrondissements of Paris. It would thus appear that the family lived in the suburbs, and, without more detailed information about the place, it would be extremely difficult and time-consuming, given the French system, to look for them.

During her research, Céline did come across an English Foster in Paris: single, aged 42, born in Ramsholt in Suffolk to John Foster and Charlotte Hubbard, he died in Paris in 1895. As he doesn't seem to link up to your Fosters, I'll put him on the "Strays" page.

Reft
25-07-2009, 10:30 AM
Hi Pottoka,
Please accept my deepest apologies for not getting back sooner, I have been busy taking care of mother (Vascular Dementia), she just had the start of her 90th birthday parties, yes I said parties, also she never suffer's with an hangover (pints of Bitter, Yorkshire woman). I did not really realise the amount of work people will go to on this site, I am blown away and really do apprieciate everybodies help, without doubt the best site on the web. I will try and dig out more information, but again thank Pottoka and special thanks to Celine for all your hard work, will try and visit more often.

Richard |bowdown| |5cups| |birthday|