Genealogical Research in France

This past spring, we spent two weeks in France searching for Huguenot ancestors and the places they lived.  We began in Paris at the Societe de l’Histoire du Protestantisme Francais where the staff was very helpful – they have collected many records from the small villages and towns in France and are well worth a visit.

From Paris, we traveled to the Dordogne to see the Cave of Lascaux and we drove through the river valley lined with castles on almost every hilltop. We stopped in several small towns on our way to the coast looking for the villages our ancestors had left more than 300 years ago, stopping in Montigne, Mauze, Pons, Sepvret, La Granerie, La Mothe-Saint-Heray to name a few.

The most surprising thing we found was the architecture which remains from the 12th to 17th centuries – we have photographs of all the seventeenth century walls in all the towns we visited and we will share them with you in future blogs.

We spent a wonderful long weekend on Ile-de-Re, more time in La Rochelle at the departmental archives and then south to La Tremblade where we spent Easter and then to Bordeaux and home.

Visit the website of the Huguenot Society of South Carolina to see a more detailed account of our trip in the Huguenot Herald. There will be an even more in-depth article in Transactions #118 which will be out later this year.



3 responses to “Genealogical Research in France”

  1. Ross wilford DeMay III Avatar
    Ross wilford DeMay III

    Good morning!

    To whomever maintains this website.

    I am a tenth generation DeMay in America (etienne dumay being my 9th great grandfather) and I am wondering if you found anything about etienne or the dumays in France. Any information would be greatly appreciated as I too want to go to France and attempt to trace my genealogy back. Also I have a book tracing my genealogy from etienne to my father which was complete in 72 if that can help you at all. Thank you again.

  2. Judy Sowell Avatar
    Judy Sowell

    Hello from Mississippi!
    I am the great grand daughter (7xs) of Mathurin Guerin, Saintogne France. I am curious about being able to trace the Guerin name back in France. I noted that Guerin is a name that goes back to the Carolingians but despair at ever connecting these together. Any ideas?
    Also, recently I found where Rice U. has the original sermons that Mathurin wrote (9 in all) which were preached by a Rev. Henry Heywood. Any idea as to how they ended up in Texas? Shouldn’t the Society in Charleston have these?
    Thank you!

  3. Regenia Sass Avatar
    Regenia Sass

    Enjoyed reading. Wish more was done to determine the Belue/Beaulieu/Ballew French Huguenot connections. As passed down generations they settle pd in Northern South Carolina. Renny, Sr., St, sI s Renny, Jr., a s Rueben served in Rev War.

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