Monday, December 15, 2003


The up-to-date copy of this post will be maintained at:

Alsace (Ger. Elsass) is now two French departéments, Bas-Rhin [67] (Lower Rhine) & Haut-Rhin [68] (Upper Rhine). The Territory of Belfort [90] is sometimes also included. The Territory of Belfort was formerly part of Haut-Rhin. From 1789 (French Revolution) to 1871, the Departément of the Territory of Belfort didn't exist, because it was included in the department of Haut-Rhin. After the war in 1870-1871, all of Alsace was annexed by Germany except the region of Belfort, which became the "Territory of Belfort" (departément n° 90) in France. After World War I (1918), Alsace became part of France, but the Territory of Belfort remained a separate departément. So, if you have an ancestor who lived 1789-1871 in Haut-Rhin, check for records in the Territory of Belfort. In general, the Alsace was French 1648-1871, German 1871-1918, French 1918-1940, German 1940-1945, French since 1945. - come chat with us!: or irc://

The Alsace-Lorraine list:
   More Alsace lists:

Alsace Message Board:

Alsace & Emigration Links (CoolLinks):


The Süss Collection:

Alsace Topliste:
Stammtisch Alsace - Topliste Alsace Genealogy Forum:

You can use some of the general sites where you can search for surname distribution to pin down villages /communes for further study, if you are researching a relatively rare surname. Some of these sites for France are Notrefamille (1890), GeoPatronyme (1891-1915, 1916-1940, 1941-1965, & 1966-1990), and GeneaNet (European GEDCOMS). The French Telephone Directories: or will do the same thing for surnames existing today. For more on surnames, see:

How to use the Le Centre Départemental d'Histoire des Familles (CDHF) website:

Historical Maps of the Alsace (l'Atelier de Cartographie du Département d'histoire de l'Université de Haute, Alsace):
   Modern maps:

If you know the village name, but not where it is located, try - Bas-Rhin, Haut-Rhin, Territoire de Belfort. This site also works for the communes of Lorraine.

Alsace History Timeline:

1836 Census Surname list - Strasbourg (10,846 names):
   District of Wissembourg (6,750 names) & Bischwiller & Haguenau (47,843 names) are now also available.

Communes of the Bas-Rhin département:
Communes of the Haut-Rhin département:
New home for The Communities of Alsace A-Z:

Communes in France:

$$$ Old French Postcards:

Alsace GenWeb (in English):

France Apprill & Serge Busiau's AlsaceGénéa: - in French, but buttons for Reverso translations

Some extracted parish records - Bas Rhin [67]:
Haut Rhin [68]:
More départements:

Up until 1871, the Territoire de Belfort, which today is part of the region known as Franche-Comt,é was in what today is the département du Haut-Rhin. The Lisa90 site: was put together by volunteers who are
systematically abstracting the church and civil records for the 101 communities in that part of France.

My Alsatians, the Baysingers of Alsace:

If you find the ship your immigrants took, and they departed from Le Havre, write to "Archives D'partementales de la Seine Maritime, Cours Clemenceau, 76036 Rouen Cedex, France" to request a copy of the passenger list of that particular ship. Of course, there are no guarantees that the passenger list exists.

French Emigration Indexes:

Travels in Alsace & Lorraine Articles Online:

Hint for using the FHL Catalog when there are LOTS of categories:

When you have exhausted the holdings of the LDS, read Robert Behra's post about Village Records. Another post about Military conscription records, shows you how to find the records, and use them to find a family at a particular time, in a particular place. More French military indexes - SGA - mémoire des hommes:
Bas Rhin soldiers of the Revolutionary Army, First Empire (Napoleon): - in French

Some Late Nineteenth Century Alsatian Folk Dress:

L'Alsace Spécifique (English page):
  Wonderful discussion of the geography, history, language and culture of the Alsace, by Eugéne Philipps.

Simultaneum in the Churches of the Alsace:

Interesting discussion of The Linguistic Tug-of-War between the French and German languages in the Alsace, based in history and linguistic analysis:

If you think your Alsatians may have come from Switzerland after the 30 Years War, and you have a relatively uncommon surname, check the microfiche Switzerland-Surnames at your local FHC, number 6053507. It will list the cantons where the surname can be found in Swiss records. Thanks to Margaret Miesterfeld on the Alsace-Lorraine list for this tip.

Huguenot Research:

Naming customs in Germany and France:

Lorraine links:

Book on French social history: The Ancien RĂ©gime, French Society, 1600-1750, by Pierre Gourbet, 1969. English translation Steve Cox, 1973, Harper Torchbooks, Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc., First Harper Torchbook Edition 1974. ISBN 0061318221.

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak. - Hans Hofmann

1 comment:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.