The index cards making up this database were extracted from original civil registration records of marriages by ARFIDO, an association of French research and genealogy. Records cover the years 1800-1915 for the city of Marseilles, France’s oldest city and one of the country’s (and the Mediterranean’s) most important ports.
There are nearly 420,000 marriage records represented in this database. While this is a significant amount of records, it does not necessarily cover all marriage records in existence for this time and place.
Information from the original civil registration records were transcribed, or copied by hand, onto pre-printed extraction forms. Information listed on these forms may include:
- Names of husband and wife
- Marriage date
- Birthplaces of husband and wife
- Birth dates of husband and wife
- Names of parents
- Names of former spouses
Government civil registration was instituted in France in 1792. Both Catholic and Protestant church records began being kept in the mid-1500s. Church records, therefore, are especially important for genealogical research before 1792.
After 1792 marriages had to be performed civilly before they could be performed in a church. Marriages were usually performed in the town or parish of the bride’s residence.
Where to go from here:
Use the information found in this database to obtain a copy of an original marriage record. Original records include marriage certificates, marriage banns, and marriage registers (both civil and ecclesiastical).
For years where both church and civil records are available, you will likely want to obtain copies of both record types, as the information provided in each may be different. Marriage records may list details about the bride and groom such as their residences, occupations, birth information, ages, parents’ names, and even grandparents’ names. The difference in the information provided will vary according to whether the record is civil or ecclesiastical, as well as the time period in which the record was created.