Source Information Paris, France & Vicinity Marriage Banns, 1860-1902 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2008.
Original data: Archives de Paris et sa région: Publications des bans de Mariages 1860-1930. Paris: ARFIDO S.A., 2006. © ARFIDO S.A.

About Paris, France & Vicinity Marriage Banns, 1860-1902

This database contains extracts of marriage banns from the historic department of Seine, France from 1860-1902, which included the city of Paris and vicinity. By law, marriage banns were published at least ten days before the marriage was to take place. In some cases, the marriage may never have actually taken place.

About the Collection:

In 1895, Amédée Coutot, a prominent genealogist and heir researcher, started to reconstruct a collection of marriage banns from Paris and the surrounding communes of the old department of Seine by extracting information from original records. After Amédée’s death, his son Maurice continued this work. Today the collection is maintained by ARFIDO, a society founded by Coutot. This database contains over 3 million records extracted by the society and is comprehensive for the former department of Seine for the years 1860-1902.

About the Records:

Marriage banns declared a man’s and woman’s intentions to marry. It is possible to find the record of a couple intending to marry in the marriage banns, but never be able to find the actual marriage record for them. It is also possible to find incomplete records, bearing only one of the spouse’s name. Although such records are of less value, they may contain data which could be hints for further research.

Marriage banns were published in the communes of residence of both the intended bride and groom. The marriage ceremony was traditionally held in the bride’s commune of residence. This piece of knowledge will be helpful in locating the original marriage record in either civil or ecclesiastical registers.

Information from the original marriage banns were transcribed, or copied by hand, onto pre-printed extraction forms. These extraction forms are the records that make up this database. Information listed on these forms may include:

  • Name of bride or groom

  • Place of residence

  • Names of parents

  • Name of intended spouse

  • Date and place of publication of the banns

For each marriage bann, there are two extracts - one where the bride is the primary individual, and one where the groom is the primary individual. Information listed on the extract forms refers only to the primary individual. To gather information about both the bride and the groom it is necessary to locate both extracts.

France is divided into regions, departments, and communes (cities/towns). The city (commune) of Paris is further divided into neighborhoods called arrondissements. From 1795-1860 the city was divided into 12 arrondissements. These arrondissements are simply referred to by their number (i.e. 1st, 2nd, 3rd). Locations listed in these records may include one or more of the different geographical jurisdictions, including the arrondissements. If you see a number listed on the residence or commune of publication line, this is most likely signifying an arrondissement of Paris. The old department of Seine encompassed Paris and vicinity. Today it is divided into the departments of Paris, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis, and Val-de-Marne.