Genealogy is already a bit of a challenge...
But genealogy in French isn't just about researching in a foreign language.
It's also about knowing the history of the region and knowing how the French system works...
Genealogy in French is all about knowing where to look.
And in Alsace, it can be a little tricky because documents may be in French, German or Latin depending on how far back you go!
The French tend to keep very good records of their citizens, so usually the information you are looking for is out there somewhere waiting for you...
But where exactly are they?
And will you be able to read it? Quill pens were the standard writing instrument up through the 18th and 19th centuries.
Reading handwritten documents written with a quill pen is a skill that takes a lot of practice. From experience, these documents are difficult to read even when you do understand the language.
You may be asking yourself "If somehow I manage to find out where the information I'm looking for is...will there be someone there that speaks English?"
From experience living here in Alsace...
I can tell you that nothing scares most French people like having to talk on the phone in English even when they do speak it.
And I completely understand because speaking on the phone in a foreign language is quite challenging.
Unfortunately also from experience, phone calls are the most effective way to get anything done in France...especially when it comes to administrative tasks...
There are other challenges too...
Researching your family tree in France (and Alsace in particular) requires a good knowledge of the many wars and nation switching that has happened.
And in Alsace they didn't just change nationalities...
Alsace officially changed languages quite a few times since 1871 which means the names of people and places may have changed a little or a lot.
Sometimes villages disappeared because everyone was killed or forced to move.
I'm not a genealogist, but I have a gift for research and reading old documents. I also know a lot about France and especially Alsace, so I can help you research some of your genealogy in French.
Of course, it would be all the more fun if you can come over for a visit yourself!
And I can help you with that too!! : )
If this sort of service interests you, send me an email and we can discuss it some more...
My rate is 30 euros per hour.
So tell me more about your project and we'll see what happens : )
Looking forward to hearing from you!
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