February 09, 2005

Solving the Renée de Dietrich mystery

We have finally come full circle. One of my wife's uncles, Philippe de Dietrich and myself have been trying to trace the youngest sister of one of their ancestors: Renée de Dietrich.
Written memories published by Philippe's mother years ago for the family, only mentionned the existence of this lady, Renée, without more information.

We have even come in touch with a family that thought they could descend from her for many years, until realizing their mistake.

Last year (at the French Archives for Oversees - CAOM - in Aix-en-Provence), I found Renée's birth certificate and wedding certificate to a M. Ernest FUSELLIER, whom she divorced later. Philippe found last week her death certificate (at the French Archives for people born outside of France, in Nantes), when she was only 25. Sad.

Here are the docs:

Adn_rene_de_dietrich Adm1_rene_de_dietrich_x_ernest_fuseillie Adm2_rene_de_dietrich_x_ernest_fuseillie Add_rene_de_dietrich

Just by coincidence, I got an email today from a person related to Ernest FUSELLIER, asking for more information. Funny isn'it ?

February 9, 2005 at 10:19 PM in Algérie, France | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 15, 2005

Ancestors' surname list for my son on sepulveda.org

SepulvedaorgFollowing the post below on the new surnames on which I'm looking for information, here are the surnames in the tree of my son. They are sorted alphabetically, and include location and dates for easy comparison. If you have a friend password for this site, then you can also link directly to the relevant section of the tree. I'm really mostly interested in these names, but of course any other piece of intormation is welcome. Thanks for your interest.

Surname list (updated on 22/1/05):


January 15, 2005 at 11:39 PM in Algérie, Austria, Chile, Denmark, España, France, Germany, Italia, Poland, Prussia, Russia, Slovenia | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 29, 2004

Research French civil records in Algeria - CAOM (Aix-en-Provence, France)

Part of my wife's family lived in hte neighborhood of Sibi-bel-Abbès, province of Oran, Algeria, between 1860-1960. The lived in a number of places including Sidi-Bel-Abbès, Boukanéfis, Maison Blanche, Sidi Ali ben Youb, and for some branches, in Oran and Mostaganem.

The Sidi-bel-Abbès area was the home town of the French Foreign Legion and the whole area was considered military territory. Sidi Ali ben Youb was first the location of the local military penitenciary, and then little village was renamed for a while Chanzy by one of my wife's forefathers, David de Dietrich, when he became mayor, in hommage to General Chanzy under which he served at the Solferino battle, Italy, 1859. (Solférino had a major witness, journalist Henri Dunant, who later founded the International Red Cross, remembering the atrocities he saw on the battle field.)

Finding information in Algeria seemed to me quite complicated, and I was stuck for a long while. Some family members had christening records from the Eveché d'Oran, but I lacked the birth, marriage and death certificates. To some extent, for recent information you could try to ask them at the Archives for French people living in foreign territories. It is located in Nantes: the service is free, rather fast (7-15 days), and you can order certificate copies through the web. The only problem is that you need to provide them with the exact information you are looking for (names, parents, dates, places, etc.) which makes it very incovenient if you are trying the expand branches in your family tree.

Fortunately, the Franch National Archives (more on how to use them in another post) have a division called 'Centre des Archives d'Outre-Mer'. They are located in Aix-en-Provence, in the Southern part of France. Access there from Paris is pretty easy: it is now only 3 hours by high-speed train. The center is then located at a 15min walking distance from the bus stop, travelling from the train station to the city center. Beware: they are only open on week days, but you only need an ID card to get in. You can have up to 2 free visits per year there.
They have a new service allowing to view digitized records of most of what was in the Algerian Archives. The process of digitization should be finished by the end November 2004. Most of what you can get there is available online, although you can't access the documents online; you will have to go there, and they have more that doesn't show online. You can research very quickly, as they have spent lots of time entering the document's data (dates, places, names) into the database. You can print screen copies very easily (0,30€ / copy: make sure you bring enough change in coins, 5€ or 10€ notes to recharge your printing card).

I prepared a list of all the people I was looking for, checked with what was available online, and got almost 100 screencopies of documents. I even researched new people that I didn't know about. Expensive trip (train + photocopies), but a must to fast-forward in your research. Make sure you get there early, as there are only about 16 computers connected to the digitized database (with large screens). You can also bring a digital camera to take shots at the screens.

Final words: I didn't have time to got through some of the micro-films there (because there were some documents I couldn't find in the database, and I know for sure they should be, because locations and dates fit), nor the other types of archives (contracts, land records, etc.).

Good luck if you're into genealogy with Algerian connections.


August 29, 2004 at 01:00 PM in Algérie, France | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack