French probate records

This topic has 2 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 3 years, 5 months ago by tjcoffice.

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    Hello folks, I wonder if someone can help me. I have traced my family to a James and Peter Crean who both entered into separate leases of land in east Co. Galway in 1750 and 1760. They each leased two separate tracts of land for 31 years. In 1750, Andrew Ambrose O’Crean sold land in east Co. Galway he had been given by the Crown in the Book of Survey and Distribution of 1684. The O’Creans had been evicted from Co. Sligo and given smaller parcels of land in Co. Mayo and Co. Galway. The 1750 deed indicates Andrew O’Crean “of the City of Paris, kingdom of France” sold the east Co. Galway parcels to Denis Daly of Raford for £3900. He sold some 600 acres.That suggests some of the O’Creans ended up in France.

    The timing of the sale of the land and the four leases by James and Peter Crean suggests they may be connected. So, I would like to see if Andrew Ambrose O’Crean of Paris left any probate or estate type records.

    I have looked at Cindi’s list regarding French records and did not see anything related to probate or estate records. If someone is familiar with French records in regard to Irish exiles, can someone tell me where to look for probate or estate type records in the late 18th century? Or, perhaps, I will need to retain the services of someone in France to help me with this project? Thanks for any advice.

    Tom Crane, USA



    Wow, very nice website, Bob. Thanks! But, the part about departments – you are saying that after Napoleon’s time, the department for Paris is no. 75? Any guess as to what the department would be before Napoleon’s time?

     Bob Frewen

    Hi Tom,

    My limited experience is from researching a Napoleonic era soldier who came from the Doubs.  Paris would have been ‘Seine’ before Napoleon’s reorganisation.

    Familysearch has many French records online, but at times it requires a search in a register/book that must first be downloaded.

    The main entry point for searching in Paris is and for the neighbouring departément of Yvelines (contains wealthy suburbs of Versailles + St. Germain-en-laye) it is

    The “Tables Décennales”  in the above are compilations of birth, marriage, and death records from village / commune (by arrondissement in Paris) civil registrations, organized alphabetically by surname and these approximate to Ireland’s GRO records but are maintained at a local level. There is no ‘central’ repository, you have to search locally. That is the main ‘hump’ to overcome.

    There are several volumes of the Bulletin des lois de la République Française available on Googlebooks. These contain much useful information – they are similar to the UK’s ‘London Gazette’ and they cover huge ground, even at times including the names of those in receipt of military pensions. also has many French marriages online, I recall finding the son of my topic in Marseilles where he was married in the early 1800’s.

    Best of luck with the research



    Ok, very nice. Thanks, Bob!

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