Researching in Cote d'Armor, Brittany

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Tracing your French roots in Department 22 – Cotes d’Armor - by Joanne Gollandeau

Cotes du Nord (now called Cotes d'Armor). This is Départment 22 in France, and anything official will feature the number 22 (postcodes, old car registrations, etc)

Many Jersey families with Breton ancestors will find them in the archives of 22, which are online. Should you wish to look at the certificates themselves you can find the online archives at

You will need to register, but that is fairly straightforward and totally free of charge - more for statistical purposes. You will need to recall your username and password for each time you access the site.

Once on the site you click on the letter responding to the town/village you would like to consult, then scroll down until you find the name alphabetically. Click on the name itself and it will give you the option of pre-Revolution (parish records) up to 1792 or post-Revolution (official registers) from 1793. Then you will get a choice of dates and some use of codes:

Pre-revolution

  • B = Baptism
  • M = Marriage
  • S = Funeral

Post-revolution

  • N = Birth
  • M = Marriage
  • D = Death
  • TD = 10 yearly index tables

You will need to access the site, find the place name, choose pre- or post-revolution. Then you will need to choose the number of the archive book. Click on either the start date (for beginning of the book) or the end date (for the end of the book). It doesn't really matter unless you wish to browse the pages yourself. Click on any of the page icons to enter the book. You can also enter the page number in the box where it says 'autre images', then click on OK and it will take you directly to the page. You can zoom and navigate around the page by dragging etc.

For anyone wanting to do their own research on the 22 archives, I can recommend the following site to try to get some details before trying to find the certificates:

This site is maintained, added to by volunteers, so not all records will be on there at the moment. Enter the surname of the person you are looking for, and I recommend ticking the box where it says 'orthographe rapproche' in case it has been entered with a slightly different spelling, and then press on 'rechercher'. If it is a common name, you can choose between birth, death and marriage to cut things down and you can put in the first name, too. Just a hint: if it is, say, Francois – just put Fran because it won't understand the whole name without the cedilla under the c. It will come up with Francois, Francoise, Francette, Francine etc, but you can work your way readily through them. Alain – just put Al, in case it is Allain etc. Sometimes just the initial is the way forward. Once the list comes up and you have identified the person you are looking for – click on their name and then the details will come up on the right hand side of the page. Armed with the details, it is easier to find the certificate you are looking for in the archives.

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