In 1830 a Paris solicitor dealing with an inheritance was facing a thorny problem: only some of the heirs had made themselves known to him. He knew other heirs very likely existed. So in all honesty, he was unable to conclude the required identify certificate and consider he had fulfilled his duty. He gave his legal clerk, Mr Trannoy, the mission of drawing up the exhaustive list of heirs, in accordance with the current inheritance law.
Mr Trannoy travelled throughout France looking for the vital information the lawyer was missing. He analyzed thecivil registers, consulted tax and civil sources, interviewed family, friends and acquaintances, and tracing back the family’s history. After one year of investigations, he was able to present a complete list of heirs. The task had taken Mr Trannoy a lot of time and energy and unfortunately the solicitor was not able to pay him adequately.
The clerk saw the need to create a service for solicitors, specialized in the search for missing heirs. In Paris, he founded ‘Les Archives généalogiques’ (the Genealogical Archives) and a new profession was born.
In addition to their daily research work for inheritances’ settlement, , the first partners of the office started to build up their own genealogical archives. This was a broad undertaking consisting in collecting, copying and summarizing civil registers, electoral registers and inheritance reports. Today our archives totalize an impressive 15,000 registers, over 200 million records. They are unique and invaluable as they are all that is left of the parish registers and civil records of Paris that were destroyed and lost in the 1871 Paris Commune.
In partnership since 1838, the founder of our office retired in 1857. Formerly located at N° 5, rue Saint-Martin, we moved on May 10th , 1881, Indeed, the partners Alfred Manigot, Jules Jorre and Gustave Pelletier acquired that year the town house of Commines de Marsilly, the former residence of Lamrechts, a government Minister, which is is still our Head Office. Today, the chairman of Andriveau Genealogical Archives is Cécile and Matthieu Andriveau, successors of their father and grand-father, a descendant of Gustave Pelletier., This family has been at the head of the office for the past six generations.
(1) Our records are a highly reputed and an extremely accurate summary of the civil register of Paris, and of many towns in France and abroad. In the case of Paris they can be considered unique as they were compiled in 1850, twenty years before the destruction caused by the fire of Paris Commune (the Paris Commune is an insurrectionary period of Paris’ history). They are the only complete compilation that exists of the Paris Civil Register dating back to 1680. They are considered almost official and are receivable before the courts as replacing the original records that were destroyed in 1871 (Court Ruling, Seine District, 14th December 1895).