Departemental Archives : The written memory of the Meuse Département
The Archives of the Meuse Département hold and make available to the public the archives of the Ancien Régime administration (bailiwicks, provostships, estate managerships), religious establishments (abbeys, parishes etc), and also the archives produced by the administration of the Département - the villages, the hospitals or even private individuals. This is completed by a large historical library.
Today, these document take up nearly 17 linear kilometres of space: the oldest date from 943, and the most recent from the current year.
This is the written memory of the Département of the Meuse, useful to historians, students, genealogists or those who are simply curious, to settle legal questions, and help with administrative, historical or family research.
Coming to consult the old documents is easy. There is a reading room open to the public, and staff to offer helpful advice as needed. All you need is proof of identity.
Research and consultation is free - the only charge is for any photocopies you may want.
What research can you carry out at the Meuse Archives ?
Finding out about your ancestors, genealogy
To find out about your ancestors, you need to consult the local records office and the parish registers of the Ancien Régime. These documents are gradually being put on line on the Départemental Archives website. To complement them, since names and professions are included, it is also possible to consult the registers of military numbers, as well as the census population lists that go back as far as the middle of the 19th century. However, it will be a long time before other documents, also very rich in information on people's history, are put on line - documents such as notarised acts, judicial documents (concerning bailiwicks and provostships, judgements), school archives, private archives etc.
Finding out the history of a house
Using cadastral documents, with a bit of patience, it is possible to find out the names of the successive owners of a house from the beginning of the 19th century, as well as the important changes that have affected the building.
Finding out the history of your community
There are numerous documents that can help in finding out more about the history of a village or community : records of construction or upkeep of communal buildings, maps of forests, lands and the village, etc.
Images: photographs and postcards
A collection of around 15,000 photographs, engravings and postcards can be consulted in the Archives of the Meuse Département, and today the majority are digitised.
The History of the Wars
The Meuse was a theatre of the two major world conflicts, and they left numerous traces and remains in the archives. Those relating to the Second World War are available to the public.
The Duchy of Lorraine
In the 18th century, the bailiwicks of the duchies of Bar, the "Barrois mouvant" area (to the west of the River Meuse), and the "Barrois non mouvant" area (to the east of the River Meuse) covered a territory stretching from the Luxembourg border (Longwy) to the south of Neufchâteau (Lamarche). The collection of documents from the Dukes of Bar Accounts department makes it possible today to consult edicts, orders, judgements, sentences, lists of succession etc. These documents cover the period from 1511 to 1790.
Some surprises : remarkable documents
The account of the arrest of Louis XVI at Varennes-en-Argonne, acts of recantation, accounts of miracles, notebooks of written grievances in the communes for the Estates General meeting in 1789, the will of Gilles de Trèves, newspapers from the beginning of the 19th century - all astonishing documents that call to us and influence our way of seeing history.
For children : educational files
The education department of the Archives of the Départemental Archives organises exhibitions, teaching workshops and visits for students who will then have direct access to the original documents. These will develop their knowledge, as they take part in practical work, using educational booklets on particular themes linked to the archives: "the soldiers of my village", "grievance notebooks", "the history of teaching", etc.
Archives on line : http://archives.meuse.fr
Archives of the Meuse Département 26 Rue d'Aulnois BP 50532 - 55012 - BAR-LE-DUC CEDEX Tél : +33 3 29 79 01 89
Soldiers of Verdun
To find the burial site of a soldier killed at Verdun, contact the Service des Sépultures Militaires de Verdun (Verdun Military Cemeteries Department) (+33 (0)3 29 86 02 96), with the surname, forenames, regiment, and date of death of the soldier if available.
To find out if a soldier fought at Verdun
Each soldier had a military record card. Contact the Départemental Archives of the département where the person was living when he was called up, and request the R register of regimental numbers. The soldier's records will specify whether or not he fought at Verdun. With the regimental number, the Mémorial de Verdun can retrace the sectors and the dates of battles which the soldier took part in. http://www.memorialdeverdun.fr/
To find out which soldiers who died during the Great War were awarded the honour "Morts pour la France" (Died for France) : http://www.memoiredeshommes.sga.defense.gouv.fr
To find out if a soldier received the Verdun medal
The list of those who were awarded the Medal of Verdun can be consulted in the Livre d'Or ("Golden Book") at the Monument de la Victoire (Victory Monument) in Verdun. A file of combatants who fell on the Verdun battlefields can also be consulted. The Warden is there to give all the explanations needed and to give information about the other sites in Verdun.
Commission du Livre d'Or - Ceux de Verdun
2 Rue du Général Hyacinthe Roch