Tag: French

Translating French words for genealogy research can be tricky.

In researching genealogy, translating French words as well as words from other languages can be troublesome and mistakes can easily be made. Getting one term wrong can mean taking your research off in the wrong direction based on the interpretation of that word.

Translating french words to English in obituary for Paul Henri Boily

Translating French words to English for obituaries can be problematic.

While researching my French Canadian, Acadian and French Canadian ancestors, I frequently came across terms that needed translation. From past experience, I knew it was important to not make a snap judgment of the meaning of a term based on its similarity to another French word, an English word, or words in any other language.

The most obvious example that comes to mind is ‘journalier.’ Upon first impression, I thought this might mean ‘journalist’ but after checking into it further, I discovered it meant a ‘day laborer.’

Here is my list of the French terms for occupations that are encountered most frequently in vital documents and records.

à la retraite retired
agriculteur farmer, husbandman
aide de sous commis helper to asst clerk
apothicaire pharmacist
apprenti(e) apprentice
apprêteur(euse) tanner, dresser of skins
archer bowman
architecte architect
argentier silversmith
armurier gunsmith
arpenteur, arpentier land surveyor
arquebusier matchlock gunsmith
artisan handicraftsman
aubergiste innkeeper
aumonier army chaplain
avocat, avocate lawyer, barrister
bailli bailiff
banqier(ère) banker
becheur(euse) digger
bedeau church sexton
bédeau beadle
beurrier(ère) butter-maker
bibliothécaire librarian
blanchisseur(eusse) laundryman, woman
bonnetier(ère) hosier
boucher(ère) butcher
boulanger(ère) baker
bourgeois(e) privileged person
boutonnier button-maker
braconnier poacher
brasseur(euse) brewer
briqueteur bricklayer
briquetier brick-maker
bucheron woodcutter
cabaretier(ère) saloon keeper
caissier(ère) cashier
calfat caulker
camionneur truck driver
cannonier gunner (canon)
cantinier(ère) canteen-keeper
capitaine de milice captain of the militia
capitaine de navire ship captain
capitaine de port port captain
capitaine de vaisseau ship captain
capitaine des troupes troup captain
cardeur(euse) carder(textiles)
chamoisseur chamois-dresser
chancelier chancellor
chandelier chandle-maker
chanteur(euse) singer
chapelier(èr) hatter, hatmaker
charbonnier(ère) coal merchant
charcutier(ère) port-butcher
charpentier carpenter, framer
charpentier de navires shipwright
charretier carter
charron cartwright, wheelwright
chasseur hunter
chaudronnier coppersmith, tinsmith
chaufournier furnace tender
chef cook
chevalier horseman, calvary
chirurgien surgeon
cloutier nail-maker, dealer
cocher coachman, driver
colonel colonel
commandant commander
commis clerk
commissaire d’artillerie arms stewart
commissaire de la marine ship’s purser
compagnon journeyman
comptable accountant, bookkeeper
concierge janitor, caretaker
confiseur(euse) confectioner
conseilleur counsellor, advisor
contrebandier smuggler
contremaître overseer, foreman
controleur superintendant
cordier ropemaker
cordonnier cobbler, shoemaker
corroyeur curier, leatherdresser
coureur-des-bois trapper
courrier courier, messenger
courvreur en ardoise slate roofer
coutelier cutlery maker
couturier(ère) tailor, dressmaker
couvreur roofer
couvreur en bardeau roofer who roofs with shingles
cuisinier en chef chef
cuisinier(ère) cook
cultivateur(trice) farmer
curé pastor
débardeur stevedore
défricheur clearer (of forest)
dentiste dentist
docteur doctor
domestique indentured servant, farmhand
douairière dowager
douanier(ère) custom officer
drapier clothmaker, clothier
ébeniste cabinet maker
écclésiastique clergyman
échevin alderman
écolier(ère) student
écuyer esquire
électricien electrician
éleveur(euse) animal breeder
employé(e) employee
engagé ouest hired to trap furs out west
enseigne ensign
enseigne de vaisseau ship’s sub-lieutenant
ferblantier tinsmith
fermier agricultural worker
fonctionnaire civil servant
forgeron smith, blacksmith
huissier sheriff
ingénieur engineer
journalier(ère) day laborer
maçon mason, bricklayer
marchand merchant
médecin doctor
mendiant beggar
menuisier carpenter
meunier miller
maître d’école school master, headmaster, principal
maîtresse d’école school mistress, headmistress, principal
navigateur sailor
notaire lawyer, solicitor
ouvrier worker
pecheur fisherman
peintre painter
pilote ship’s pilot, harbor pilot
pompier fireman
potier potter
prêtre priest
rentier retiree
scieur sawyer
seigneur land owner, landlord
sellier saddler
tailleur tailor
tanneur tanner
tonnellier cooper (barrel-maker)
vicaire vicar

Genealogy News Bites – April 28, 2014

Genealogy news: checking newspapers.In an effort to help ease the load of searching for genealogy news and genealogy events, I prepare a ‘Genealogy News Bites’ post to gather together what I feel are the most important or informative genealogy news headlines from the previous week (or thereabouts).

Following are the most recent and relevant genealogy news headlines from a broad range of sites and blogs.

 

Olive Tree Genealogy

Long Lost Love Letters Found & Returned to Descendants

This is one of those feel-good stories we all love. And wouldn’t we all love to find such a treasure? Joshua McKinney, of Casnovia, Michigan, was removing old insulation in his home’s attic when he found a stack of old love letters from World War II. The letters and certificates (birth and marriage) he found all concerned the Kissel family. It didn’t take long for Joshua and his sister to

Genealogy Canada

Counties council asked to back naming County Road 34 ‘British Home Children Commemorative Highway’

Jim Brownell who is the director of the Ontario East British Home Child Family (OEBHCF), wants to rename the roadway that goes through the towns of Lancaster, Green Valley, and Alexandria on County Road 34 as the ‘British Home Children Commemorative Highway.’

Rewriting the pages of history Shelburne student corrects foggy account of war crime

Learn how a student changed history by researching a soldier in their Second World War and discovering the story of how he been executed with six other soldiers near the small town of Mouen, France

RootsTech 2015 Call for Papers

RootsTech 2015 will be held in Salt Lake City from February 11–14, 2015, and the RootsTech Content Committee is calling for dynamic presentations that inform and educate both those seeking to begin and those continuing to discovering their family story through technology

Google Blog

Hungary’s far-right and the ‘Jewish ancestry’ slippage

Today, on Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah in Hebrew), we commemorate the 6 million Jews slaughtered during the Holocaust, as well as the millions of Roma, homosexuals, people with disabilities, political

FamilySearch Blog

Free Guide to Hampshire England Ancestors

FamilySearch is pleased to announce a new online guide to tracing ancestors in the ceremonial County of Hampshire England. Also known as Southampton, and including the Isle of Wight, Hampshire has a long maritime history. It is the birthplace of the Royal Navy, British Army, and Royal Air Force

Free Classes Offered at the Family History Library—May, 2014

If you are planning on visiting Salt Lake City, Utah during the month of May, you may want to plan some time to come visit the Family History Library across from Temple Square. The Family History Library is offering several free classes during the month of May. Classes are free to the public. Below is information about topics, times and locations

Irish Genealogy News

Major Irish genealogy conference in Waltham, MA

A two-day conference – Celtic Connections, The Leaving of Home: Migration, Motivation and Myth – will be held in August in Waltham, Massachussets, and will witness a gathering of many of Irish genealogy’s best-known presenters from both sides of the Atlantic

Library and Archives Canada

An Arpent, a Toise, a Perche, a League… Understanding Old French Measurements

When looking through old French records, you will frequently come across old measurements that are rather mysterious nowadays. These measurements are found in records originating in France, Quebec and Louisiana. Below is a table showing the equivalencies, but many online sites offer conversion calculators, even for these old standards

Chicago Tribune

Fifteen Days Remaining for Reduced Cost Registration for Genealogy Conference

Fifteen days remain to receive a reduced rate to The Computer-Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois’ (CAGGNI) full day genealogy conference, GeneaQuest. GeneaQuest is a full day of genealogy highlighting genealogy news and technology of the future and

Genealogy and History News

Find-A-Record Helps you Find Records

Let me tell you about a new website I’ve been playing with recently. It’s called Find-A-Record. And that’s not to be confused with ‘Find-A-Grave‘ as they are two entirely different sites. Both useful for genealogy, but both with different purposes

Ancestry.com Blog

Virtual Cemeteries, Rotating Photos, User Profiles, and More in the Updated Find A Grave iOS App

Today we’re releasing the first new features update for the app. We have a lot more we’re going to do, but these first features were the most requested and are ready to release, so we hope you like them

photo credit: Public Places via photopin cc