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Research in Comtat

by Stéphane Lallich

by J.-C. Hérelle-Carcassone

Research after the Revolution

For research concerning the XIX century, the most important sources are the marital records, available at the Departmental archives, as well as the solicitors’ records, the name registrations of 1808 and the 1851 census which shows religion.
For 1790-1850, the civil record of the Jews of Nimes and Pont Saint-Esprit established by Lucien Simon plays the same part as the register of Cohen, but limited to the families who passed through Nimes. One can also refer to the usual Parisian sources concerning the XIX century as many families moved to Paris.

Research in XVIII century

For the XVIII century, the principal sources are the registers imposed by the pontifical legate from 1762, the various censuses or enumerations which were practised and the solicitors records which comprise of contracts and also minor acts which can be extremely interesting the emancipations, the procurations and the inventories after death. The detail of the sources available in France for each department, with the place and the reference, is in the guide devoted to the Jewish families by Gildas Bernard. The most important references are indicated here in section 7D.
The registres des Carrières are available at the communal archives for each area (consultable Law courts of Carpentras, Palais of the Popes in Avignon, Mairie of Isle, Mairie of Cavaillon), a microfilm being deposited with the departmental records of Vaucluse.
In the case of Isle, a methodical investigation of the register imposed by the legate, of the solicitors’ records of Isle and some other files was carried out by Jacquelinne Ann Khonstamm within the framework of its thesis (1981). In appendix, are family trees for the principal families of Isle: Abram, Astruc, Beaucaire, Bédarrides, Carcassonne, Cavaillon, Cohen, Cresque, Delpuget, Worthy, Lattès, Millaud.
More recently, the registers created by the legate were researched by Jean-Claude Cohen, who collaited the information available in the form of a personal lexicon. The register of Cohen, which goes back to about 1650, however it is always best to look at the original sources too.
With regard to the solicitors’ records, there is a very interesting guide to the minutes of Carpentras on acts concerning the Jews by Domenica Dupon. It seems that in the XVII and XVIII century that Jewish familiy business’ were placed with certain notaries (Gildas Bernard gives the names). This logic was used by Jean-Claude Hérelle-Carcassonne for the minutes of Avignon.

Research in XVII century and before

It is difficult to go up beyond 1650, except if connected to a known family; the solicitors records, for example the marriage contracts, used in particular by Carol Iancu in his enthralling study of the neophytes in Provence between 1469 and 1525 or other records used by Jean-Claude Hérelle-Carcassonne, in particular for Carcassonne, for developing a very effective strategy to locate further information.
Following on from the strategy detailed in the n° 10 of GenAmi, it is important to firstly target the notaries who dealt with the Jewish businesses. Jean-Claude Hérelle-Carcassonne located the 6 notaries who dealt with the Jews of Avignon from XV century to the XVIIe century.
There are a few marriage certificates but only in the event of specific problem ( orphan, remarriages...) but also many minor acts. Note that for the marriage certificates, the date of the act is not necessarily the date of the marriage, it can precede it by several years. The acts can appear in various forms: the draft, the final. The judicial documents are in the name of the solicitor and not in the names of their clients.
There are also the public acts, in particular taxation. To differentiate the individuals, a good idea is to studying the signatures. Jean-Claude Hérelle-Carcassonne went back to 1503 in Jacques of Carcassonne, father of Mordechai and Solomon, and he hopes to get back to 1250. Before 1560, there are only first names. There is nothing prior to 1250.