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Capital: Nantes

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I am continuing to look for information on Pierre (Peter) Audrain b. 1723 in Nantes, France, d. 7 Oct 1820 in Detroit, Michigan. His parents were Pierre Audrain (1702-1721) and Margaret Deniau (1702-?). Pierre arrived in Philadelphia, PA in 1771, took the Oath of Allegiance to the United States, and participated in the American Revolution as a mariner. Pierre Audrain was an educated man who wrote a beautiful hand. I am trying to find out about his early life (between 1723-1771) in France. Who was his family...brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles. Where did he receive his education?.These may be questions, I'll never answer but I'll keep trying.
Hello, Deborah,

Can you read French? Have you all ready found his baptism and the documents of his parents' lives? They are online, free, at:

Once you find the right parish, you should be able to find his baptism, then, keep looking and brothers and sisters should turn up. Go back and you should get the marriage of the parents and their birth information.

Not only do you have the Parish and civil registers, but the files of the notaires who were operating in Nantes in the 1720s, so you might get lucky and find a marriage contract or a will.

Good luck.
Anne, Thank you.

I spent some time with the the various categories and didn't have any luck. My French is sparse and I must admit I bumbled through it. There are some entries dating back to 1500's which is really interesting.

Somewhere I read that Pierre Audrain/Audren was born in St. Herblain but I wasn't able to find an entry. I also tried St. Herblon and Nantes using both spellings. I will still keep looking.

Again, thank you for you help.

Do stick with it. It gets easier because the wording of the documents is so repetitive. If it will help you, read about the actes and their wording on my blog:

Hi Anne,

I finally found an entry in the Sautron Parish. I attempted to type the record and translate it using a French-English application. The results are not great. The one I am including made the best sense. I believe the first entry is the wedding date for Pierre and Marguerite. The second is something about a death or maybe a indication of a remarriage.

Audrin Sautron

19 janv 1722 m. apres publ. en celte par. d a’St. Herblain entre Pierre Audrin, ancien
monnayuer de la monnair de Nantes et D’elle Marguerite Deniau (famille modede)

28 avrie 1732 inst au cimet; de Marguerite Audrin fille de feu h.h. Pierre A. et. I’ h.p.
Marguerite Poirier, 17a, 18 ars; de la pas de St. Herblain, morte a Bongarant, chez h. p. Marguerite Audrain, sor belle mire.


19 Jan 1722 m. after publ. in by Celtic. d a'St. Herblain between Peter Audrin, former
monnayuer of Monnaires of Nantes and it Marguerite Deniau (Family moded)

28 Apri 1732 the Institute cimet; Audrin Margaret daughter of the late HH Peter A. and. I 'H.P.
Margaret Poirier, 17a, 18 ars, not the St. Herblain, has died Bongara among h. p. Margaret Audrain, sor beautiful sight.
Oh! I have not had such a good laugh in ages!!! I love the Celtic and the "beautiful sight' for what is probably mother-in-law. You know, I once tried to use one of those translation sites for a project about libraries and everything came out so garbled I seemed illiterate. That was not the impression I hoped to make.

Why not put the images up here? If they are easy to read, I will try to translate them. No promises, but I can try.
And this was the best translation of the bunch. My ability to decipher the handwriting may leave something to be desired.

I am attaching scans of the entries I have found to date. One is on Audrin, the other on Deniau. Any help you can give me would certainly be appreicated. I took a look at some of the other sites such as Moribahn and Ille-et-Vilane and found the one for Loire-Atlantique is really nice and easy to work with. I could wish for an index but what they have is a big step forward.

Thanks, Anne!


I sent to you a very quick, first pass, translation of the registrations. I see I got Deniau as Denian, but you will still have the basics.

Something you may want to look into: notaire's offices, called cabinets, are never shut down. They just change hands and were often hereditary. Their entire files for centuries can often be found in the departmental archives. If you started researching the history of notaires named Deniau in Nantes, you could get lucky and find quite a lot.

Hope this helps,

Thank you so very much. You have been more than helpful. I now have some leads where I was floundering before. While it is confusing to an outsider, I am just beginning to understand how the system works in France. I know I have just "put my toe in", so to speak, but at least I am learning. Thank you.

You are most welcome. Have you been reading my blog at all? It explains quite a lot about how to go forward in French genealogy:

Good luck./
I have been reading your blog and have bookmarked for ready reference. There is a wealth of information there.

Together with a close friend and cousin, I are going through the records on Loire-Atlantique to add more to the Audrain tree. I am also working to gather information to have Pierre Audrain (1723-1812) recognized by the D.A.R. That will take a bit of time but it is definitely worth it.

Thank you, Anne, for all you do to help.

I did not go to Vincennes today as my daughter was not well, but I am going tomorrow. I'll let you know if I can find anything easily on your man.
Take care,



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