French Genealogy

The people of the nation of France have been a mixture of numerous diverse cultures over the centuries. When France held colonies in other parts of the world, their native cultural traits were also influenced. France is in the western portion of the European continent and for many years did have a unique cultural identity.

The modern-day French person relates to the name ‘French’ as a nationality along with their language and not a measure of ethnicity to one country. Emigrants from Africa, Asia and other European countries have made France their homeland adding their own ethnic ascendancy traits. There have also been many interracial relationships adding to the mix.

There are some regional cultural and traditional customs located in the rural areas of France. Those practicing the Roman Catholic faith, 85 percent, are found in the rural areas. In the urban regions a blend of Catholics, Protestants, Muslims and Jews are an important element and the backbone of the French belief in freedom of religion.

The French ethnic make-up in reviewing French genealogy includes the Celtic people along with Slavic and Basque (near the border with Spain) minorities. The Celtics or Gauls were in the French region until the Roman Empire conquered the area. The earliest people, called ‘Franks’ were a Germanic tribe, who control the area after the Roman Empire collapsed. Another major minority are Arabs, most of whom emigrated from the North African colonies France once held.

French cuisine is closely identified with the French. Wine, cheese and fruit are the essence of a French meal. In France, there are some 27 different wine regions. The types of food and its preparation will vary based on the regions across France. Overall, the French people love good food.

Approximately 88 percent of the French speak the French language. There are many who also speak secondary languages. In the Pyrenees Mountains there is the Catalan dialects. In the southern end of France, millions speak the Occitan dialects. Breton, a Celtic language is founded in Brittany, in the northwest corner of France.

In studying French genealogy is seen that families and maintaining strong family values are imperative to the French. Their friends are of high importance, to be there for each other is crucial. The kiss of greeting on the cheek is a French trait.

Courtesy and a degree of formality can be found in daily life for the French. Being fashion conscious is a daily routine. France has played an important role for centuries as a cultural centre, with Paris as a world centre of high culture.

Over the centuries the French have become a highly developed nation. Early French explorers traveled the world and established land claims in many locations.

The achievements of the French architecture include many great buildings constructed; such as Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris Opera House, the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, Palace of Versailles, the American Statue of Liberty and Eiffel Tower.

Louis Braille developed the braille printing for the blind and Louis-Jacques-Mande Daguerre the daguerreotype of photography. The stethoscope was invented by the French inventor and physician René Théophile Hyacinthe Laënnec. In 1830, first functional sewing machine was invented by French tailor, Barthelemy Thimonnier.

Beside the many types of French food, there was mayonnaise which was invented in France hundreds of years ago, around 1756 by the French chef working for the Duke de Richelieu.

An attitude of relaxed and enjoying life are some of the personality traits of the French over the years. Yet, they tend to be noticeable reserve especially around strangers. They also do not like to be in a hurry. This is the reason, coming to a decision can take quite awhile.

< Return To Culture