Réunion Island, France Church Records

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Réunion Wiki Topics
Proposed flag of Réunion (VAR).svg.png
Beginning Research
Record Types
Réunion Island, France Background
Local Research Resources

For information about records for non-Christian religions in Réunion Island, go to the Religious Records page.

Online Resources and Websites[edit | edit source]

Ancestry.com, findmypast.com, and MyHeritage.com can be searched free of charge at your local family history center or the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Finding Church Records and Civil Registration Online[edit | edit source]

Each Department of France has archives that provide digitized images of these records.
Here is the website for the Department Archives of Réunion, where you will find these records.
National Overseas Archives, Réunion

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The predominant religion is Christianity, notably Roman Catholicism, with a single (Latin Rite) jurisdiction, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saint-Denis-de-La Réunion. Religious Intelligence estimates Christians to be 86.9% of the population. [1][2]

Information Recorded in the Records[edit | edit source]

Different denominations, different time periods, and practices of different record keepers will effect how much information can be found in the records. This outline will show the types of details which might be found (best case scenario):

Baptisms[edit | edit source]

In Catholic and Anglican records, children were usually baptized a few days after birth, and therefore, the baptism record proves date of birth. Other religions, such as Baptists, baptized at other points in the member's life. Baptism registers might give:

  • baptism date
  • the infant's name
  • parents' names
  • father's occupation
  • status of legitimacy
  • occasionally, names of grandparents
  • names of witnesses or godparents, who may be relatives
  • birth date and place
  • the family's place of residence
  • death information, as an added note or signified by a cross

Marriages[edit | edit source]

Marriage registers can give:

  • the marriage date
  • the names of the bride and groom
  • indicate whether the bride and groom were single or widowed
  • their ages
  • birth dates and places for the bride and groom
  • their residences
  • their occupations
  • birthplaces of the bride and groom
  • parents' names (after 1800)
  • the names of previous spouses and their death dates
  • names of witnesses, who might be relatives.

Burials[edit | edit source]

Burial registers may give:

  • the name of the deceased
  • the date and place of death or burial
  • the deceased's age
  • place of residence
  • cause of death
  • the names of survivors, especially a widow or widower
  • deceased's birth date and place
  • parents' names, or at least the father's name

How to Find Records[edit | edit source]

Digital Copies of Church Records in the FamilySearch Catalog[edit | edit source]

Watch for digitized copies of church records to be added to the collection of the FamilySearch Library. Some records might have viewing restrictions, and can only be viewed at a Family History Center near you, and/or by members of supporting organizations. To find records:

a. Click on the records of Réunion.
b. Click on Places within Réunion and a list of towns will appear.
c. Click on your town if it appears, or the location which you believe was the parish which served your town or village.
d. Click on the "Church records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
e. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the listing for the record. FHL icons.png. The magnifying glass indicates that the record is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the records.

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

You will probably need to write to or email the national archives, the diocese, or local parish priests to find records. See French Letter Writing Guide for help with composing letters.

Catholic Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing to a Local Parish[edit | edit source]

Earlier records can be held at the diocese, with more recent records still kept in the local parish. To locate the mailing address or e-mail address for a diocese or local parish, consult:

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Saint-Denis de La Réunion (Latin: Dioecesis Sancti Dionysii Reunionis; French: Diocèse de Saint-Denis de La Réunion) is a diocese of the Catholic Church located on the island of Réunion.

  • Established 1712 as the Apostolic Prefecture of Islands of the Indian Ocean, on territory split off from the Diocese of Malacca (in Malaysia)
  • On 8 May 1807, it lost Asian territory to the Apostolic Prefecture of Batavia, now the Archdiocese of Jakarta.
  • In 1818, it was renamed the Apostolic Prefecture of Bourbon, after the island's then colonial name.
  • On 10 January 1830, it lost Oceanian territory to the Apostolic Prefecture of South Seas Islands (New Zealand).
  • In 1841, it lost Indian Ocean territory to the Apostolic Prefecture of Madagascar.
  • In 1850, it was promoted and renamed the Diocese of Saint-Denis de La Réunion.


References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Réunion", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Réunion, accessed 25 March 2020.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Religion in Réunion", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Réunion, accessed 25 March 2020.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Roman Catholic Diocese of Saint-Denis de La Réunion", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Brazil, accessed 14 March 2020.
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Catholic Church in Brazil", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Catholic_Diocese_of_Saint-Denis_de_La_R%C3%A9union, accessed 25 March 2020.