Do you have a historical family connection with France? Maybe you have a French last name but don't know much about where your ancestors came from. Or maybe you know exactly where your French ancestors lived, and would like to explore the area with an English-speaking French genealogist.
When our travelers tell us they have French ancestry that they'd like to explore during their trip to France, we know just the experts to contact. We will pass on your information to them, and they can then check the historical records and find out as much as possible about your French family history. This may include:
- Their exact names and occupations
- Where they lived and worked (including some of the actual buildings, if they are still standing)
- And sometimes we even discover some interesting stories/secrets/skeletons in the closet!
Carlos Lluch is based in a village in the south of France, not far from the city of Carcassonne. As a professional genealogist and tour guide, he can plan a personalised tour that helps you explore your family history in France.
Here's our interview with Carlos!
Interview with French Genealogy Expert, Carlos Lluch
Bonjour Carlos! We would love to introduce you to our readers so they can learn more about you and what you do as a genealogist in France. Please tell us a bit about yourself!
I was born and raised in Barcelona and did all my studies at a French school, so I am bi-cultural - Spanish and French. I moved to France in 2010 and left my beautiful city for a tiny medieval village (500 souls) in the south of France where I live now. I work as a tour guide and offer historical tours and wine tours. I am also a counselor in my village, and I help at a local blind people’s association.
What’s your favorite thing about being a tour guide in France?
France has so much to offer in terms of monuments and history. Every town, city, village, and field has a historical story to tell. It is so rich, but also so important and interesting because of the impact that French history has had on life today. For example, human rights, World War II, religious wars, art history, colonialism etc. It is fascinating.
When and how did you first become interested in genealogy?
My father inherited a house built in 1753 with several abandoned floors full of cases, boxes, and chests containing old papers. As a teenager, I spent long summer days reading documents and letters and discovering my family’s past.
Then later, after I moved to France, I started to investigate some engraved names on the mausoleums of my new village for my tours.
What made you decide to study genealogy? What was the most useful and interesting thing you learned?
The idea came during 2020. I joined this online degree at Nimes University to obtain a Genealogy diploma. I wanted to go further in my research and do it professionally.
I find it very interesting to uncover family secrets. I also like to bring back to life a whole family story, or the story of a family house that has been changing hands through the centuries.
Have you discovered any interesting stories during your research?
Yes! In the village of Lagrasse, there is a tomb of a lady who was born in 1767 and passed away in 1867 aged 100!
I did some research on her and discovered that at the time her husband died in 1836, they were living in separate houses, and that a few weeks before he died, he gave all his property to their son so she could not touch a penny of his fortune. Why? It seems there was a big family quarrel. More to research there - fascinating!
What is the most interesting or fun thing about planning genealogy tours for travelers?
The idea of finding your ancestors or visiting their place of birth, walking down the same streets they did, visiting the same temple or church, gathering at the cemetery, or even learning to read the original handwriting on a document is very exciting and moving.
It is very gratifying and rewarding for me to help and guide visitors who are not familiar with all the genealogy research procedures in France. Preparing, executing but most of all sharing the experience of these Genealogy tours (I call them Genealtours) is something very exciting and fun!
If you're visiting Carcassonne in southern France, we can organise for you to do a guided tour with Carlos!
Read some stories about travelers we helped discover their family history in our blog post 'Trace your French ancestry & discover your WWI & WW2 family history'.
And if you're interested in exploring your French ancestry or family history in France (for example, if you had family members who fought on the WWI battlefields of Verdun or in the WWII battle of Normandy) - >>> please reach out to us!
We love planning these kinds of very personal trips!