Introduction to the d'Hozier Armorial général de France
|Indexes for the Manuscript Blazons|
|Manuscript Illustrated Blazons|
|Printed Armorial général de France ou registres de la noblesse de France|
To figure out which manuscript volume to consult you can download the printed indexes from Google Books:
Paris, Louis. Indicateur du Grand Armorial Général de France: recueil officiel dressé en vertu de l'édit de 1696 (34 volumes de texte et 35 volumes d'armoiries) par Charles d'Hozier, Juge d'Armes. 2 vols. Paris: Librairie Nobilaire de Mme. Bachelin-Deflorenne, 1865.
This a special index compiled for corporate arms for villages, towns, monasteries, guilds, etc. Even corporate bodies were taxed for their use of arms.
I have noticed that these indexes are not perfect. Some surnames are missing and others are not spelled correctly.
The "Armorial général de France" blazons of the arms can be found in the Manuscript Français (Ms. Fr.) section of the BNF's manuscript division. The Ms. Fr. numbers are 32194-32227. To access these blazons via Gallica click on the Ms. Fr. number in the following table:
|Volume||Ms. Fr. No.||Province / Area|
There is a second set of these blazons in 48 volumes in Ms. Fr. 32146-32193, but this is apparently a duplicate set, it is not marked as authentic, it is not used by the printed indexes, and it is not accessible online.
Blazons are the technical description of arms using heraldic terms. These volumes are handwritten, but relatively easy to read because of the clear script. Each volume for a province or area starts with an index of names. Besides the blazon of the arms, each entry will list the holders name and usually their social position or occupation. Occasionally, the arms of husbands and wives are shown together. Lastly, when the arms are those of widows, the entry will usually be the arms of their deceased husband.
|Blazon of the arms for Gabriel Le Neuf de Montenay, Seigneur de Sourdeval,
Ms. Fr. 32213.
M. de la Roche-Lambert-Mions published transcriptions of the blazons in four volumes with a fifth volume containing miscellaneous information from the "Armorial général de France."
|Volume 1||Paris, Versailles, Isle-de-France, La Rochelle, Guyenne, Montpellier-Montauban, Toulouse-Montauban, and Béarn.|
|Volume 2||Orléanais, Touraine, Bourges, Poitiers, Auvergne, Limousin, Bourbonnais, and Lyonnais.|
|Volume 3||Alsace, Lorraine, Bourgogne 1 and 2, Champagne, Dauphiné and Provence 1 and 2.|
|Volume 4||Bretagne 1 and 2, Flandres, Picardie, Normandie-Alençon, Normadie-Caen, Normandie-Rouen, and Soissonais.|
|Volume 5||Miscellaneous heraldry information.|
I have not used these transcripts extensively, but the little I have does not give me confidence that they are complete or accurate.
There are also many books that contain printed versions of these blazons mostly organized by province. One of the best examples is:
Meurgey de Tupigny, Jacques, ed. Armorial de la généralité de Paris. 4 vols. Macon, 1965-1967.
This is a well done example of a work concentrating on the "Armorial général de France" manuscript of arms for a particular region. It provides the blazons for the families living in and around Paris. It also has blazons for corporations, churches, and guilds. He also has a list of published armorials based on the "Armorial général de France" manuscript for other provinces. The introductory material in these volumes is an excellent explanation of the 1696 arms tax and the history of the "Armorial général de France."
Many of these published provincial armorials based on the "Armorial général de France" can be downloaded from Google or Gallica.
The color illustrations are now available via Gallica and each file contains an index. The volumes are organized by province and some of the larger provinces are broken down further by généralités (an administrative division). The colored illustrations are in Ms. Fr. numbers are 32228-32262. To access these blazons via Gallica click on the Ms. Fr. number in the following table:
|Volume||Ms. Fr. No.||Province / Generality|
The BNF has done a great job indexing these drawings. Once you download the file and open it in Adobe Acrobat you can use the Bookmarks feature to go find the surname you are interested in locating. Or if you prefer, while on Gallica, you can lick the Table des matières button on the left to see the alphabetical list of surnames in a volume.
Arms for Gabriel Le Neuf de Montenay, Seigneur de Sourdeval, Ms. Fr. 32247.
Assigned arms for Jean Le Neuf, bourgeois de Caen,
Ms. Fr. 32247
In the course of your genealogical research you might also see a brevet d'Hozier. This was a certificate d'Hozier issued to a person for a small fee (1 livre 10 sous) illustrating the arms and indicating the location of the arms in the "Armorial général de France." As these were issued to individuals, there is no central collection for them. These certificates are found by chance preserved usually in family papers that find their way to various archives. Auguste Vachon, the retired Ottawa Herald, provides the following example of a brevet: which shows the arms of Madeleine Meynier Laguide, the widow of François-Marie Perrot, the former governor of Montréal and Acadia:
The arms of Madeleine Meynier Laguide, the widow of François-Marie Perrau (Perrot), the former governor of Montréal and Acadia, from the Archives nationales du Québec.
Unlike the collection of written and illustrated blazons that focus on heraldry and have little genealogical content, the published Armorial général de France is in essence a genealogical work. It is not really part of the 1696 tax scheme. It consists of genealogical dossiers for prominent noble families of France and is based mostly on the holdings of the Cabinet des titres. Each dossier starts with an engraving of the family arms, and then provides generation-by-generation genealogical facts. For large families, cadet branches are included in following sections. Occasionally, large genealogical tables summarizing the family are presented. It is important to understand that some of these dossiers also include fabricated ancestors, exaggerated titles, and imaginative genealogies. The dossiers must be used with caution.
Hozier, Louis-Pierre d', et al. 1738-1908. .Armorial général ou registres de la noblesse de France. 7 registers in 13 vols. Paris: Firmin-Didot:
1st register, 1st part, 1738, A-Mu;
1st register, 2nd part, 1738, Na-Z;
2nd register, 1st part, 1741, Abzar-Hérault;
2nd register, 2nd part, 1741, Hodeneau to Vinier;
3rd register, 1st part, 1752, Aluye-Loëre;
3rd register, 2nd part, 1752, Malbose-Yversen;
4th register, 1762, Aroux-Vanolles;
5th register, 1st part, 1764, Ailhaud-Julianis;
5th register, 2nd part, 1764, Laurenti-Villette;
6th register, 1768, Abrigny-Viart;
7th register complementary, 1st part, 1868, Abaquesné-Guillaume de Chavandon;
7th register complementary, 2nd part, 1872, Hennequin-Pocquet;
7th register supplemental, 1908, Poupart-Souhier;
General Table (Index), 1884.
Only the first six registers were published by Louis-Pierre d'Hozier in collaboration with his son Antoine-Maire d'Hozier. The 7th register was the work of Ambroise-Louis-Marie d'Hozier. The General Table were done by others.
You can search for these volumes online, but I have not found a single source for downloading all of them. FamilySearch.org does offer the best collection, but as of June 2016, it is still missing the 6th register and the General Table. To add to the frustration, the volumes/registers are not always listed as I have shown them here and you might find several versions of the same volume published as re-editions. Some libraries have assigned some rather odd and confusing volume numbers to this work. Please be aware that the quality of the scans vary and often the large genealogical charts are left folded or are not completely opened when scanned.
Histoire & Généalogie offers this work on CD. Although I have not seen this product, if you find you must consult this work frequently, then you might want to purchase it on CD. I am not sure if the large genealogical charts are properly scanned on this product.
I have provided a link to the General Table which you can use to locate the register you need to search for online. This index only covers the first six registers. There is also a separately published index to the first six registers:
Eynde, Gerald de, comp. Armorial général: ou Registres de la noblesse de France; nouvelle table générale augmentée et refondue avec celle des six premiers registres; précédée d'un système de concordance des renvois de l'édition du XVIII siècle avec les rééditions Paris: Éditions du Palais Royal, 1970.
This index is very rare and I have only seen this book in the Buhr Shelving Facility at the University of Michigan.
BNF, “C comme Cabinet des titres,” http://blog.bnf.fr/gallica/index.php/2015/06/03/c-comme-cabinet-des-titres (accessed 10 May 2016).
__________, "H comme Hozier" http://blog.bnf.fr/gallica/index.php/2015/06/09/h-comme-hozier (accessed 10 May 2016).
Wikipédia, “Armorial général de France,” https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armorial_g%C3%A9n%C3%A9ral_de_France (accessed 10 May 2016)
Vachon, Auguste, "Les armoiries personnelles en Nouvelle-France," http://heraldicscienceheraldique.com/les-armoiries-personnelles-en-nouvelle-france.html (accessed 10 May 2016).
This page, and all contents, are Copyright © 1998 by John P. DuLong, Berkley, MI. Created 26 December 1999. Last modified6 September 2019..