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A 1914 USA immigration form says Marie Paudois was born in "St. Nagille, France" but a web search only turns up "Rue St. Nagille" in various French cities. Can't find a village or department by that name.  My suspicion from other documents is that it's in Bretagne or another western department.

Is there an online gazetteer that is likely to help? We have almost two weeks unplanned and we're already in northern Spain, so we'd like to go through there.

enter image description here

  • If I search for "St.-Lagille" I get a zillion things about "alagille syndrome" and if I filter that out, the search engine insists that I misspelled "langille". :-( – WGroleau Apr 21 at 22:25
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    Do you have a picture of the text on the immigration form? – sempaiscuba Apr 21 at 22:45
  • 1914. Interesting that the FHL called the record set "St. Albans, Vermont" when the card says place of entry was Montana. – WGroleau Apr 22 at 8:04
  • St Albans, Vermont was where the District office was located that dealt with Canadian border crossings. The so-called "St Albans lists" deal with entries from other points of entry, not just Vermont. What is the US National Archives microcopy publication number for the image in your question? The form refers to the Act of 1924 so this can't have been created in 1914, even if it refers to an 1914 arrival. It may be a WPA-era copy of an older record. – Jan Murphy Apr 22 at 23:47
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    No joy with 'St.-Lagille' yet, but I did find that the Father-in-Law actually lived (and died) in Lacordaire, Saskatchewan, and Marie's maiden name appears to have been Ménage. – sempaiscuba Apr 23 at 0:25
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OK, this is too long for a comment, but isn't yet an answer. More documenting a search.


The Father-in-Law, Julien Paudois, actually lived (and died) in Lacordaire, Saskatchewan. His grave is on Find a Grave, and his probate records are in the Saskatchewan Probate Estate Files, 1887-1931 collection of Familysearch. (His middle-name was Pierre.)

This suggests that the card was filled out by someone who misheard (or mis-transcribed) what was said. This does not fill me with confidence about the birthplace actually being 'St.-Lagille'!


Julien Paudois Sr appears (with variant spellings of his name) in the Canadian census:

  • Canada Census, 1901
  • Canada, Northwest Provinces Census, 1906
  • Canada Census, 1911

From which I found his wife, Josephine, and his son, also named Julien.


The search also led me to Julien (jr)'s immigration card:

Julien Paudois immigration card

Notice that his place of birth is given as being the same as Marie!

His son's name was given as 'John':

John Paudois immigration card

Anglicised from 'Jean' (see below). Julien (Jr) also (kind-of) anglicised his name to 'Jules' in the 1920 census.


I also found the record the christening of Julien (jr)'s child, Jean Jules Marie Joseph Paudois, on 9 July 1907 at Notre Dame de la Salette, Forget, Saskatchewan, Canada (in the collection Saskatchewan, Catholic Church Records, 1846-1957, also on Familysearch).

From that we also have his wife, Marie whose maiden name was Ménage.

The 1911 census gave her immigration year as 1904. (Julien Jr arrived in 1888).

I haven't yet found their Canadian immigration records (which might give a place of birth).


I followed their later lives in US Censuses of 1920, 1930 and 1940, but they just give birthplace as 'France'.

They weren't yet naturalised US citizens at the time of the 1920 census where Julien, Marie, and Jean identify as 'aliens' ('al' in the 13th column, just after the year of arrival, given as '1915'). [Note that the surname has been indexed as 'Pandors']

1920 census

In 1930 they had moved to Oregon, and entered 1914 for the year of arrival, and 'na' for naturalised.


Ancestry has a record of a 'Julius Paudois' in Valley County, Montana in the Montana, County Naturalization Records, 1867-1970 collection. This is our man (a big THANK YOU to @JanMurphy for that!).

This gives us the date of birth for Julien Jr, as 26 May 1875, but place of birth is just given as France:

Naturalisation declaration of Julien Paudois

Marie/Mary's date of birth is confirmed as 1878, but the place of birth given is also just 'France'.


We also know from his deposition that Julius had been a naturalised citizen of Canada. Unfortunately, according to the website of the Library and Archives Canada:

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada holds records of naturalization and citizenship from 1854 to the present. The originals of records dated between 1854 and 1917 have been destroyed.

Apparently, the card index that survives 'rarely contains any other genealogical information', so is unlikely to help in our search.


There is also a 'Mary Paudois' in the collection Records of Aliens Pre-Examined in Canada, 1904-1954. (once again, a big THANK YOU to @JanMurphy!)

Even given the terrible image quality, it's clear that this doesn't give us any more useful information to help identify here place of birth.

However, if this is the right person, it seems she arrived in Montreal in July 1903.


Next steps:

  • Try to locate Canadian immigration records &/or passenger lists for Marie Ménage (1903/1904), Julien & Josephine Paudois (1888), and Julien Paudois Jr (also 1888).

in the hope that they might specify their actual place (or places) of birth in France.


If anyone fancies checking the information above, that would be great.

Also, if anyone has any suggestions, feel free to chip in.

Like I said, very much a work in progress ...

  • Good work -- Have you searched for them in the US National Archives' online catalog, in case there is an AR-2 (Alien Registration) from the 1940s? – Jan Murphy Apr 23 at 3:46
  • @JanMurphy Yes, but no hits. Of course, if the Julius Paudois naturalisation in Montana is him, then all the family were automatically citizens, not aliens. – sempaiscuba Apr 23 at 3:53
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    @JanMurphy True. It all depends on the date of the naturalisation (if it was a naturalisation). Irritating that I'm without an Ancestry subscription at home at the moment. – sempaiscuba Apr 23 at 3:57
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    @JanMurphy Found them through a search on Familysearch. The NARA microfilm is M1461, Roll 299, P250 Walter-P320 Rocco – sempaiscuba Apr 23 at 4:35
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    I had already found up to the census record, but a couple hours more poking turned up none of the rest, so thanks. Too bad it's on Ancestry.com—I refuse to give them any money. At least the links let me see the images. – WGroleau Apr 23 at 7:07
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The FamilySearch Research Wiki article France Gazetteers refers the reader to an online gazetteer at France Gen Web.

The FamilySearch Research Wiki article also lists several references that are at the Family History Library, many of which have not been microfilmed yet. You can try searching for other libraries closer to your current location by looking those titles up in WorldCat.

The FamilySearch Wiki Article France Finding Town of Origin has an overview of record types that are likely to have a place of origin in them.

Another option is to see if you will be near a Family History Center while you're on your trip. You can find a center by searching on the Contact Us page, reached by the drop-down menu on the top right of the FamilySearch home page.

You may also want to consult the FamilySearch Wiki article France Online Genealogy Records in case there are records that might help.

For further reading on the original record shown in the question:

In her article, Claire Kluskens says:

Some commercial genealogy companies are making these NARA microfilm publications accessible from any desktop via online access. Unfortunately, however, the online image quality is sometimes poorer than the image quality of the microfilm available for public use at the National Archives. Unfortunately, also, the explanatory information accompanying the online images often fails to note from which specific NARA microfilm publication and roll the image came from, which makes it difficult or impossible for conscientious researchers to completely and accurately cite the original data source.

It's a shame that you didn't have time to request a cleaner copy of this image from the US National Archives before going on your trip.

  • That gazetteer and one other have no "Saint-Lagille" which is probably a wild guess at spelling by the American at the border crossing. (Although the existence of several "Rue Nagille" suggests it might be valid. I know about most of those other record types, but we are already over here. And we won't be in one place long enough for an FHC to order a film that isn't already digitized on FamilySearch.org – WGroleau Apr 22 at 8:01
  • I included the link to the other record types to make my answer more generally useful to someone else who had a similar problem. I included the information about the non-online gazetteers in case you were near a library or FHC and could browse a physical book. You could try chatting with FamilySearch to see if a consultant whose specialty is France has an idea of where the place might be, and could do a quick lookup for you. FamilySearch discontinued film ordering in 2017, so I didn't expect a center to order film for you. – Jan Murphy Apr 22 at 23:33

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