Translating French words for genealogy research can be tricky.

Translating French words for genealogy research can be tricky.

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Another document where translating French words to English can be confusing and easily mistaken is the obituary. For the most part, if one has a ‘smattering’ of French, it’s easy enough to translate the general gist of the missive.

When it comes to family relationships and terms relating to them, it is again risky to assume a definition when the terms may look and sound like something completely different.

Below is a list of commonly used terms for family relationships and statuses.

beau-fils step-son, son-in-law
beau-frère step-brother, brother-in-law
beau-père step-father, father-in-law
beaux-frères step-brothers, brothers-in-law
beaux-parents step-parents, parents-in-law
belle-fille step-daughter, daughter-in-law
belle-mère step-mother, mother-in-law
belle-soeur step-sister, sister-in-law
cousins(es) cousins
enfants children
épouse wife, spouse
époux husband, spouse
famille family
feu late, former
fille daughter
fils son
frère brother
grand-mère grandmother
grand-père grandfather
mère mother
neveux nephews
nièces nieces
oncle uncle
parents parents
père father
petits-enfants grandchildren
petits-fille granddaughter
petit-fils grandson
soeur sister
tante aunt
veuf widower
veuve widow


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