Quick tip – Napoleonic army records available online

During the French occupation (1795-1813), many Dutch young men were conscripted into Napoleon’s army. The French department of Defense has now made scans of the military records for this period online on the “Mémoire des hommes” [Memory of the men] website.

The website contains military records of other French soldiers as well, including those who served in World War I, but these won’t include many Dutch men. An indexing project is underway, but scans can already be browsed.

Go to the Mémoire des hommes website. The “Individual Careers” menu has a link to the “Registres Matricule” that will allow you to click “Fair Une Recherche” [Do a search] > “consulter l’état du fonds” to get the finding aid that allows you to click through to the actual branches of the army and then through to the records. Most registers have an alphabetical index in the back. Yes, it’s cumbersome, but if you find something it can be fun!

mocking image showing France and the Netherlands as a bridal couple promising eternal faithfulness

Dutch-French alliance. Credits: Anonymous artist, collection Rijksmuseum (Public Domain)

Hattip: Annemieke van der Vegt for suggesting this topic.

About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink, CG®, QG™ is a professional genealogist in the Netherlands. She holds the Certified Genealogist credential from the Board for Certification of Genealogists and has a post-graduate diploma in Family and Local History from the University of Dundee. She has been doing genealogy for over 30 years and helps people from across the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.


  1. Matthew Rekman says

    For Dutchmen in Napoleon’s Army, one might have the best luck looking under the 124th Infantry Regiment. Just a thought, this regiment was basically made up of only Dutchmen

  2. Kevin Potter says

    I am looking for the name of a soldier from Brabant Wallon, Belgium who was taken prisoner at Waterloo. His name was Jean Baptiste Reny-Rimbeau. Even if I could find the likely unit for a soldier from that area it would help.
    Thank you for any aid that you can provide.

  3. Lukas Muller says

    The Dutch ministry of Defense has made available a database of Dutch soldiers that were enlisted into Napoleons army. https://www.archieven.nl/mi/2231/?mizig=364&miadt=2231&milang=nl&misort=last%5Fmod%7Cdesc&miview=tbl

  4. Looking for information on Christian Friedrich Hirschmann of Alkmaar, a surgeon who is said to have died at Smolensk, Russia (Rusland). October 1812.

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