The “Comtat Venaissin” belongs to the Holy-Seat from 1274 and Avignon from 1324. They were united to France in September 1791. Over several centuries, the Jews of the Comtat Venaissin were grouped into 4 communities or “carriers” : Cavaillon, Carpentras, l'Isle-sur-Sorgue and, somewhat apart, Avignon. After 1793 the former Comtat became a part of the Département of Vaucluse (84).
number of works are available on this subject. (the classification numbers are
those of our library).
MOULINAS, René. Les Juifs du Pape en France. [Privat], Paris, 1981. Les Juifs du Pape. Albin Michel, Paris, 1992 (Cote L060)
MAYER-CRÉMIEUX, Michel. Histoire d'un généalogiste Judéo-Comtadin. Sarcelles, 1988 (Cote B062).
Among recent works about these communities, of interest to genealogists, we must call your attention to the work of Jean-Claude COHEN, "Dictionnaire des Juifs du Comtat Venaissin des 'Carrières' à 1808 et au delà". J.C.COHEN has systematically studied the documents of the "carrières" from 1763 to 1792, using in part the civil registers after 1792, and the Declarations of 1808, for the cities where they exist (Carpentras, Pertuis, Cavaillon, Avignon and many other sources back to the 16th Century. A preliminary version exists in our Library (Cote L144). The whole file can be searched on line at http://ngj.vjf.cnrs.fr/BdeD/menu_bdd.htm. The presentation of this work gives an excellent introduction to the history of the papal Jews, a bibliography, and a discussion of surnames and given names.
Recently (end of 2006), Jean-Paul BOURLAC has opened a very useful Website http://genebour.free.fr/newjufoxy/ giving many genealogies based on Jean-Claude Cohen's work. Moreover one can see in this site the pictures of 1600 acts, mainly weddings.
At times one finds in these registers of 1808 the professions, the date and place of birth, their filiation, and naturally, the date and place of birth of minor children. The registers of Avignon and Cavaillon have been microfilmed. For that of Carpentras (which includes the filiations) a copy may be found in the Library (Cote B099), and furthermore the list of names is given in above mentioned work of Michel MAYER-CRÉMIEUX.
After the Revolution the communities were dispersed. See the book of Lucien SIMON, "Les Juifs de Nîmes et de Pont-Saint-Esprit from 1792 to the end of the 19th century". (see Publications)
By joining the Cercle de Généalogie Juive you will be able to benefit from the mutual assistance of other members and to participate in the special groups. A group for the Comtat Venaissin has just begun in our branch in Marseille.
We also call your attention to the existence of the Association Culturelle des Juifs du Pape, Musée Juif Comtadin, rue Hébraïque, 84300 Cavaillon, Tel: (+33)4 90 76 00 34. They publish an interesting revue "L'Echo des Carrières".