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The Parish Register of Mentoulles (Pragela Valley)

As noted previously, the Mentoulles Parish Register was not microfilmed with the others. This parish was in the Pragela Valley, an area usually under French control. When the Edict of Nantes was revoked (October 1685), those who were unwilling to submit to the forced conversion to Catholicism fled, although it had been declared illegal to leave the country. Catholic priests were brought in to replace the pastors.

In most cases, they began their own registers, but the Mentoulles register had a great deal of space left. Materials were not easily obtained in those days, and so the priest chose to continue the Catholic records in the Waldensian register. When the records were gathered much later to centralized archives, the Mentoulles register was placed among the Catholic, not the Waldensian, records.

But the Mentoulles parish register was published in the BSHV, the Bulletin de la Societe d’Histoire Vaudoise. The entire surviving register, generally covering June 1629 through October 1685, was printed in issue number 22 (1905), pages 51-292. A detailed index of names is included in that volume.

Records for the year 1674 were missing from the register, but the French government at the time required that a civil copy be registered. The civil copy for the missing year (1674) was later found and printed in number 133 (1973), pages 49-56.

Starting in 1979, the Piedmont Families Organization (PFO) began extracting the printed Mentoulles parish register, much like the other parish registers had been extracted in the Piedmont Project years earlier. However, this time the results were not placed on family group records. By that time, the Family History Library was not accepting additional family group records.

Nevertheless, the information for each individual identified in the Mentoulles register was submitted to the International Genealogical Index (IGI) at the Family History Library, and the individual information is now available on Family Tree. All Waldensians in the Mentoulles register with enough information to identify them were included.

Because it was necessary to submit individuals rather than families, if you have ancestors from the Pragela area, also known as Val Cluson, you should try to access the BSHV issue of the Mentoulles parish register. The comprehensive index facilitates finding entire families and extending your pedigree until the records run out.

This parish register has not been microfilmed; the only access is the BSHV issue at the FHL or at your local library through Interlibrary Loan.

Other Pragela Valley Records

In 1911, a Waldensian descendant, David Bonin, published the register of the birth, marriage, and death records of the Waldensians in Pragelato (Pragela). The entries are in French, whereas the in­troduction is in German. The FHL film number is 1183712 item 6.

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