WHO IS Chantal COSNAY in 1998 :


NEWSPAPER ‘Le PROVENCAL’ on August 1997 :



Chantal COSNAY is a “family” genealogist. An appellation which makes a distinction with succession genealogists, who search for potential heirs and are professionally more numerous. Chantal COSNAY is the only one in Aix en Provence, since 1980, to offer this service, to carry out for her clients biographic, historical and family research.


When asked about the cost of such research, she answers straight out : “I am like an architect. It depends whether you want me to build a castle or a cottage. Sometimes I just lend a hand to unfreeze a piece of research and it costs 500 F. But if the request concerns a whole family-tree, it may mean years of work, which means in terms of money several dozens of thousands of francs..”


Her clients are of a great variety. Certain families, which stem from the provençal aristocracy, want to regild their blazon. Other ones, disregarding etiquette, are simply looking for their origins. “There has been a great fancy for genealogy these past few years. I think that it is not merely a fad, but a social need as the end of the century is close now” she explains. “Since the fifties, people have migrated a lot, they have moved away from their places of birth. And the fact is that we all need to feel that we belong somewhere...


Moreover, relationships between grandparents and grandchildren are less developed than before. And the fact is that it is the grandparents who carry out what we call in the historical field the “transmission of the invisible”, in other words the family past, but also the collective past of society are less and less passed on through these traditional channels. The search for ones family-tree is conducive to the knowledge of where we come from, and where we stand in a lineage”.


Professionally trained as an electronician, Chantal COSNAY admits that it gave her a taste for rigour, orderliness, organization. Carried by her passion for genealogy, she added to her palette a degree in history, followed by a master’s degree based on the history of the family in the XVIII th century.


“Sometimes you spend 8 hours seated, silently, looking for a birth certificate, a marriage certificate. It’s an almost monastic occupation, made of rigour and method. But from time to time, you also need chance, to find one day something you’ve been looking for months...” And she adds : “Genealogy is like a recipe : 20 % method, 20 % documentation, 20 % experience and habit, 20% intuition, and 20 % chance !”


 You can write to :

Chantal COSNAY, professional genealogist, 21 rue Emeric David,

F-13100 AIX en PROVENCE, France, tel. 04 42 26 87 79  

          e-mail : famylle@wanadoo.fr