Since Madame Guillotine tended to be rather sharp with the French nobilty following the French Revolution, titles became much disused. After civility returned to the country, titles were however once again legalized by the new government and courts to the degree of upholding the titles that were already in place. No new titles have been or are likely to be created and the existing lines are rapidly dying out. Ownership of titles can be difficult to establish for those wanting to reclaim them.
I will add more here later, but for now a good source of information on French titles and nobility may be found at the Nobility in France site.
I welcome feedback regarding this or other genealogy issues.
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Page last revised Thursday, 13 July 2000