Ancestry UK

Asile de Petits Orphelins, Paris, Seine, France

The Asile de Petits Orphelins (Refuge for Young Orphans) was founded in 1849 by Sister Rosalie Rendu and Madame Mallet, following a cholera epidemic in Paris that year. It initially occupied premises at 23 Rue Pascal, then in 1853 moved to what was then 303 Chauseé de Ménilmontant, later designated as 119 Rue de Ménilmontant, and now 303 Rue des Pyrénées. It was directed, under the supervision of a board of directors, by the Sisters of St Vincent de Paul.

The boys' section received boys from 3 to 7 years of age who were required to be legitimate, born in the department of the Seine, and who were orphaned or semi-orphaned; exceptionally, abandoned children were accepted. Tbere was annual fee of 180 francs, plus 100 francs at the time of entry. Boys were separated by age, into 3 classes, up to the age of 13 years, when they were placed in other institutions.

By 1904, girls were housed in a separate building at 118 Rue de Ménilmontant. Their age at entry was 5 to 7 years, with 40 places being available. By 1912, the age of admission for both sexes was from 7 to 13 years.

Asile de Petits Orphelins, Paris, early 1900s. © Peter Higginbotham

Asile de Petits Orphelins, Paris, early 1900s. © Peter Higginbotham

Groups of children from the Asile could spend a few weeks at a Colonie de Vacances (holiday home).

Asile de Petits Orphelins — holiday home, Paris, early 1900s. © Peter Higginbotham

Asile de Petits Orphelins — refectory, Paris, early 1900s. © Peter Higginbotham

The Rue de Ménilmontant site is now home to the Centre Educatif et Unités de Vie.


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  • None identfied at present — any information welcome.


  • None identified at present.