My grandfather Jean Jacques Mialocq, was born Oct. 11, 1859 in Maslacq, France to two French citizens. My father, Urbain Leopold “Frenchy” Mialocq, born in San Francisco in 1914, was a dual French/American citizen by birth to his two French parents, Jean-Jacques Mialocq , and his wife, Catherine Bourdeu.

I was then born in San Francisco, to Urbain Mialocq and Mary Celoni in 1942. Urbain was a dual French/American citizen. At that time ,and for the first 30 years of my life, no French law existed requiring my father to register my birth.

SECTION I Articles 18 to 18-1 Of French Persons by Parentage Art. 18 (Ord. no 2005-759 of 4 July 2005) IS FRENCH A CHILD ONE PARENT OF WHOM AT LEAST IS FRENCH. Acquisition at birth occurs either if the person is born in France or abroad. The 1973 Law established gender equality for the transmission of French nationality at birth. Parentage has an effect on the transmission of nationality if it is established before the age of 18.

Thus, I was born a legal dual French/American citizen.

I want to relocate to France and need a Certificate of Nationality to do so. An attorney advised me that the 50-year rule prevents that. My research shows the following:

Starting in 1973, the acquisition of foreign citizenship did not affect French nationality for both men and women. The only way to lose French citizenship was through an EXPLICIT REQUEST, as dual nationality is officially recognized by the French state. French people living abroad can transmit French nationality to their children for an infinite number of generations, although a procedure (article 23-6 of the Civil Code).for certifying the loss of French nationality exists for descendants of French citizens long-established in a foreign country (Lagarde 1997).

Art. 23-6 (Act #73-42 of 9 Jan 1973) The loss of French nationality.

The ONLY way to lose French citizenship is through an explicit request, as dual nationality is officially recognized by the French state. To date, there has NEVER been such a request. I have not lost my birthright due to declaration as I would never declare anything but loyalty to and love for France.


Thus, the ONLY remaining way for me to lose my citizenship is the clause that says:

“This section allows for the loss of my citizenship if my ancestor from whom I hold French nationality, “had not themselves the apparent status of French.”

There is no question about my grandfather. He was President of the Ligue Henri IV in San Francisco which promoted French art and culture in America. He introduced the first french language classes in San Francisco.

The problem: My grandfather was killed when my dad was only 3. My dad knew only that he was French and did not know of the existence or location of his family in France. Later in life he traveled to France to locate our family but was unsuccessful. He died in 1993. The attorney tells me that he fails the “possession d'état de Français”.

Urbain used the name FRENCHY MIALOCQ throughout his life. His Social Security Death Certificate reads URBAIN FRENCHY MIALOCQ and I have a newspaper article about his work for the needy and the headline reads "Frenchy: Always Willing to Lift a Hand for the Needy". This certainly indicates that he gave the "apparent status of being French".

I believe I am still a dual French/American citizen and entitled to a Certificate of Nationality. Am I right? Your response is anticipated.


1 Answer 1


Reading about all this in English is a bit confusing. “Possession d'état de Français” has a more specific meaning: It means being treated as a French citizen by the French authorities. Concretely, you need something like having been granted a passport, voting, or serving in the French army. As far as I can tell from your question, nobody in your family has done anything like that since 1914 and if that is indeed the case, the 50-year rule definitely applies.

Promoting French culture abroad, locating (or trying to locate) your family in France, feeling a strong bond to the country, being called “Frenchy” by your friends, etc. simply isn't relevant and does not establish the “apparent status of being French” as you call it. In practice, this type of reasoning won't impress the Service de la nationalité des Français nés et établis hors de France and if you would apply for a certificat de nationalité, you would almost certainly attract a refusal. You would then need to go to court, which is always uncertain and costly under the best of circumstances and seems pointless if even your attorney does not believe in your case. So unfortunately I share the conclusion that you will not be able to make use of your French citizenship.

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