An interest in freshwater red algae began in France over 200 years ago with naturalists, such as Bory de St. Vincent and Sirodot, who described numerous new taxa primarily within the Batrachospermales. Since the late 1800s, there has been limited research on these organisms in France. The present work was undertaken to revisit regions historically known to have a diversity of Batrachospermales. Overall, nine taxa were identified from 22 streams. Nine specimens representing six species were collected from eight streams near Rennes. From the Dax region, 16 specimens of six species were collected from 12 streams. Two streams were sampled near Vernon yielding two species. The rbcL gene was sequenced for all specimens and phylogenetically analyzed. Sequence data revealed that the Batrachospermales were broadly represented by the nine taxa collected. For most taxa, sequence data are available from other parts of the world, but these are the first for Batrachospermum vogesiacum. Although there have been changes in land use, such as road construction, many taxa documented by the pre 20th century French naturalists are still present in the flora today.