If you had ancestors who were early immigrants to Quebec’s Eastern Townships, the records of notary Leon Lalamme might help you learn details about their lives, but you will have to travel to Sherbrooke to consult them.
The first Europeans to settle in the Eastern Townships region (now known as Estrie) were farmers from Vermont, New York state and New Hampshire. They were looking for free land. After the American Revolution, Loyalists who had supported the British flooded across the border. Having supported the losing side in the war, they were promised new land in Canada. Most of them came from Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Vermont.
The trouble was that, in this part of Lower Canada, other settlers were already living on the land. The colonial government passed an act to legalize the allotment of lands in the Eastern Townships, and several notaries were appointed to settle these issues.
Among the notaries appointed to this task were two from Montreal: Louis Chaboillez, who practiced from 1787 to 1813; and Peter Lukin, who practiced from 1790 to 1814. Pierre Gamelin, who practiced in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu from 1815 to 1855, was a third appointee.
Leon Lalanne.was another notary who served Loyalist & non-Loyalist American families in the Eastern Townships. He practiced between 1799 and 1845. He lived in the village of St. Armand (now known as Frelighsburg) until 1842, then moved to Brome County and served families there until his retirement.
As well as acting as a notary to former American families, he also served the needs of Dutch, Scottish, British, Irish and French Canadian residents. His records at the Archives nationales du Québec are mostly in the English language, and total 8.23 linear metres (28 feet). Notarial acts cover agreements such as land sales and rentals, marriage contracts, wills, apprenticeships and protests over unpaid loans.
The microfilms of Lalanne’s notarial acts (Cote # CN 502, S26) are stored at the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) in Sherbrooke, They have not been digitized. The BAnQ Sherbrooke is located at 225 rue Frontenac #401, Sherbrooke QC J1H 1K1, tel: 819-820-3010, toll free: 1-800-363-9028; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note that the Bedford Judicial District (District judiciaire de Bedford) was a group of villages, towns and townships within Missisquoi, Brome and Shefford counties. The St. Francis Judicial District (District judiciaire Saint-François (Sherbrooke)) included villages, towns and townships in Sherbrooke, Stanstead, Compton, Richmond and Wolfe counties.
Among the other notaries who practiced in the Eastern Townships and southwestern Quebec in the early 19th century were Edouard Faribault, Farnham,1826-1832; Richard Dickinson, Bedford, 1826-1877; Henry Bondy, Sweetsburg,1829 -1869; Samuel Gale, East Farnham, 1802-1819; Louis Barbeau, Laprairie, 1804-1864 (his files were burned, but some still exist in the Ellis Papers at the Archives); Pierre Besse,1809-1810, Trois-Rivières and 1811-1854, Richelieu.
Over the next few months, I intend to post more information on the notaries who served the residents of the Eastern Townships. Some, but not all, of these notaries are included on the website of the BAnQ; see http://bibnum2.banq.qc.ca/bna/notaires/
Finally, thanks to Pennie Redmile for help with this post. She has been a family lineage researcher for 35 years and is also an expert on Quebec notarial records. She has compiled information on hundreds of Loyalist and non-Loyalist families, plus British, Scottish, Irish families who settled in Missisquoi, Brome and Shefford Counties, as well as the Upper Richelieu Valley (Missisquoi Bay) from the 1780s onward. She is now retired.
Compiled by: Jacques Gagné email@example.com 2016-10-10