The Seigneuries and Townships of Beauce, Bellechasse, Dorchester and Lotbinière
(Note, this is my last post until September. I have many more compilations ready to post then. Meanwhile, happy summer! Jacques)
The region south of the St. Lawrence River between Quebec City and the U.S. border is a tranquil area of forests and farmland. The main highway hugs the shore of the broad St. Lawrence, crossing tributaries such as the Chaudière River, and the land rises gently to the south into the Appalachian Mountains. Today, this area is known as the Chaudière-Appalaches region of Quebec.
The region has a long history of human habitation. Before the 1600s, the people of the Abenaki First Nation lived here. The French founded Quebec City in 1608 and started to grant large tracts of land called seigneuries to aristocrats and military officers. Each seigneury was long and narrow so it could border the St. Lawrence River, the only transportation corridor. Most of the early Europeans were men, including soldiers and fur traders, and the population remained small. In 1663, women arrived in the colony, chose husbands and started families. The population of New France grew quickly.
In 1759, the British defeated the French at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, and a new era of British rule began. Chaudière-Appalaches saw many new settlers arrive from England, Scotland and Ireland, and for the most part they got along well with their French-speaking neighbours. Today, the area remains primariiy French-speaking.
This 59-page guide in PDF format is designed to help you find the records of people who lived in this region. Click on this link to access the PDF:
- 1 Information on the seigneurs who owned much of the land, including the Lotbinière and Taschereau families.
- 5 Descriptions and histories of the region’s seigneuries.
- 20 Descriptions of the area’s townships, which were established by the British and date from the 1790s and 1800s. This guide includes links to the churches and cemeteries in these townships.
- 27 Descriptions and history of the counties in the region, including when they were created and how they were named and settled.
- 30 Towns that changed names over the last 240 years. If the town where your ancestor lived had different names over the years, this will help you identify it.
- 44 A list of regional cemeteries in each county or municipality.
- 45 Notaries prepared a variety of legal documents for their clients, including land transfers, wills and business agreements. The list of notaries shows where each one worked, the years he practiced and the location of his records at the archives today.
- 59 Contact information for the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec in Quebec City.