Prior to the arrival of the first European settlers, the area around the Gatineau hills of Quebec, north and west of Ottawa, was the home of the Anishnabe Algonquin First Nations people. Between about 1800 and 1900, western Quebec was settled by British, American, Irish Protestant, Scottish, Irish Catholic, French Canadian and Germanic families. The Germanic settlers had a strong presence in this region. To my knowledge, there were few Loyalists or Huguenots.
Prior to 1845, people and goods were transported primarily by barge along the Ottawa River, which separates Quebec and Ontario. The steamboat that operated on the Ottawa River between Montreal and Ottawa could not manage the rapids between Carillon and Grenville, so in 1854, the Carillon and Grenville Railway, a short 12-mile-long portage railway, was organized.
Prior to 1845, when they purchased land, finalized business deals or wrote their wills, the settlers of western Quebec likely dealt with notaries from Montreal, and perhaps those in Vaudreuil and Rigaud. The section of this compilation that lists notaries begins in 1845, since the Judicial District of Hull was a late-comer among judicial districts across the province.
Today, this region is well served by two superb archives and four regional genealogical societies. Contact details for all these places can be found in the attached compilation.
BAnQ Gatineau – Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec
LAC – Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa
OGS – Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society
SGO – Société de généalogie de l’Outaouais
Gatineau Valley Historical Society
Pontiac Archives (genealogy society, located in Shawville, QC)
See: Townships of Pontiac and Gatineau Counties plus the the township of Hull
The contents of this 23-page compilation are as follows:
Page 1 the settlers (including farmers, businessmen, militia officers, politicians)
Page 3 the counties in 1791
Page 4 the townships in chronological sequence
Page 11 regional cemeteries
Page 13 Outaouais region (a list of cities, towns, villages)
Page 14 description of notarial records
Page 15 the notaries
Page 22 area archives and genealogical resource centres