All posts by Jacques Gagné

Oral History in Quebec


These institutions are highly active in the field or Oral History :

  • Concordia University,
  • Dawson College,
  • UQAM (Université du Québec à Montréal),
  • Centre d’histoire de Montréal,
  • Université de Sherbrooke,
  • UQAC( Université du Québec à Chicoutimi),
  • UQAR (Université du Québec à Rimouski.

In full partnership and cooperarion, BAnQ with all of the groups and above educational institutions listed have agreed to post online at BAnQ Numérique, as dossiers at BAnQ Advitam, as documents or books at BAnQ Catalogue, and papers penned by professors, authors, historians, university students, college students in both the English and French languages, all addressing: Oral Interviews.

the following is what can be found at BAnQ addressing Oral History.

  • BAnQ Numérique– Oral History – Histoire orale – Three online databases : 48,765 online dossiers / 13,117 online dossiers / 10,247 online dossiers.
  • BAnQ Catalogue – Oral History – Histoire orale – Three databases (some of the items can be
  • BAnQ Advitam – Oral History – Histoire orale – One database with 1,161 dossiers

Click below to access database:

Oral Archives Québec

The British Isles, American, European Immigrants to Québec from 1759 onward – Monteregie


The following database contains a collection of selected works by authors who wrote about the many nationalities who immigrated to Canada from the late 1700’s to today.

Below is a brief sample of authors and the title of their books.

Douglas J. Borthwick  Montreal its history : to which is added biographical sketches,  .

Patrick Donovan – The Irish – Irish Famine Orphans in Canada

Mary Alice Downie – Chinese in Montreal: Early voices

Dany Fougères – Montreal A history of a North American City

Laurent Busseau – Montreal’s Italian Community – Guido Nincheri

Collectif (various authors) – List of notaries whose notarial records are deposited at the archives of the city and district of Montreal

Collectif (various authors) – 1881 – Montreal Guide Book with Map

Jacques Lacoursière – People’s History of Quebec

John McConniff – 1890 – Montreal – Illustration, history, scenery, grand institutions – Vol 1 & 2 & 3 & 4

Ken McGoogan – Flight of the Highlanders – The Making of Canada Montreal’s Jewish community from the 1880s to 1945

Denis Vaugeois – The first Jews in North America. The extraordinary story of the Hart family 1760-1860

Click the following link to access the database.

the-british-isles-american-european-immigrants-to-quebec-from-1759 montreal-regions

The British Isles, American, European Immigrants to Quebec from 1759 onward – SouthWest Quebec – Richelieu Valley

The British Isles American, European Immigrants to Quebec from 1759 onward – South West Quebec – Richelieu Valley

The database consists of the many authors who wrote about immigration to Canada.

Below is a sampling of the titles and their content.

Robert J. Fraser – Scots of the Seaway Valley – As others see us >

J.I. Little – Borderland Religion – The emergence of a Canadian identity 1792-1852

Burton Lang – Old and new placenames of South Western Quebec

Harvey Mann – Samuel Jacobs (Schmuel Jacobs) – The Jew of St. Denis (Saint-Denis-sur-Richelieu) 1761-1786

J. L. Hubert Neilson – Sorel – St-Jean-sur-Richelieu – Laprairie – The Royal Canadian Volunteers 1794-1802

Click the link below to open the database:

The British Isles American, European Immigrants to Quebec from 1759 onward – South West Quebec – Richelieu Valley









The Great Fire of 1852

The Great Fire of 1852 in Montreal

The strongest portion of this dossier resides with John Lovell (Lovell Directory) on pages 8 and 9 – At a point in time when readers at Genealogy Ensemble realize that their ancestor or ancestors in 1852 had lost their home or homes as per a listing of streets of Montreal in which streets practically all houses were destroyed on July 15th 1852 – See pages 4 and 5 for the streets most affected by this major fire.

Very few books still in print are available in 2020 about this event. On the other hand, Érudit, McCord Museum, BAnQ Numérique, BAnQ Patrimoine, BAnQ Advitam, BAnQ Documents, Collections Canada have books relating to the Great Fire.

BAnQ Patrimoine and BAnQ Documents are two new (fairly new) online dossiers introduced by Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec without fanfare (hype) in which one will find online and in-house digitized dossiers (documents) which address historical events.

Click here to access  Great Fire of 1852 in Montreal

Contents:     The Great Fire of 1852 in Montreal


Pages   4 -10    Authors

Pages 10-11   Repositories

Pages 11 -15  History

The Rebellions of 1837-1838 in Lower Canada

The Rebellions of 1837-1838 10-04-2020

The Battle of Saint-Eustache, Lower Canada Patriotes.jpg

In 1837 and 1838 Upper and Lower Canada led rebellions against the Crown and the political status quo. The root cause of resentment in Upper Canada was against the corruption and injustice by local politicians

Louis-Joseph Papineau and his  Patriotes, as well as more moderates led the rebellion in Lower Canada. Their pleas for responsible government, were rejected in London.

The rebellion led directly to Lord Durham‘s Report on the Affairs of British North America, and to The British North America Act, 1840, which partially reformed the British provinces into a unitary system, leading to the formation of Canada as a nation in 1867.

Among the recommendations in this report was the establishment of responsible government for the colonies, one of the rebels’ original demands (although it was not achieved until 1849). Durham also recommended the merging of Upper and Lower Canada into a single political unit, the Province of Canada.

The contents of this database: contains splendid books, essays, studies, articles, biographies, dissertations, papers of the English and French languages. Many of these works are written by university professors, historians, a few archivists of the 19th and 20th centuries plus those of more recent times.

Notes: above excerpts are from    and The Canadian Encyclopedia.

Click here to open the database: The Rebellions of 1837-1838 10-04-2020

Pages   1 – 44     Authors

Pages 44 – 52     Patriotes

Pages 53 – 54     Repositories

Pages 54 – 57    History

The Châteauguay, Lacolle, Ormstown and Plattsburgh hostilities of 1812-1814

The Battle of Châteauguay

The Battle of Châteauguay on October 26, 1813, was one of many skirmishes during the War of 1812. .Approximately 1,500 Canadian and Aboriginal soldiers commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Charles-Michel de Salaberry confronted and halted Hampton’s force of more than 4,000 men near Ormstown They thwarted an attack by the U.S. in their attempt to capture Montreal, in order to cut off a major supply route for the Canadian and aboriginal soldiers.

Salaberry and his men used several clever tactics and tricked their opponents by blowing bugles and shouting, giving the impression that they were a much larger group.. This trickery was successful.

The skirmish itself lasted several hours and involved intense and repeated thrusts and volleys on each side.

Salaberry’s force of militiamen, Voltigeurs Canadiensfencibles and Aboriginal allies were able to fight back the Americans, who soon retreated.

The Battle of Châteauguay, a national historic site is 50 km southwest of Montréal on the north bank of the Rivière Châteauguay between the towns of Très-Saint-Sacrement de Howick and Ormstown.

This database contains several free online books of interest to both historians and genealogists.

Contents: Map of conflict area. Authors, Archives and History

Click Download to view the attached file.

Quebec During the American Invasion 1775-1776



The following excerpt:

The Journal of François Baby, Gabriel Taschereau, and Jenkin Williams sets the tone for the contents of this database. It focuses on the American invasion of Canada in 1775- 1776

“Available for the first time in English, the 1776 journal of François Baby, Gabriel Taschereau, and Jenkin Williams provides an insight into the failure to incite rebellion in Québec by American revolutionaries. While other sources have shown how British soldiers and civilians and the French-Canadian gentry (the seigneurs) responded to the American invasion of 1775–1776.”

This journal focuses on French-Canadian peasants (les habitants) who made up most of the population; in other words, the journal helps explain why Québec did not become the “fourteenth colony.”

The authors presented in this database and other sources have shown how British soldiers and the French-Canadians responded to the American invasion of 1775–1776

This database consists of the writings of numerous authors who wrote diaries, journals, manuscripts, documents, and books on the subject. Many of these are complete and free online.

In addition there   is  a list of Repositories.

Click here to view Quebec During the American Invasion 1775-1776


The Protestant Channel Islanders

From about 1596 onward, Protestants families from various regions of Normandie and a portion of Bretagne, the modern-day Département of Côtes-d’Armor  first settled within the Channel Islands. Many of these families had resided along the coast of Normandie (Manche) were fishermen. They continued their trade on the Channel Islands. Around 1789 hundreds of families moved to Gaspesia and the Maritime Provinces, where many continued their seafaring activities in the new world.

Click on the attached PDF for a The Protestant Channel Islanders 50+page research guide. Researchers who have been looking for Protestant families who came to New France will find this guide helpful. It contains :

Protestant historical societies – National

  • Historical Societies – Regional
  • Archives – France
  • Archives départementales
  • Archives municipales communales
  • Bibliothèques -Libraries
  • Ancient Protestant newspapers
  • Publishers
  • Regional Genealogy
  • Most common family names
  • Genealogy Ensemble


Slavery in New France in the 17th & 18th Centuries

August 1, 2020, Emancipation Day in Canada

In 1734, a huge fire destroyed part of Montreal. Marie-Joseph Angélique, a black slave, was accused on setting the fire deliberately as she tried to escape from her owner. She was arrested and found guilty, then she was tortured and hanged and her body was burned.

Angélique was one of many slaves, some black, others Indigenous, in New France.  Slavery was legal in Canada for more than 200 years. The Slavery Abolition Act brought an end to chattel slavery throughout the British Empire, coming into effect on August 1, 1834 in Britain, Canada, and several other colonies.

The attached PDF  Slavery in New France   is a 23-page research guide to the topic of slavery in New France in the 17th and 18th centuries. It contains the following contents:

Page 2     A link to a complete online copy of the book L’Esclavage au Canada français – 17e et 18e siècles” (in French) Author: Marcel Trudel – 474 pages Publisher- Les Presses Universitaires Laval, Quebec, Canada 1960

Pages 3-17    A List of authors who have written about slavery in Canada

Page 17- 20       Repositories in Quebec

Pages 21-22     Various online sites

Pages 22-23     Publishers


How to Find Protestant Abjurations in Quebec

Over the past several years, I have posted several articles about the Huguenots, or French Protestants, who came to New France. Once here, many of them signed abjurations, or declarations in which they renounced their faith, and they became Catholic.

The act of ‘’abjuration’’ was the first step to be taken by a Protestant individual. The second step was an act of ‘’confirmation,’’ conducted by a Catholic priest at a local or regional parish or at a regional convent. Guy Perron in his superb blog refers to this subject as Confirmations.

Recently, the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) has replaced its online research tool Pistard with a much better search engine, Advitam, and this has made the task of finding these abjurations and confirmations much easier. The first six entries in the attached research guide were obtained by using Advitam.  See

Through BAnQ Advitam, BAnQ Numérique or BAnQ Ask a Question/BAnQ Poser une question, you can obtain an online download for free within days simply by searching for the ‘’cote #’’ (Shelf # at BAnQ) and an approximate date of an event.

The nine-page research guide attached here   Abjurations in New France   includes links to registers of abjuration, to the bulletin of the historical society of French-speaking Protestants of Quebec, to Guy Perron’s excellent blog, and to a list of books and articles on the subject.

Over the last few years, Genealogy Ensemble has posted three listings of Huguenot Family Names of New France and Quebec. The links to these lists are at the end of the PDF.

  • Huguenot family names listed by the Huguenot Trails periodical of the Huguenot Society of Canada prior to 2002.
  • Huguenot family names issued by Michel Barbeau, a retired genealogist. (Michel Barbeau’s work is highly precise but is a short list in comparison to other sources.)
  • Huguenot family names compiled by myself from books, essays, papers issued over four centuries by leading historians, academics, archivists, authors, librarians in Canada and in France.

This last list was compiled from books stored at the Collection nationale within the Grande Bibliothèque de Montréal, books and dossiers at BAnQ Vieux-Montréal and books which can be researched online at BAnQ Numérique and through various online sociétés savantes (literary societies) and finally from the online pages of Fichier Origine (

Over the past few years, I have posted a series of research guides to finding Protestants in France. Here are links to my articles about the Protestants who came to Quebec:

Huguenot Refugees, April 2, 2014,

The Trail of the Huguenots in Europe, the U.S.A. and Canada, April 4, 2014,

Register of Abjurations, Feb, 3, 2015,

Huguenots – Index of Names, March 6, 2015,

The Protestant Churches of Quebec City, 1629-1759, Feb. 3, 2019,

The merchants and Fur Traders of New France, part 2, H-Z, May 10, 2019,

Protestants in Quebec, Dec. 22, 2019,

Also of interest: Marian Bulford’s articles about the Huguenots who immigrated to England. After the British Conquest of 1759 at the Plains of Abraham, British Governors James Murray, Guy Carleton, Frederick Haldimand, Lord Dorchester (Carlton) appointed chief justices, judges and a few lieutenant-governors and senior military officers who were at ease in the French language and all of the above were descendants of Huguenot families who had settled in the London region and also in Northern Ireland. These Huguenot administrators and military officers under Murray, Carleton, Haldimand, Dorchester attended the same churches mentioned by Marian.

Marian Bulford, Huguenot of England, Part 1, April 25, 2018,

Marian Bulford, Huguenot of England, Part 2, June 15, 2018,

For help finding Protestant families s in France in the 16th and 17th centuries, see my series of regional research guides, posted on Genealogy Ensemble in 2019-2020, as well as:

How to Search for Huguenot Ancestors in France, May 20, 2018,

Huguenot Family Lineage Searches, June 3, 2018,

Researching Your French Ancestors Online, May 13, 2018, (the attached updated PDF describes how to research in the Archives départementales de France, the country’s 95 regional archives)