Category Archives: Research tips

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:

The_Seigneuries of Beauce Lotbiniere Dorchester and Bellechasse

Contents:

  1. 1 Information on the seigneurs who owned much of the land, including the Lotbinière and Taschereau families.
  2. 5 Descriptions and histories of the region’s seigneuries.
  3. 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.
  4. 27 Descriptions and history of the counties in the region, including when they were created and how they were named and settled.
  5. 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.
  6. 44 A list of regional cemeteries in each county or municipality.
  7. 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.
  8. 59 Contact information for the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec in Quebec City.

The townships of the Eastern Townships and the seigneuries of the Upper Richelieu River Valley

Today, Quebec’s Eastern Townships and Richelieu Valley areas feature fertile farmland and forests, lakes and rivers, wineries, ski hills and cycling trails for tourists, but at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th centuries, these areas were being newly settled by former colonial soldiers, British families, new immigrants from Scotland and Ireland, and Loyalists from south of the border.

This extensive guide to the settlement of these areas includes a description of the counties and townships in southern Quebec where these people settled. It does not attempt to cover any of the First Nations people who lived here before the European settlers arrived.

Quebec’s Eastern Townships and the Upper Richelieu Valley

Here are the topics you will find in this 120-page PDF:

Page 1   Biographies of the governors, land surveyors, missionaries and seigneurs who were influential in this area. Also geographical information about the Eastern Townships and a map of the area in 1792.

Page 6   An alphabetical list of the townships and counties of southern Quebec, with a brief history of the settlement of each area. Places highlighted in the Eastern Townships include Acton, Barford, Brome County, Bury, Compton, Drummondville, Magog, Megantic County, Missisquoi County, Richmond, Sherbrooke, Sutton, Stanstead and Thetford Township. The list of places in the Upper Richelieu Valley begins on p. 68 and includes Lacolle, and Saint-Valentin.  Where place names or jurisdiction have changed, I have indicated the old and new information. I have included links to a variety of web pages including archival sites, cemetery lists, and information about area churches.

Page 72   A list of links to cemeteries in these areas.

Page 75   A list of judicial districts and information on some of the notaries who worked in these communities. This section includes links to the more detailed articles I have written and published on Genealogy Ensemble about important notaries in these areas such as Louis Chaboillez and Peter Lukin.

Page 109   A list of repositories, including branches of the BAnQ, Bishops University and Protestant church archives.

Page 114   Links to some of my own articles on topics such as the saddlebag preachers and the German presence in the Eastern Townships.

Page 115   A list of authors, historians, genealogists and archivists who have contributed to our understanding of the history and people of the Eastern Townships.

Most people do not combine the Eastern Townships (better known in Quebec as les Cantons de l’Est, or l’Estrie,) with the Upper Richelieu River Valley. The Richelieu River lies to the west of the Eastern Townships and connects Lake Champlain to the St. Lawrence River. I did so because, following the British Conquest of 1759 at the Plains of Abraham, British officers, British and Scottish soldiers, and Loyalist families fleeing the United States after the American Revolution began to emigrate to the shores of the Richelieu River.

They settled along the length of the Richelieu, from the fortified town of Sorel on the St. Lawrence River to the village of Lacolle at the U.S. border, populating towns such as Chambly, St. Johns (also referred to as Dorchester in the 1780s and later renamed Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, the original name under French rule), Abbotsford, McMasterville, Otterburn Park, Mount Johnson (Mont-St-Grégoire), the Seigneury of Sir John Johnson, the Seigneury of Gabriel Christie, Henryville, Christieville, Odelltown, Clarenceville, Noyan, Fadden Corner and hamlets along the western sector of Missisquoi Bay.

One reason people chose to live in these areas was that much of the land in Quebec was owned by a few landowners called seigneurs. This system of land ownership, based on feudal principles borrowed from France, continued until the middle of the 19th century. The  Loyalists especially, who had owned their own land in the Thirteen Colonies, did not wish to settle on seigneurial lands and pay a rent yearly to a seigneur whom they had never met. So Governor Frederick Haldimand decided to create the Eastern Townships of Quebec and Governor Guy Carleton (Lord Dorchester) who replaced Haldimand (second term as governor) supported Haldimand’s decision.

 

 

Huguenot Family Lineage Searches

This week’s compilation, “France Huguenot Family Lineage Searches,” is designed to help you find your Protestant ancestors in 16th to 18th century France. It includes links to books and societies that can help you find your ancestral name in France prior to the French Revolution, and it focuses on Protestant aristocratic families. Click on the link to read the pdf document:

France Huguenots Family Lineage Searches

This guide complements the compilation published May 20, 2018 on Genealogy Ensemble on finding Huguenot families in France, “How to Search for Huguenot Ancestors in France”  https://genealogyensemble.com/2018/05/20/how-to-search-for-huguenot-ancestors-in-france/

In the past, a great deal of research was done on the Huguenots who came to Canada, however, many of the researchers who contributed to this field are now retired or have died. For example, Huguenot Trails (a periodical published by the Huguenot Society of Canada) addressed the Huguenot families who settled in Canada. This periodical stopped publishing in 2002, and the society closed its doors in 2006. The lead authors were Ken Annett and René Péron.  See my post, “Huguenots – Index of Names,” March 6, 2015  https://genealogyensemble.com/2015/03/06/848/  This article consists of a list of family names that appeared in “Huguenot Trails.”

Another fine piece of research is Fichiers Huguenots en Nouvelle France, by Michel Barbeau (http://pages.infinit.net/barbeaum/fichier/index.htm). This database includes only the Huguenot families who settled in New France prior to 1759.  See also, Huguenot Family Names in Nouvelle France, Québec under British rule, Lower Canada, Québec under Confederation – Various Authors. This and other reference works can be found at the Grande Bibliothèque de Montréal or at the Collection nationale (same building, different collections.)

Here are some other compilations I have prepared in the past on the Huguenots:

“British, Irish, Scottish, Loyalist, American, German, Scandinavian, Dutch, Huguenot Families in Lower Canada and Quebec 1760,” April 8, 2015

https://genealogyensemble.com/2015/04/08/british-irish-scottish-loyalist-american-german-scandinavian-dutch-huguenot-families-in-lower-canada-and-quebec-1760/

This compilation is a list of villages, towns and townships in Quebec where various groups of people settled. Many of these places have changed names or disappeared over the years.

 

French Protestant Churches in Quebec,” Nov. 22, 2015

https://genealogyensemble.com/2015/11/22/french-protestant-churches-in-quebec/

This compilation includes an article by Huguenot researcher René Péron, the names of Protestant ministers who served these French-speaking congregations and a bibliography for further reading. It includes brief histories of 187 churches, including Anglican, Baptist and other denominations, in which Protestant Quebecers have worshipped between 1600 and today. Finally, this extensive compilation tells you where to find the parish records of these churches.

 

The Trail of the Huguenots in Europe, the USA and Canada,” April 4, 2014

https://genealogyensemble.com/2014/04/04/the-trail-of-the-huguenots-in-europe-the-u-s-a-and-canada/

This short post is a quote from a book in the library of the Quebec Family History Society in Montreal, The Trail of the Huguenots in Europe, the USA and Canada, by G. Elmore Reaman, that points to the important role the Huguenots played in New France. According to worldcat.org, this book is available in more than 1000 libraries around the world. It is also available online, https://archive.org/details/trailofhuguenots00ream

 

Huguenot Refugees,” April 2, 2014

https://genealogyensemble.com/2014/04/02/huguenot-refugees/

This post links to several databases and websites.

 

Register of Abjurations,” Feb 3, 2014

https://genealogyensemble.com/2015/02/03/register-of-abjurations/

This post covers records of renouncements of faith by Huguenots in New France.

 

How to Search for Huguenot Ancestors in France

Many people know that the Huguenots were French Protestants who suffered persecution and left France around the 1600s to live in other countries where they felt more welcome. But not many genealogists know that it may be possible to trace their Huguenot ancestors in France. Doing this search online is possible but difficult, so the PDF document below is designed to help.

The Huguenots were members of the Église réformée de France (Reformed Church of France).  Some historians estimate that Protestants accounted for 10% of the population of France in the 16th century. That changed following the 1572 St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre in Paris. Over the next 200 years, the Huguenots left France for England, Sweden, Switzerland, Prussia, Ireland, South Africa, Dutch East Indies, and other countries. A few families settled in New France (Quebec) and Russia. Today, the descendants of these Protestant families can be found around the world.

This research guide has been created in two sections:

1600-1685 – Protestant families in France: where they lived. This section is a general overview of the regions of France under the Old Regime, prior to the French Revolution of 1789-1799. It is only a reference tool since family lineage searches in France are not conducted by regions or provinces under the Old Regime, but under modern-day Départements

The 93 départements of France in which Protestant families resided during the 16th, 17th and 18th Centuries (1565-1721) A département is like a state. Since the end of the French Revolution (1789-1799), France has been divided into 95 such states, and each département keeps its records in its own regional archives. There are no archives for Bretagne, Normandie, Aquitaine, Aunis or Bourgogne, nor for any of the more than 40 ancient provinces of France that existed prior to the French Revolution.

Before you search for your ancestor, you need to know where the family originated in France. All online family lineage searches in the 95 archives départementales of France (Regional Archives) are done by communes, meaning villages, towns, townships or cities.

From 92 of the 95 archives départementales of France (regional archives), you can look for your ancestor’s commune and then search church registers (registres des paroisses) from 1535 to 1789 or thereabout, civil registers after 1789, tables décennales (civil registers from 1789 onward by 10-year periods), notarial records. Notarial records are some of the oldest online documents you can access online.

Other online databases on the archives départementales de France will probably not help you in determining the places of origin of your Huguenot ancestors, because these date from after the French Revolution.

I have prepared a research guide to the archives départementales of France (See Jacques Gagne, “Researching French Ancestors Online,” Genealogy Ensemble, May 13, 2018, https://genealogyensemble.com/2018/05/13/researching-your-french-ancestors-online/) In that PDF, I have described the documents which can be viewed online for free. If you are looking for Huguenots, concentrate on the Parish Registers (Church Registers, Registres paroissiaux or Registres de paroisses) from as early as 1535, and Notarial Acts (Actes des notaires.) A few of the notarial acts are from the 15th century, but most from the 16th or 17th centuries.

A third option deals with Protestant Church Registers (Registres protestants or Registre pastoral or Registres des Pasteurs), These are the few Protestant church registers that have survived.

Another option for searching the Archives départementales de France is, once you have determined the name of the ”commune” your ancestor resided in, go through the index of family names within the ”commune” section of the search engine and see if your family names are listed, even if the church registers are Catholic.

If you don’t know where your ancestors resided, for each of the 95 archives départementales of France, I have included websites indicating where certain families lived.

Don’t forget that not all members of a particular family became a Protestant. Some family members may have stayed with the Catholic Church.

Finally, just to add one more complication, your family name in France would have had a different spelling than the modern one. My family name in America is Gagné, but the same family in France is Gasnier or Gagnier: same pronunciation, different spelling. When I research online in France, I enter Gasnier or Gagnier as the family name, never Gagné.

Huguenot Families in France 1565-1721

A note about sources:

Much of the information I have compiled about the Huguenots of 16th, 17th and 18th-century France comes from old books that have been digitized. Over a 12-year period, whenever I came across a book dealing with the Huguenots of France, I would extract the names of the communes in which these families resided and add the names of those communes to my database.

I also discovered a database with the names of the Archives des consistoires de France, in which the communes are listed, as well as the Protestant Seigneurs, the Protestant pastors and the names of some of the Protestant families affected by court decisions.

In addition, to these books, I looked at Michelin maps and Larousse dictionaries. They helped me find out, for example, that the town of Bergerac is part of modern Dordogne, a département within the south-west region of France. This region was home to many Protestant families in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.

You will find about 15 to 20 regional online databases of Protestant communes in 16th to 18th century France, but only for certain regions. A national listing of the modern départements of France in regard to the Huguenots of past centuries does not exist online.

Notaries of Lower Canada 1760-1848

If your ancestors lived in Quebec in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, you can discover a great deal about them from the records of their land transactions, wills, marriage contracts, apprenticeships and other documents that were prepared by notaries.

The key to researching these documents is to find the notary your ancestor hired — not an easy task since so many notaries practiced in Quebec over these three centuries. But if your ancestor’s first language was English or a language other than French, the search might be easier. Many notaries practiced in French only.

The PDF link at the bottom of this introduction will take you to a relatively short list of notaries who practiced between 1760 and 1848, roughly the period when Quebec was known as Lower Canada and was under British rule. These notaries prepared documents for residents who were of British, Scottish, Irish and American origin (both Loyalists and non-Loyalists), as well as people with Germanic, Dutch or Scandinavian roots. In addition, they served Huguenots who had lived in England before coming to Canada.

Notarial records are stored in the archives of the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ), and you can find them either online or on microfilm at the various branches of the archives.

The BAnQ has 10 repositories across the province, the largest being in Montreal and Quebec City. The others locations are in Sherbrooke, Trois Rivières and other smaller cities. The larger a BAnQ repository is, the smaller the online content of notarial acts because members of the public can more easily visit the big city archives in person. That means that, if your ancestor used the services of a notary in Gaspé, for example, his records are more likely to be online than if the notary was based in Quebec City.

At least 70% of the documents written and recorded by notaries in Quebec are available online. The main online repositories are:

http://www.banq.qc.ca/accueil/index.html?language_id=1  BAnQ online

Ancestry.com – Drouin Collection of notarial acts

Ancestry.com – BAnQ Collection of notarial acts

FamilySearch.org – BAnQ Collection of notarial acts (different years than the BAnQ online database of notarial acts)

http://www.genealogiequebec.com/en – Quebec Genealogy (Drouin Institute online)

There is a list of notaries on the BAnQ website at http://bibnum2.banq.qc.ca/bna/notaires/index.html?a=v_z

You can search for a notary by place and browse his indexes by year. Starting with these indexes might be a good strategy, especially if the notary did not have a very busy practice, or if you know approximately what year your ancestor married, died or made a business agreement.

The URL http://bibnum2.banq.qc.ca/bna/notaires/fichiers/portail/html/liste.html takes you to another list. If a notary on this list has an asterisk, clicking on the name will allow you to view his documents on the BAnQ website.

PDF:  Notaries of Quebec and Lower Canada 1760-1848

Details! Details!

Sometimes, being confined to just 500 words for our Genealogy Ensemble blog is hard to do. I love to talk and so, when writing a story I do tend to write as I talk. Fast, detailed and expressive. Well, at least I like to think that is the way I write!

For instance, in a story about my family immigration to Canada I wanted to included my very first driving lesson ever, with as much detail as I could. A little too much detail…..

The weather the ice the roads, my fear. I used them all in that story. I was then 32, and it was my first time behind a wheel, scared and nervous not knowing how to work the windshield wipers, sweat running down my back with my youngest child in the back seat as I could not get a baby sitter – I did not know anyone yet – and the absolute fear of being in control of a car. I still had not included all the stress of that day, such as waiting for the instructor to arrive, he was very late, due to the severe weather conditions and also angry with me, because I had called the school, to ask where he was. A great start to a first lesson.

I was advised that my story whilst interesting, could be edited a lot more. I never thought of doing that! I fear I will lose so much of interest in a story but I was gently reminded that this driving experience within the immigration story, was another story in itself. Well, yes, it was rather long I had to admit, so out it went for another day and another story. Lesson learned.

My Oxford Thesaurus comes in handy. I use it more frequently now, to try and write subtly using maybe one word for descriptions instead of two or three and also try to eliminate redundant words such as “the reason is because” and use instead “because” Now, I find myself listening to young people using ‘like’ before and after every sentence and thinking ‘that could be eliminated from your speech!’

It is hard to remove words, I love all the “details” but if we all have to abide by the 500 words rule for our blog then I too, have to find a way. (I just deleted ‘to do it’ at the end of that sentence, so maybe I am learning).

I have to ask myself, can I cut out all the ‘details’ use fewer words and still be interesting? I am going to try and my new motto will be, ‘If in doubt cut it out, or use fewer words’

PS: I managed to confine this story to 452 words!

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Church Registers: A Wonderful Resource for Researching Quebec Ancestors

APR 2

Posted by Jacques Gagné

Quebec’s Church Registers are a happy fact for anyone researching ancestors in that Canadian province.

From the early days of New France in the 17th century, a record was kept in a register for every Catholic birth, marriage and death. Priests kept a religious copy of the register at the parish and filed another state copy with the tribunal serving the relevant territory.

After the British Conquest in 1760, the right to keep registers of civil status was gradually extended – over the next century – to non-Catholics. At present, BAnQ’s Church Register collection contains the digitized records of births, marriages and deaths for Catholic, Anglican, Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Evangelical, Jewish and Lutheran churches.

Today, these records can be accessed from the Drouin Institute on Ancestry.com, as well as through the BAnQ (the National Library and Archives of Quebec) http://bibnum2.banq.qc.ca/bna/ecivil/as

and familysearch.org: https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1321742

The BAnQ website is available in French, but the above link will take you directly the Church Registry page. Records can be accessed in three ways: by the place where the act was established (parish, congregation, synagogue, etc); by the judicial district, according to the list established by the Territorial Division Act (L.R.Q., chapter D-11); or by region.

To consult the registers, select one of the headings on the left side of the screen. To display the pages in large format (PDF format, image mode) click on the headings for the desired pages.

What will you find at the BANQ Online Church Registers 1768-1912?

Protestant churches – English – 686 churches

Jewish Synagogues – 20 synagogues

Protestant churches – French – 28 churches

Catholic parishes – French & English – 1,027 churches

Catholic parishes – Italian & others – 15 churches

Catholic missions – French & English – 8 missions

Catholic Religious Communities – 18 convents

Hospitals (French & English) – 12 medical centers

Hospices – (French & English) – 5 institutions

Psychiatric hospitals (Asylums) –3 institutions

BAnQ and Family Search

Civil Registers (Parish Registers)

Catholic & Protestant Churches

Civil Registers (Parish Registers)

1621 to 1916

Births (baptisms), marriages, deaths: http://bibnum2.banq.qc.ca/bna/ecivil/

 BAnQ Catholic & Protestant Church Registers & Jewish Synagogue Registers: http://bibnum2.banq.qc.ca/bna/ecivil/

Consult the following PDF document to see a list of all the churches (Catholic and Protestant) and synagogues in the BAnQ online collection.

BAnQ Online Collection of Church and Synagogue Registers

The Acadians of Quebec

 

Between the early 1600s and 1755, a community of French-speaking farmers known as the Acadians thrived in Nova Scotia.

In 1755, war between France and Britain spilled into North America. When the Acadians refused to swear an oath of allegiance to the king of England, the colony’s British governor ordered the Acadian people deported. By the fall of that year, some 1,100 Acadians had been forced to board ships and were being transported to the American colonies including Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York. By 1758, most of the Acadians who lived on Île St. Jean (now Prince Edward Island) had also been deported. Some of the Acadians who escaped deportation died of starvation or disease.

Over the following years, the Acadians scattered. Some ended up in Louisiana and the Caribbean. Others sought refuge in New France, settling mainly in the Quebec City region, including Île d’Orléans and along the shores of the St. Lawrence River. Today, some of their descendants are still living in the province of Quebec while others have scattered across North America and around the world.

You can read an overview of the Acadian deportation, including a list of suggested books in English and French at http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/the-deportation-of-the-acadians-feature/

The best place to research the Acadians who settled in Quebec is at the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ). You can make telephone or email inquiries in English to the BAnQ in Montreal and to regional branches. For contact information about the Montreal branch and other regional branches, see: http://www.banq.qc.ca/archives/entrez_archives/centres_archives/

You should get a reply in English within a week to 10 days. These are free services available to anyone anywhere, in Canada or elsewhere. Similarly, you can email or telephone your question in English to the Grande Bibliothèque de Montréal (the main branch of Montreal’s public library) or to the Collection nationale within the Grande Bibliothèque de Montréal.

Here are two lists of books available on the subject, mostly in French, some in print, others digital:

http://iris.banq.qc.ca/alswww2.dll/APS_CAT_IDENTIFY?Method=CatalogueExplore&IsTagged=0&DB=BookServer&ExploreType=Subject&Stem=Acadiens–Qu%C3%A9bec%20(Province)%20&Style=Portal3&SubStyle=&Lang=FRE&ResponseEncoding=utf-8&Parent=Obj_459801367596814

http://iris.banq.qc.ca/alswww2.dll/APS_CAT_IDENTIFY?Method=CatalogueExplore&IsTagged=0&DB=BookServer&ExploreType=Subject&Stem=Acadiens–Qu%C3%A9bec%20(Province)–G%C3%A9n%C3%A9alogies%20&Style=Portal3&SubStyle=&Lang=FRE&ResponseEncoding=utf-8&Parent=Obj_37851487839769

Here are some other resources available at the BAnQ:

http://pistard.banq.qc.ca/unite_chercheurs/description_fonds?p_anqsid=201602210002324708&P_classe=CA&P_fonds=301&P_centre=03Q&P_numunide=925880

http://iris.banq.qc.ca/alswww2.dll/APS_ZONES?fn=ViewNotice&q=441513

http://iris.banq.qc.ca/alswww2.dll/APS_ZONES?fn=ViewNotice&q=134450

Here are some other links to information about the Acadians:

http://www.federationacadienneduquebec.com/accueil.php

http://acadiens.radio-canada.ca/les-grandes-familles-acadiennes/

http://museeacadien.org/lapetitesouvenance/?p=1093

http://www.acadiensduquebec.org/acadieduquebec.shtml

http://www.acadienouvelle.com/arts-et-spectacles/2016/04/18/second-livre-andre-carl-vachon/

http://www.renaud-bray.com/Livres_Produit.aspx?id=1550163&def=D%C3%A9portations+des+Acadiens+et+leur+arriv%C3%A9e+au+Qu%C3%A9bec(Les)%2CVACHON%2C+ANDR%C3%89-CARL%2C9782349723147

http://www.acadienouvelle.com/arts-et-spectacles/2015/06/16/prix-acadie-quebec-andre-carl-vachon-emu-davoir-ete-choisi-avec-edith-butler/

http://www.acadiensduquebec.org/acadieduquebec.shtml

For each of the towns and villages of Quebec in which Acadians settled between 1755 and 1775, you will find posted below the web address of the regional repository of BAnQ, the address of the local Catholic parish and a listing of local cemeteries.

The regional repositories of BAnQ contain documents about the Acadian families who settled nearby. Some of the content of files stored at various branches of BAnQ across the province are listed within the Pistard search engine at www.banq.qc.ca however, most family lineage researchers are intimidated by the complex research process involved.

>> Bastiscan – Champlain

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/1702.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=Batiscan

http://www.banq.qc.ca/archives/entrez_archives/centres_archives/ca_mauricie.html

>> Bécancour – Nicolet

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/832.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=B%E9cancour

http://www.banq.qc.ca/archives/entrez_archives/centres_archives/ca_mauricie.html

>> Becquets (Saint-Pierre les-Becquets) – Nicolet

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/812.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=St-Pierre-les-Becquets

http://www.banq.qc.ca/archives/entrez_archives/centres_archives/ca_mauricie.html

>> Berthier – Lanaudière

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/351.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=Berthierville

http://www.banq.qc.ca/archives/entrez_archives/centres_archives/ca_montreal.html

>> Cacouna – Lower St. Lawrence

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/1093.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=Cacouna

http://www.banq.qc.ca/archives/entrez_archives/centres_archives/ca_gaspesie_iles.html

>> Champlain – Champlain

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/1710.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=Champlain

http://www.banq.qc.ca/archives/entrez_archives/centres_archives/ca_mauricie.html

>> Gentilly – Nicolet

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/1739.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=Gentilly

http://www.banq.qc.ca/archives/entrez_archives/centres_archives/ca_mauricie.html

>> Îles-de-la-Madelaine – Gaspé

https://www.google.ca/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8 – q=Iles-de-la-Madelaine+%C3%A9glises

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=M&SS=99

http://www.banq.qc.ca/archives/entrez_archives/centres_archives/banq_gaspe.html

>> Joliette – Lanaudière

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/357.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=Joliette

http://www.banq.qc.ca/archives/entrez_archives/centres_archives/ca_montreal.html

>> Kamouraska – Lower St. Lawrence

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/1250.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=Kamouraska

http://www.banq.qc.ca/archives/entrez_archives/centres_archives/ca_gaspesie_iles.html

>> L’Acadie – Upper Richelieu

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/1434.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=St-Jean-sur-Richelieu/L%27Acadie

http://www.banq.qc.ca/archives/entrez_archives/centres_archives/ca_montreal.html

>> L’Assomption – Lanaudière

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/485.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=L%27Assomption

http://www.banq.qc.ca/archives/entrez_archives/centres_archives/ca_montreal.html

>> Louiseville – Maskinongé

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/1728.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=Louiseville

http://www.banq.qc.ca/archives/entrez_archives/centres_archives/ca_mauricie.html

>> Maskinongé – Maskinongé

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/1729.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=Maskinong%E9

http://www.banq.qc.ca/archives/entrez_archives/centres_archives/ca_mauricie.html

>> Montcalm – Lanaudière

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/392.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=M&SS=50

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/AfficherCim.asp?MP=F3&CID=1543

http://www.banq.qc.ca/archives/entrez_archives/centres_archives/ca_montreal.html

>> Nicolet – Nicolet

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/775.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=Nicolet

http://www.banq.qc.ca/archives/entrez_archives/centres_archives/ca_mauricie.html

>> Pointe-du-Lac – St-Maurice

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/1732.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=Trois-Rivi%E8res/Pointe-du-Lac

http://www.banq.qc.ca/archives/entrez_archives/centres_archives/ca_mauricie.html

>> Rivière-du-Loup-en-haut (Louiseville) – Maskinongé

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/1728.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=Louiseville

http://www.banq.qc.ca/archives/entrez_archives/centres_archives/ca_mauricie.html

>> Saint-Denis-sur-Richelieu – Lower Richelieu

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/1360.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=St-Denis-sur-Richelieu

http://www.banq.qc.ca/archives/entrez_archives/centres_archives/ca_montreal.html

>> Saint-Esprit – Lanaudière

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/388.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=St-Esprit

http://www.banq.qc.ca/archives/entrez_archives/centres_archives/ca_montreal.html

>> Saint-Jacques-de-Montcalm – Lanaudière

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/392.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/AfficherCim.asp?MP=F3&CID=1543

http://www.banq.qc.ca/archives/entrez_archives/centres_archives/ca_montreal.html

>> Saint-Ours – Lower Richelieu

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/1386.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=St-Ours

http://www.banq.qc.ca/archives/entrez_archives/centres_archives/ca_montreal.html

>> Saint-Sulpice – Lanaudière

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/725.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=St-Sulpice

http://www.banq.qc.ca/archives/entrez_archives/centres_archives/ca_montreal.html

>> Trois-Rivières – Trois-Rivières

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/1778.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=Trois-Rivi%E8res

http://www.banq.qc.ca/archives/entrez_archives/centres_archives/ca_mauricie.html

>> Yamachiche – Maskinongé

http://www.leseglisesdemonquartier.com/1794.html

http://www.leslabelle.com/Cimetieres/ListerCims.asp?MP=F3&TY=V&SS=Yamachiche

http://www.banq.qc.ca/archives/entrez_archives/centres_archives/ca_mauricie.html

 

Chasing the Voyageurs, part 1

Have you heard a family story about an ancestor who was a voyageur or coureur des bois? These were the men who canoed across the interior of North America to trade with the indigenous people for beaver pelts and other furs and bring the pelts back to Montreal.

The fur trade thrived in the 17th and 18th centuries and the early years of the 19th century. Setting out from Montreal, the voyageurs’ destinations included what is now western Canada, Ontario, Michigan and Illinois. Some had wives and children in Quebec and some fell in love with aboriginal women and were the ancestors of Canada’s Métis people.

Before they set out on their travels, the voyageurs signed contracts with fur trading companies or their agents. These contracts specified where they were to go and for how long, and how much they were to be paid. Notaries, most of whom resided in Montreal, Lachine or Ste-Anne-du-Bout-de-l’Ile (now known as Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue), prepared the contracts and kept them on file. As a result, more than 34,500 of these contracts have survived.

The notarial records themselves are stored at the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) along with all the other contracts, wills, leases and other documents these notaries prepared.

In addition, the information in many of the voyageurs’ contracts is available online, thanks to La Société historique de Saint-Boniface (http://shsb.mb.ca/en). St. Boniface is a traditionally French part of Winnipeg, Manitoba, and its Centre du patrimoine (heritage center) specializes in the history of the francophone community of Manitoba, and in the heritage and genealogy of the Métis people.

http://archivesshsb.mb.ca/en/list?q=Notaires+de+Montr%C3%A9al&p=1&ps=20 This link takes you to the database of contracts. You can search in English, but the data is mostly in French. There are various ways to search the database, but if you know your ancestor’s name, you can put that into the search box. There is a small box for each result, and clicking on “more detail” opens it up. Included in the details is the date the contract was signed. For example, 18090503 indicates May 3 1809. You can use Google translate or a similar online translator if you need help understanding the text.

http://habitantheritage.org/yahoo_site_admin/assets/docs/Fur_Trade_Contracts_during_the_French_Regime.29095438.pdf This article by Diane Wolford Sheppard of Michigan is a collection of representative contracts drafted during the French Regime, including engagé (hiring) contracts, partnerships, partnership settlements, obligations and invoices for fur trade purchases. They have been translated into English.

http://www.habitantheritage.org/french-canadian_resources/the_fur_trade For more in-depth background, images and documents about the fur trade in the Great Lakes region, see this page posted by the French Canadian Heritage Society of Michigan.

See also http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/voyageur/

Researching French Canadian Ancestors through the Drouin Institute

Institut Généalogique Drouin

 http://www.institutdrouin.com

450-448-1251

Institut.drouin@gmail.com

 If you are researching French Canadian ancestors, the best place to look is the Drouin Institute, www.drouininstitute.com. The institute can help you find a great deal of information about your ancestors, but only some pages are in English and you may become confused because there are several different ways to access the site’s information.

In addition to the subscription database at https://www.genealogiequebec.com/en/, the institute has a vast selection of publications for sale through its bookstore.

You will find the link to subscribe to the institute’s online database, Quebec Records, at the top of the page www.genealogiequebec.com/en/ or, if you are on the French-language page, click on abonnement.

The Quebec Records collection, updated as of February 2016, includes more than 42 million files and images. Take a look at the About Us page (https://www.genealogiequebec.com/en/about) to get an idea of the scope of information available. It includes the Lafrance Collection of Catholic baptisms, marriages and deaths starting from 1621, and some Protestant marriages, 1760-1849. The online Drouin Collection includes a variety of genealogical records from Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick. Scroll down the About page to see the listing of additional databases, including notarized documents and obituaries.

The Quebec Records page has a link to the PRDH project, or Research Program in Historical Demography, http://www.genealogie.umontreal.ca/en/home. This huge undertaking by the University of Montreal put together all Catholic baptisms, marriages and burials, as well as Protestant marriages, in Quebec from 1621 to 1849.

According to the project’s website (http://www.genealogie.umontreal.ca/en/LePrdh) the result is “a computerized population register, composed of biographical files on all individuals of European ancestry who lived in the St. Lawrence Valley. The file for each individual gives the date and place of birth, marriage(s), and death, as well as family and conjugal ties with other individuals. This basic information is complemented by various socio-demographic characteristics drawn from documents: socio-professional status and occupation, ability to sign his or her name, place of residence, and, for immigrants, place of origin.” The PRDH site includes an extensive bibliography. Subscription rates depend on whether you live in Quebec, the rest of Canada or elsewhere.

The Drouin Institute sells a number of products through its online boutique. For example, you can buy family histories on CD through https://institut-drouin.myshopify.com/collections/patrimoine-familial (search for your family’s name in the naviguer box on the right), or you can purchase published family history books at https://institut-drouin.myshopify.com/collections/patrimoine-familial. Almost all of these products are in French.

The page http://www.drouininstitute.com/index.html links to the online boutique. On that page (https://institut-drouin.myshopify.com/search) you can put your family name into the search box and it will tell you what products, including CDs, books, spiral binders and PDFs, can be ordered.

Another way to search this resource is to go to www.institutdrouin.com/neufs. This page will lead you to a long list of product numbers. Click on each selection to see what titles are available.

Here are some of the spiral binders you can buy from the institute containing records that Montreal genealogist Jacques Gagné says are not available through commercial databases:

Item # N-0076 –RawdonSt. Patrick Catholic Parish – Montcalm County – Marriages, baptisms, deaths (1837-1987) – Parish later renamed Marie-Reine-du-Monde de Rawdon > Spiral binders $55. + taxes-shipping

Item # N-0278 – Iberville County – Protestant & Catholic Marriages (1823-1979) – Towns of: Henryville – Iberville – Mont-St-Grégoire – St-Alexandre – St-Athanase – Ste-Anne-de-Sabravois – Ste-Brigite-d’Iberville – St-Grégoire-le-Grand – St-Sébastien – Ste-Angèle-de-Monnoir – 802 pages – 2 volumes > Spiral binders $75. + taxes-shipping

Item # N-0327 – Trois-RivièresSt. Patrick Irish Catholic ParishMarriages (1955-1981) > Spiral binders $10. + taxes-shipping

Item # N-0504 – Terrebonne Judicial District Civil Marriages – (1969-1991) – 8,900 marriages – 684 pages > Spiral binders $69. + taxes-shipping

Item # N-0578 – St. Lawrence River’s Mid North ShoreMoyenne Côte-Nord du St-Laurent Judicial District of Sept-IlesMarriages (1846-1987) – 10,342 marriages – Towns of : Sept-Iles – Port-Cartier – Clarke City – Godbout – Gallix – Baie-Trinité – Rivière-Brochu – Franquelin – Moisie – Rivière-Pentecôte – Pointe-aux-Anglais – 607 pages > Spiral binders $43. + taxes-shipping

Item # N-0579 – St. Lawrence River’s Lower North Shore &  Southern LabradorBasse Côte-Nord du St-Laurent et du Sud du LabradorProtestant & Catholic marriages, baptisms, deaths (1847-2006) – 6,470 marriagesRegion of Minganie – Aguanish – Baie Johan Beetz – Hâvre-St-Pierre – Anticosti Island – Longue Pointe de Mingan – Mingan – Natashquan – Pointe-Parent – Rivière-au-Tonnerre – Rivière-St-Jean – Region of Lower North-Shore – Aylmer Sound – Blanc Sablon – Chevery – Harrington Harbour – Kegaska – La Romaine – La Tabatière – Lourdes de Blanc Sablon – Musquaro – Mutton Bay – Pakua-Shipi – Rivière St-Paul – St-Augustin (St. Augustine) – Tête a la Baleine – Region of Southern Labrador – Capstan Island – Clear Bay (L’Anse-au-Clair) – East St. Modest (e) – Flower’s Cove – Forteau – L’Anse-au-Loup (Woolf Cove) – L’Anse-Amour – Pinware – Red Bay – Sheldrake – West St. Modest (e) – Catholic Parishes (17) – Anglican Church (4) – United Church (2) – Methodist Church (1) – Congregationalist Church (1) – Plymouth Brethern (Gospel Hall) (3) – Pentecostal (1) – The church records of the Presbyterian Church in Harrington Harbour were destroyed by fire in 1973 – 330 pages > Spiral binders $28. + taxes-shipping

Item # N-0585 – St. Lawrence’s River Upper North Shore –  Haute-Côte-Nord du St-LaurentMarriages (1668-1992) – 17,689 marriages – Towns of: Baie-Comeau – Forestville – Les Escoumins – Tadoussac – Chutes-aux-Ouardes – Ragueneau – Pointe-Lebel – Betsiamites – Bersimis – Les Bergeronnes – Les Ilets Jéramie – 576 pages > $40. + taxes-shipping

Item # N-0613 – Gardenville Presbyterian Church & United Church of LongueilGreenfield ParkLongueilMarriages, baptisms, deaths (1905-1925 & 1926-1941) – 77 pages > $35. + taxes-shipping

Researched and compiled by Jacques Gagné gagne.jacques@sympatico.ca

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