french-canadian, Genealogy, Huguenot, Quebec, Quebec City

The Protestant Churches of Quebec City, 1629-1759

Some 15 or 20 years ago, someone asked me to research and compile a document addressing the earliest Protestant churches in Quebec and find out where the church registers are. Listed here are Quebec City region Protestant missions organized from 1629 to 1759. None of the church registers have survived.

A number of Huguenot merchants from La Rochelle, Bordeaux and Rouen, France were present in Quebec City in September, 1759 when the British army conquered the French forces at the BattIe of the Plains of Abraham. More than a century before those events, Huguenot merchants were members of a small Calvinist church in Quebec City.

1629 Lutheran Chapel – It is on record that the Kertk (Kirke) brothers, and a small group of French Protestants (Huguenots from France), who captured Québec in the name of King Charles I of England on the 20th of July, 1629, built a Lutheran Chapel in Nouvelle France at the time. David, Louis, Thomas Kertk (Kirke), their wives, plus two other women and an undisclosed number of men worshipped until 1633 in Québec.

1631 – Temple Calviniste – A small community of Huguenots (Reformed Church of France) established a Calvinist Temple in the old city of Québec in the early 1630s or shortly after. The small temple would have been located near the Couvent des Ursulines. Most of the Huguenots at the time in Québec were traders who imported goods from French ports such as Auray, Bayonne, Bordeaux, Brest, Caen, Calais, Cherbourg, Dieppe, Dunkerque, Fecamp, Le Havre, Honfleur, La Rochelle, Lorient, Nantes, Paimboeuf, Port Louis, Rochefort, Rouen, Royan, Les Sables d’Olonne, Saint Brieuc, Saint-Malo and Vannes. These same Huguenots were also merchants, mainly in the purchasing and exporting of fine furs and selected hardwoods in New France. This small but thriving Protestant community was instrumental in opening-up trade partnerships between Nouvelle France and fellow Huguenot associates in France and other European countries including Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and the British Isles.

1759 – Chapel of the Ursulines  – First Anglican Church service in Québec on September 27th 1759 – Rev. Eli Dawson, presiding – Chaplain of the British Forces headed by the late General James Wolfe, Commander in Chief of the British Imperial Army – In attendance were French speaking Huguenots from the Québec region.

 

 

Genealogy

Anglican Churches of Quebec City and Surrounding Area

The current-day province of Quebec was called New France until British soldiers defeated the French at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham near Quebec City in 1759. The French permanently surrendered their Canadian colony to the British a few years later in the treaty that concluded the Seven Years War (also known as the French and Indian War.)

Following their victory on the battlefield, British soldiers stayed in Quebec City to defend the territory and British bureaucrats arrived to manage the colony. Soon British merchants, shipbuilders and their families joined them. Although the population of Quebec remained primarily French-speaking and Catholic, there was now a significant English-speaking population too.

Most of these people were members of the Church of England or Church of Scotland, or they were Methodists. Protestant church services were introduced to serve their religious needs, with the first Anglican church in Quebec City established in 1760. Eventually, new Protestant churches were erected in the communities surrounding the capital.

If your ancestors were among these settlers, you’ll appreciate a new compilation from Montreal genealogist Jacques Gagné. This compilation will help you find the baptismal, marriage and death records of your Anglican ancestors in Quebec City. Jacques has listed the repositories where these records are held if they are somewhere in North America, although some early records may be stored in England.

Anglican Churches of Quebec City