Genealogy, Immigration, Quebec, Resources Outside of Montreal

Irish Catholic Churches in the Eastern Townships of Quebec

Drummond, Richmond, Sherbrooke, Stanstead Counties

Introduction

From 1815 to 1824, an estimated 50,000 Irish immigrants arrived at the Port of Quebec, and 150,000 more arrived between 1829 and 1837. Many kept going, settling in the United States or Upper Canada, but some moved into the rolling hills of Quebec’s Eastern Townships. The region, which is often known by its French name, l’Estrie or Cantons de l’Est, includes Drummond, Richmond, Sherbrooke and Stanstead counties.

In order to determine where Irish Catholic immigrants settled in Quebec, I reviewed hundreds of books of marriages, baptisms and deaths in Catholic parishes of Quebec. These books are kept at the Bibliothèque Archives nationales du Québec in Montreal (BAnQ Vieux-Montréal). I also reviewed microfilms there. I did most of this work between 2006 and 2009, and carried out a further review in 2014.

Please note: When I identify a church as being an Irish Catholic Church in this research guide, I do not mean to imply that parishioners were mostly of Irish descent. Rather, I mean that, at one point in time, at least 10 percent of the acts of baptism, marriage and death within a particular parish addressed Irish immigrants or their descendants.

townships map

If you are exploring your family’s history in the Eastern Townships, you may find useful material at the Eastern Townships Resource Centre (ERTC) in Lennoxville, http://www.etrc.ca/ For over 30 years, the ETRC has been a center for the study of the Eastern Townships of Quebec. The ERTC preserves the documentary heritage of the Eastern Townships and serves as a resource for local heritage organizations.

The ETRC Archives preserves and gives access to collections that illustrate the development of the Eastern Townships’ English-speaking community. Thousands of documents, such as diaries, letters, minute books, photographs, postcards, maps, plans and audio-visual material, are made available to researchers. It also provides assistance to genealogists tracing their family roots. You can find out how to contact the ERTC at the end of this research guide.

The guide includes a brief description of the churches in Drummond, Richmond, Sherbrooke and Stanstead counties that the Irish settlers attended, a list of the cemeteries where many of them were buried, a list of authors, articles and books on the Irish communities of the region, a list of repositories and archives where the records relevant to these communities are kept, and websites that may be of use to family history researchers. I will cover other Eastern Townships region counties in separate posts on Genealogy Ensemble.

To explore the PDF covering the Irish Catholic Churches of Drummond, Richmond, Sherbrooke and Stanstead Counties, click on the link:

Irish Catholic Churches in Quebec’s Eastern Townships

Genealogy, Germany, Quebec, Resources Outside of Montreal

The German Presence in the Eastern Townships, Central Quebec, the Richelieu River Valley and South-West Quebec

As in other parts of Quebec, German-speaking immigrants, including some Loyalists with German roots, integrated well into life in the Eastern Townships and surrounding regions. This compilation describes the towns and villages where some of these people have lived from the late 1700s to the 20th century. It names the churches they attended and the cemeteries where they were buried, and it helps the researcher locate these records.

The German Presence in the Eastern Townships Final Mar 6

Ontario

French Canadians in Ontario

French Canadians in Ontario

This compilation “French Canadians in Ontario” consists of lists of the many of the churches throughout Ontario where our French Canadian ancestors migrated and explains where the document of births, marriages and deaths are located for the many parishes.

This compilation is a useful tool for those who may not know exactly where these records are now located. Many can be found at BanQ, the national archives located on Viger Street in Montreal, Quebec.

fleur-de-lis-377307

Highlight the file below and right click to open link in a new window

The French Canadians in Ontario

Quebec, Research tips

The Irish Catholic Churches of Quebec

St. Brendan Parish in Rosemont
St. Brendan Parish in Rosemont

 

Here’s a guide to the Irish Catholic Churches of Quebec.

Use this guide to find out where the documents you want to find are located. You can also find photos of the church parishes your ancestors attended.

See: the-irish-catholic-churches-of-quebec

This compilation was edited on Nov. 21, 2018. A new version will be coming in 2019.

 

Quebec

Montreal’s Black Market Babies

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, 1,000 babies were sold to adoptive parents through a black market baby ring that operated in Quebec. Most of the babies were born to unwed French Canadian mothers, most of the adoptive families were Jewish. Some of the children went to homes in Quebec and Ontario, and many grew up in the United States.

In 1984, my husband found out he had been adopted and that his parents had paid about $2,000 for him. About 15 years later, he found out about the black market baby ring that had arranged his adoption. Ever since then, he has been sharing his story with friends, with community groups and through the media. Several years ago, Global television told the story of Harold’s search for his birth mother on the program Past Lives.

This week, the Montreal CTV station aired a news feature about the black market baby ring. It puts Harold’s story in context, explaining how most of the mothers who gave birth out of wedlock had no choice but to give up their babies. Harold counts himself lucky that he ended up in a good home and not in an orphanage.

The ring was broken up 60 years ago this year. Some of the birth mothers have no doubt died, and many of their children are probably still trying to find them. The story is still fascinating.

Here is a link to that six-minute CTV feature: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNKTqkZmIGE

Karen Balcom of McMaster University has written a book that addresses this topic: The Traffic in Babies: Cross-Border Adoption and Baby-Selling between the United States and Canada, 1930-1972 Studies in Gender and History, University of Toronto Press, 2011.

You can learn more about Montreal’s black market baby ring on the Parent Finders Montreal website, http://www.pfmtl.org/BMB/index.html. At the bottom of the page, there is a list of dates, pages and titles of old newspaper articles about the case. Paste in the url for one of these stories from The Gazette, http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=Fr8DH2VBP9sC&dat=19540215&printsec=frontpage&hl=en, and from there you can easily browse the newspaper to find the other articles.

There is a Montreal Black Market Baby Facebook page.

Feb. 23 2016, this post has been updated. The link to the CTV feature now works.