The PDF link at the end of this introduction is attached to a compilation that describes the seigneuries and townships in the Western Laurentians region, along the banks of the Ottawa River between Montreal and Ottawa.
The compilation describes the counties that existed in the region in 1791: Effingham, Leinster, Ottawa and York. The seigneuries are described in chronological order, from the Seigneurie de la Petite Nation, created in 1674, to the Seigneurie Papineau, granted in 1817. It includes a list of the major seigneurs (landowners) in the region and links to some information about each of these individuals and their properties.
The townships and some of their best known residents are described in chronological sequence, including St. Andrews Township, formed in 1800, Grenville Township, Gore Township established in 1825 by Scottish and Irish settlers, and Lochaber Township, established in 1855. It also describes the city of Lachute, founded in 1796.
The compilation includes links to lists of local cemeteries.
There is also a list of notaries who lived in the region, including the years and places they practiced, and the branch of the Quebec archives (BAnQ) where their records are kept. The legal documents they created can be very helpful to family historians looking for land transfers, business agreements, apprenticeships, wills, inventories, marriage contracts and other records. The records of some notaries mentioned here are kept in Montreal, but others are available in Gatineau, near Ottawa. I have included the locations and contact information for these archives.
Some of these notarial records, or the indexes to them, have been digitized and are online through the BAnQ online, Ancestry.com (two different databases of notarial records), FamilySearch.org or Genealogy Quebec (Drouin Institute Online).
Seigneuries and Townships
Seigneuries were created by the kings of France, based on a land ownership model that was used in France prior to the creation of New France in 1604. Seigneuries were also created in Québec after 1759 under British rule. In 1854, the seigneurial system was abolished.
For example, after Quebec became a British colony, Governor James Murray was granted the seigneury of Argenteuil in Argenteuil County. It had been granted in 1680, under French rule, to Charles-Joseph d’Ailleboust des Musseaux, an officer of a French regiment stationed in New France. In 1697, d’Ailleboust des Musseaux granted the concession of the Seigneurie d’Argenteuil to his son. Neither the father and nor the son resided there. After 1700, surveyors mapped out the region along the banks of the Outaouais, or Ottawa River.
Because the Argenteuil seigneury had not been settled or seen economic development under its previous owners, the British colonial government granted ownership of it to James Murray. Under British rule, a seigneur appointed by the British authorities was expected to reside on his seigneury for at least a few months every year, and to take an active part in its management, with the legal help of a notary. A large number of notaries began their careers this way.
In contrast, land grants were usually offered in remote rural areas in which the seigneurial system had not been implemented. They were granted by both administrators of New France, and in Quebec prior to Confederation. In the majority of cases, rural land grants were recorded by the local notary. Land grants still exist today in far-flung regions of Quebec within the mining and lumber industries.
Cantons, or townships, were mainly instituted by the British in regions that had not previously been occupied by seigneuries. The Eastern Townships, Argenteuil, Gatineau, Hull and Pontiac counties were some of the regions in which the early settlers embraced the concept of townships.
Société de Généalogie des Laurentides
This short research guide addresses indexes of marriages, baptisms and deaths of English-speaking families of Lower Canada and Québec, both Protestant and Catholic, that can be purchased as spiral binders from the Société de Généalogie des Laurentides (the genealogy society of the Laurentians). These indexes refer to records from the vast Laurentian region north of Montreal, as well as Irish-Scottish Catholic parishes in Montreal.
Family lineage researchers in Québec have compiled this information at various repositories of the Archives nationales du Québec, and by visiting the vaults of Protestant churches and English-language Catholic churches. These record will help you determine precisely in which church a child was baptized, in which church young couples were married or the place of burial of a person or persons. Contrary to popular belief, indexes of people and places at various commercial online search engines in genealogy are not complete and not always precise.
Item #R 12 – District judiciaire de Terrebonne – Judicial District of Terrebonne – Protestant Marriages (1900-1992) – 846 pages – Indexes by names of both husband and wife – Towns and churches – Arundel : Holiness Movement – Standard American Church – Anglican Church – Methodist Church Presbyterian Church – United Church of Rouge Valley – Avoca-Rivington – Baptist Church – Presbyterian Church – United Church – Belle-Rivière – Église Évangélique Française – United Church – Boisbriand – Pentecostal Assemblies – Brownsburg – Maple Baptist Church – Second Baptist Church – Pentecostal Assemblies – United Church – Calumet – Pentecostal Assemblies – Chatham-Brownsburg – Baptist Church – Cushing – St. Mungo’s Presbyterian Church – Dalesville – Baptist Church – Deux-Montages (Lake of Two Mountains) – All Saints Church – Christ Church Anglican – People Associated Gospel Church – Grenville – Baptist Church – Methodist Church – Pentecostal Church – Presbyterian Church – Church of England (Episcopal) – Harrington – Presbyterian Church – Lac-Marois – United Church – Lac-St-Denis – Protestant Chapel – Lachute – St. Simeon’s Anglican – T. Henry’s Presbyterian Church – Wesleyan Methodist Church – Margaret Rogers Memorial Presbyterian Chapel – Baptist Church – United Church – People’s Church & Associate Gospel – Église Évangélique Baptiste – Centre Chrétien Évangélique – Église Groupe Évangélique Chrétien – Lakefield – Holy Trinity Anglican – Methodist Church – St. Simeon’s Anglican Mission of Lachute in Lakefield – Lakefield-Dunany – St. Paul’s Anglican – Lakeview – Presbyterian Church – Lorraine – Église Évangélique Chrétienne – Lost River – Presbyterian Church – Louisa (Wentworth) – St. Aidan’s Anglican – Mille Iles – Christ Church Anglican – Presbyterian Church – Mont-Tremblant – St. Bernard’s United Church – Morin Flats – Holiness Movement – Morin Heights – Trinity Anglican Church – Methodist Church – United Church – New Glascow – Church of England – Presbyterian Church – United Church – St. John’s Anglican Church – Oka – Methodist Church – Pentecostal Church – United Church – Rosemere – St. James Anglican – United Memorial Church – Centre Évangélique Chrétien – Shawbridge – Methodist Church – United Church – Shrewsbury (West Gore) – St. John’s Anglican – St. Andrew’s East (St-André-Est) Christ Church Anglican – St-Eustache – Trinity United Church – All Saints Church – Église du Nazaréen – Église Évangélique Rive-Nord – Mennonites Church – St-Jérôme – St. Andrew’s United – Témoins de Jéhovah – Armée du Salut – Groupe Évangélique – St-Jovite – Methodist Church – Centre Évangélique Hautes-Laurentides – Apötres-de-l’Amour Infini – St-Sauveur – St. Francis of the Birds Anglican – Ste-Adèle – United Church – Assemblée Chrétienne du Nord – Ste-Agathe – United Church – Holy Trinity Anglican – House of Israel – Centre Évangélique – Église Chrétienne – Ste-Marguerite – St. Christopher’s Anglican – Ste-Thérèse – Presbyterian Church – United Church – Mennonites Church – Témoins de Jéhovah – Terrebonne – St. Michael’s Anglican – Assemblée Chrétienne La Mater – Église Baptiste Évangélique – Centre Évangélique Chrétien > Spiral binders $105. + taxes-shipping
Item #L 6 – St. Colomban’s Irish Catholic Parish – Catholic Marriages (1836-1984) – 521 marriages – Please note: This research guide in the form of a spiral binder also contains the Catholic Marriages of the parish of Bellefeuille – The latter with 545 marriages (1954-1991) > Spiral binders $10. + taxes-shipping
Item #R 33 – St. Colomban’s Irish Catholic Parish – Catholic births, baptisms, deaths (1836-1939) > Spiral binders $35. + taxes-shipping
Montreal Irish–Scottish Catholic Parishes
Item #H 8 – St. Patrick’s Irish Catholic Parish – Montreal – Marriages (1859-1899) – 316 pages > Spiral binders $40. + taxes-shipping
Item #H 9 – St. Patrick’s Irish Catholic Parish – Montreal – Marriages (1900-1941) – 360 pages including indexes of brides > Spiral binders $45. + taxes-shipping
Item #H 10 – St. Patrick’s Irish Catholic Parish – Montreal – Births & baptisms (1859-1899) – 1,253 pages > Spiral binders $160. + taxes-shipping
Item #H 11 – St. Anthony’s of Padua Catholic Parish – Montreal – Marriages (1884-1941) – 277 pages > Spiral binders $30. + taxes-shipping
Item #H 12 – St. Patrick’s Irish Catholic Parish – Montreal – Baptisms (1900-1945) – 659 pages > Spiral binders $85. + taxes-shipping
Item #H 13 – St. Anthony’s of Padua Catholic Parish – Montreal – Baptisms (1884-1941) – 649 pages > Spiral binders $85 + taxes-shipping.
Researched & compiled by: Jacques Gagné – email@example.com
This compilation looks at the towns and villages in the Lower Laurentian area, north of Montreal, where German-speaking immigrants settled, and lists the churches these people may have frequented. It also lists several books and articles that discuss these people and their communities. There is a list of repositories and addresses at the end of the compilation that will help you find records of births, marriages and deaths.