The 1759 Battle of the Plains of Abraham, in which General Wolfe’s British invasion force defeated General Montcalm’s defending army, is the most famous battle in Canadian history. After the British also conquered Montreal the following year, New France became history and a new British colony in Canada was born.
Thousands of people took part in these events. British historians say that the fleet that sailed up the St. Lawrence River in the spring of 1759 carried between 10,000 and 12,500 British sailors and soldiers, while the book Combattre pour la France en Amérique lists 7,450 French soldiers.
Finding out whether your ancestor fought in this campaign is not easy, but the PDF attached below, Finding British Regiments in Quebec, 1759-1760, may help you make a start. This compilation lists the British regiments that fought at Quebec City and Montreal, and it identifies the places British regiments were posted during the 1759-1760 campaign.
The Canadian government website of The National Battlefields Commission www.ccbn-nbc.gc.ca/en/ describes the historical context of the Seven Years War (also known as the French and Indian War), while the searchable page www.ccbn-nbc.gc.ca/en/history-heritage/battles-1759-1760/soldiers/ lists the names of 7,279 British soldiers and 4,079 French soldiers who took part.
Marcel Fournier and a staff of about 30 researchers in Montreal and France identified 7,450 soldiers and officers who fought for France in New France, plus the names of another 1374 soldiers. These findings were published in Combattre pour la France en Amérique by La Société généalogique canadienne-française, Montreal, 2009 (in French only).
If you are interested in the soldiers who fought in British regiments, you should consult the two-volume In Search of the “Forlorn Hope”: a Comprehensive Guide to Locating British Regiments & Their Records (1640-WWI) by John M. Kitzmiller II, published in Salt Lake City by Manuscript Publishing Foundation, 1988. You will probably find it in a large library. This book is the source of the information complied here.
These two volumes, plus a supplement, tell you which regiment was posted where from 1640 to 1914. The book does this in reverse: you need to look up the name of a place or campaign and the book identifies the regiments stationed there. The supplement can also help you with genealogical research you might want to conduct in British War Office Records. Once you find your ancestor’s name, you may need to visit the Public Record Office, Kew, near London.
Another book, My Ancestor was in the British Army, by Michael Watts and Christopher Watts, published by the Society of Genealogists in the U.K. in 2009, lists dozens of other archives in England, Wales and Scotland in which military records are kept, including the soldiers and mariners who fought during the Seven Years War in North America. You can also try searching military records on the subscription website Find My Past, www.findmypast.com.
Institut Généalogique Drouin
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 –Rawdon – St. 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-Rivières – St. Patrick Irish Catholic Parish – Marriages (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 Shore – Moyenne Côte-Nord du St-Laurent – Judicial District of Sept-Iles – Marriages (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 Labrador – Basse Côte-Nord du St-Laurent et du Sud du Labrador – Protestant & Catholic marriages, baptisms, deaths (1847-2006) – 6,470 marriages – Region 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-Laurent – Marriages (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 Longueil – Greenfield Park – Longueil – Marriages, baptisms, deaths (1905-1925 & 1926-1941) – 77 pages > $35. + taxes-shipping
Researched and compiled by Jacques Gagné – firstname.lastname@example.org
This compilation on the German Presence in the Lower St. Lawrence and Gaspé Peninsula is the last of a series on German-speaking immigrants to Quebec. Families that settled along the shores of the St. Lawrence River north-east of Quebec City and in the Gaspé region integrated well into their communities and attended a variety of local Catholic and Protestant churches.
In this compilation, you will find the historic names of the Quebec counties in this area, from their beginnings in the French regime, through the period when Lower Canada was a British colony and into the modern era of the province of Quebec. This document lists the churches these German-speaking families might have attended, and where to find their birth, marriage and death records.
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.
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.
This compilation looks at the Protestant churches in seven counties of Quebec east of Sherbrooke and north toward the St. Lawrence River, including the cities of Drummondville, Victoriaville and Richmond. The guide includes a list of names of Protestant families who settled in this area, a list of ministers who served these congregations and brief descriptions of the towns and villages where these churches were located. It guides researchers to the repositories where the records of these churches can be found. Protestant cemeteries in these counties are also listed.
This compilation looks briefly at the history of the Congregational church in Quebec. Many communities in the Eastern Townships had been settled by Loyalists from the United States, and many of those people were Congregationalists. Montreal’s first Congregational church opened its doors in 1831, while Quebec City had had Congregational services since 1800. Researcher Jacques Gagné also explains where the records of these early churches might be found.
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.