Women in Quebec’s toponymy

In genealogical research, locations often play a very important role : they can help us confirm a person’s identity or guide our research when looking for an ancestor. Even if their role is not central to our investigation, from the moment we consult modern sources such as civil records or a nominative census, we will necessarily encounter a variety of toponyms (Jetté, 1991 : 89) – cities, parishes or even street names!

Saint-Thomas de Joliette church, one of many Quebec parishes named after a man.
Source: Drouin Institute’s Miscellaneous Collections (Fonds Pierre-Colpron), GenealogyQuebec.com

Thereby, you may have noticed that Quebec’s toponyms are far from parity. We estimate that women represent less than 10% of Quebec anthroponymic toponymy. To phrase it differently, for each place named after a woman, there are 10 others named after a man (Beaudoin and Martin, 2019 : 1).

Faced with this observation, a movement for toponymic parity was created. Sarah Beaudoin and Gabriel Martin are both involved in this cause : Beaudoin as a feminist activist and Martin as a linguist. They published a book about the subject : Femmes et toponymie, de l’occultation à la parité.

The book offers a surprisingly complete overview for its 125 pages. The authors first present a historical portrait of the movement for toponymic parity in Quebec, then address common myths. From the supposed low importance of working towards toponymic parity to the so-called insufficient number of prominent women in history, all arguments against resolutions aimed at achieving toponymic parity are examined.

Through the development of this argument, the authors discuss a variety of feminist concepts such as radical feminism and patriarchy. The book also demonstrates a sensibility towards different types of oppression (like racism and colonialism), particularly for indigenous issues. The cover is a tribute to An Antane Kapesh, an innu band leader and author of the well-known book Eukuan nin matshimanitu innu-iskueu – I am a damn savage. However, the use of the term “amerindian” a few times in the book is regrettable since it is now considered derogatory (Picard, 2018).

The book ends with a list of potential toponyms and a chart for toponymic parity, which serves as a concrete link between the demands of the movement and Quebec’s reality. It is also a good opportunity to discover women who have marked our history : among the 145 toponymic suggestions, 10 are the subject of a short presentation, more than half of which are racialized and/or indigenous women.

Notarized contract mentioning Sainte-Thérèse and Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines, cities named after women.
Source: Notarized documents tool, GenealogyQuebec.com

The book accomplishes the feat of remaining very accessible while addressing several issues in depth. Those who are not very familiar with feminism or toponymy will nonetheless understand, the book serving as a good introduction to these subjects. Those who have a deeper understanding of either feminism or toponymy will also find their read interesting : even after studying feminism in university, I learned quite a lot reading this book, finding ways to refine my feminist argument and discovering prominent women of our history.

All in all, it is an excellent book that will provide you with a different outlook, both in your genealogical research and in your everyday life.

Audrey Pepin

Reference list :

Jetté, René. (1991). Traité de Généalogie. Montreal : Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal, 716 p.

Beaudoin, Sarah et Martin, Gabriel (2019). Femmes et toponymie, de l’occultation à la parité. Sherbrooke : Les Éditions du Fleurdelysé, 125 p.

Picard, Ghislain (2018, September 26th). « Non, les Autochtones ne sont pas des Amérindiens ». HuffPost Québec. https://quebec.huffingtonpost.ca/ghislain-picard/autochtones-pas-amerindiens-terminologie-colonialisme_a_23541813/ 

35,000 new marriages available on Genealogy Quebec

35,000 marriages from the Directeur de l’État Civil du Québec are now available in the Drouin Institute’s Miscellaneous Collections, one of 15 tools available to Genealogy Quebec subscribers.

These marriages, originally published on the Directeur de l’État Civil’s website, cover the years 2018 and 2019.

Browsing the DECQ marriages

To browse the DECQ marriages, head over to the Drouin Institute’s Miscellaneous Collections and open the “31 – Mariages DECQ” folder.

Inside it, you will find a list of folders. The marriages are listed in alphabetical order according to the last name of the husband or wife.

For example, in order to find the marriage of a Nadeau, simply go to the N folder and browse the list of marriages alphabetically listed there.

You can browse these marriages as well as tens of millions of genealogical and historical documents by subscribing to Genealogy Quebec today!

Community and social networks

Did you know that the Drouin Institute is active on most social networks? Come see our historical photos, unusual and rare records, documents of historical and genealogical interest, and more!

Don’t miss anything, subscribe to our pages using the links below!

Want more?
Subscribe to our forum and come talk genealogy, share your research and ask your questions to the rest of the community and our team!

Genealogically yours,

The Drouin team

Our slave-owning ancestors, part 2

This article follows up on the one published on July 7th 2021, and aims to highlight the presence of First Nation and Black slaves within the English and French populations of the Laurentian valley.

Source : Création Bernard Duchesne

James McGill is one of the most famous cases of a slave owning member of the elite. This trader, who at some point was magistrate and member of the council which constituted the government of Montreal, will have at least five slaves (McGill, 2021). One of these slaves was a Black girl named Marie-Louise: 

          ” On the sixth of February one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine, by me, the undersigned priest was buried in the cemetery near the church, the body of Marie Louise [black] belonging to Mr. McGuil squire, justice of the Peace, deceased yesterday, at the Hôtel Dieu de St-Joseph, aged ____, the undersigned Sieur Baron and Duransaux Montres were present. André Baron “

        « Le six février mil sept cent quatrevingt neuf, par moi prêtre soussigné, a été inhumé dans le cimetière proche de l’église, le corps de Marie Louise [Noire]appartenant a Mr Mcguil Ecuier Juge à paix, décédée d’hier, a l’Hotel Dieu de St Joseph, âgée de ____ ont été présent les sieur Baron et Duransaux montres soussignés. André Baron  [sic] »

Marie Louise’s burial record.
Source: Record 572200, LAFRANCE, GenealogyQuebec.com

There is a popular belief that the enslaved people of ancient Quebec mostly belonged to nobles. But as it turns out, only 38% of slaves lived in upper class households according to the information available today. 31% were enslaved by merchants, and another 31% by farmers, labourers, voyageurs, blacksmiths, bakers, and other members of the lower class (Dupuis, 2020).

In this last stratum of the population, we find François Campeau, a blacksmith and second-generation slave-owner, who enslaved at least two First Nation girls: Marguerite, who died at 15 years old, and an unnamed young girl who died at 13 years old.

           ” The year one thousand seven hundred and thirty-seven on the eighth of January, I the undersigned Jean Bouffandeau, priest of the seminar of st-joseph have buried in the cemetery of the poor the body of Marguerite [First nation] aged about fifteen (?) belonging to Francois Campeau blacksmith who died yesterday in the communion of the said Roman Church, were present the same Campeau and Simon Mongino “

         « Lan mil sept cent trente sept le huit de janvier, je soussigné Jean Bouffandeau pretre du seminaire de (?)ay inhumé dans le cimetière des pauvres le corps de Marguerite sauvagesse âgée d’environ quinze ans ayant appartenant a Francois Campau forgeron décédé hier en la communion de laditte Église Romaine ont été présent led. Campeau et Simon Mongino  [sic] »

Marguerite’s burial record.
Source: Record 151707, LAFRANCE, GenealogyQuebec.com

What tasks were asked of Marguerite? Why was she living in this household? These questions are difficult to answer, but the biographical archives allow us to speculate on her living conditions.

François Campeau, married in 1698 to Marie-Madeleine Brossard, will have a total of 14 children. Marie-Madeleine died in 1729, which could correspond with the year of Marguerite’s purchase. We do not know the date of Marguerite’s arrival in New France, but we do know that Native slaves arrived on the territory at a young age (Trudel, 2004).

If so, she would have joined the Campeau family around the age of eight and the household would have included François Campeau, six of his sons as well as three of his daughters, all single and aged between 11 and 30. It would therefore be entirely possible that Marguerite performed domestic chores in the household to help with the needs of the family following the death of Marie-Madeleine.

It turns out that the Campeau will become a multigenerational slave owning family. François Campeau’s father, Étienne Campeau, is the first in a line of five generations of slave owners. Without being very wealthy and coming from modest professions such as mason, carpenter and blacksmith, this family will nonetheless build a slave network that expanded from Montreal to Detroit.

The Campeau family is not an isolated case. Biographical research has allowed us to learn more about the various slave owning families, such as the Demers, Boyer, Hervieux and Parent families, who will own slaves for at least three generations. This is in addition to the rich slave owning families: the Baby, the Tarieu de Lapérade, the Lemoyne de Longueil, the Lacorne Saint-Luc and the Fleury D’eschambault, to name a few.

Commemorative plaque of Olivier Le Jeune, first African slave and resident of New France

We even find traces of slaves in the families of the last two Prime Ministers of Quebec: Guillaume Couillard (direct ancestor of Philippe Couillard), owner of Olivier Le Jeune, the first known black slave in Quebec territory, and Charles Legault Deslauriers senior (direct ancestor of François Legault), owner of a young native Panisse who died at 10:

          ” The fifth of August one thousand seven hundred and sixty-seven were buried in the cemetery the body of a baptized panise who died yesterday, aged about ten, belonging to Charles Legault dit Deslauriers senior. Was present Jacques Perrier said who signed with me.”

         « Le cinq aout mil septcent soixante et sept a été inhumé dans le cimetière le corps d’une panise Baptisée décédée d’hier âgée d’une dixaine d’années appartenante a Charles Legault dit deslauriers pere. A été présent jacques perrier led au qui a signé avec moy  [sic] »

Burial record of a Panise owned by Charles Legault.
Source: Record 368509, LAFRANCE, GenealogyQuebec.com

In conclusion, I hope to have demonstrated that slave owners were not necessarily well off and came from various backgrounds and classes. In New France, we find Black and First Nation slaves in several families and institutions, in all social strata, as well as in all regions of the Laurentian Valley, from Gaspésie to Detroit.

Cathie-Anne Dupuis
MSc. Demography,
Doctoral candidate in history

Boulle, Pierre H. 2007. Race et esclavage dans la France de l’Ancien Régime. Paris, France: Perrin.
Peabody, Sue. 1996. « There are no slaves in France » : the political culture of race and slavery in the Ancien Régime. New York ; Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Our slave-owning ancestors, part 1

My last publication, Slavery as witnessed through New France’s parish registers, demonstrated how the presence of enslaved First Nation and African slaves on Quebec territory could be detected in the parish registers. This first study only grazes the surface of this poorly documented population’s history.

Source: Benjamin Henry Latrobe, An Overseer Doing His Duty, 1795, The Maryland  Historical Society

This article will demonstrate that slavery was omnipresent in French Canadian society, mostly during the 18th century. Slaves were owned and used by people issued from the whole socioeconomic spectrum. It is a common misconception that slavery was practiced exclusively by the elite, yet farmers, blacksmiths, traders, clergy members and governors also enslaved Native and African individuals.

The parish registers, available on the Drouin Institute’s website Genealogy Quebec, allow us to find slave owners from every socioeconomic level. For example, the sisters of the Congregation, members of the clergy, owned five slaves between 1733 and 1796: two Panisse girls, one Fox, two Poutéoutamises and one male of African descent named Paul Étienne:

          ” The twenty-nine of November one thousand seven hundred seventy-two by me, undersigned priest, was buried in the cemetery near La Poudrière the body of Paul Etienne [black] belonging to the sister of the Congregation, who died yesterday in the hospital aged about seventy years. Were present Mr. Fortin and Pierre Baron beadle who have undersigned “

          « Le vingt neuf novembre mile sept cent soixante et douze par moy pretre sousigné a eté inhume dans le cimetière proche la poudriere le corps de paul étienne [noir] appartenant au sœur de la Congregation, decedé d’hier a l’hopital âgé d’environ soixante dix ans ont étés presens monsieur fortin et pierre baron bedeau qui ont sousignés [sic] »

Source: Record 363708, LAFRANCE, GenealogyQuebec.com

Paul Étienne was likely given or sold to the sisters of the Congregation because of his old age, which made him useless to the family that enslaved him in his younger years. He was baptized only one year and two months before his death. No other part of his life is known as of today.

The king of France is regularly mentioned as a slave owner in the archives. We identified 26 individuals who were slaves to king Louis XV. Curiously, France advertises itself at the time as a free land for everyone (Peabody, 1996 : 3). Many French and Quebecers would be surprised to know that their ancestors enslaved Native and Black men and women, in New France as well as on the old continent (Boulle, 2007).

Among the king’s slaves, we find two Panisses who were buried simultaneously:

          ” On the eleventh of November, one thousand seven hundred and fifty-six were buried in the cemetery of the general hospital the bodies of two small panises belonging to the king who died on the present day, baptized in the room. Was present Mr. Curatteau ecclesiastique who signed. “

          « Le onze novembre mil sept cent cinquante six a été inhumé dans le cimetière de lhopital general les corps de deux petits panisses appartenant au Roy décédés du jour présents, ondoyés dans la sale. A été présent Mr Curatteau ecclisiastique qui a signé [sic] »

Source: Record 303757, LAFRANCE, GenealogyQuebec.com

We do not know the name or the age of these two little girls: they have lost their voices. They were likely predestined to domestic work for the hospital or would have occupied other functions serving the population and the king. One can only speculate on their situation. 

After receiving a death sentence for attempting to escape his condition in Martinique, a black slave named Mathieu Léveillé is offered the possibility of avoiding death on the condition he migrates to Canada and becomes maître des hautes œuvres de la société under the king of France. The tasks associated with this title consisted of torturing prisoners and executing death row inmates. As a matter of fact, he was the torturer of Marie-Josèphe-Angélique, a black slave accused of having set the city of Montreal on fire. He died ten years after his arrival on Quebec territory, during which he was hospitalized eleven times. Mathieu Léveillé will have fled certain death in Martinique to impose the death penalty on the criminals of New France.

          ” On the tenth of September, one thousand seven hundred and forty-three was buried in the cemetery of the Hôtel Dieu of Quebec the body of Mathieu [black] maitre des hautes oeuvres who died the previous day aged about thirty-four years and provided with the sacraments of penance and extreme unction were present Jean Baptiste Le Fort Devilleneuve and Louis Rose dit Bellefleur who signed with us “

          « Le dixieme Septembre mil sept cent quarante trois a été enterré dans le cimetière de l’hôtel Dieu de quebec le corps de mathieu [noir] maitre des hautes œuvres mort le jour précédent âgé d’environ trente quatre ans et muni des sacrements de penitence et d’extreme onction ont été présente Jean Baptiste le fort devilleneuve et Louis rose dit Belle fleur lesquels ont signé avec nous [sic] »

Source: Record 169488, LAFRANCE, GenealogyQuebec.com

The first part of this article demonstrated that the enslavement of native and black individuals was widely accepted in society, although it was not the norm in France. In the second part of this article, we will direct our observation towards slaves living within commoners.

Cathie-Anne Dupuis
MSc. Demography,
Doctoral candidate in history

Boulle, Pierre H. 2007. Race et esclavage dans la France de l’Ancien Régime. Paris, France: Perrin.
Peabody, Sue. 1996. « There are no slaves in France » : the political culture of race and slavery in the Ancien Régime. New York ; Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Micromatt-IGD digitization service

The Drouin Genealogical Institute, in collaboration with its partner Micromatt, offers a scanning service adapted to your needs and requirements which takes into account your budgetary constraints.

Since 1972, Micromatt has provided a wide range of products and services related to microfilm and electronic document management. Their reputation is built on a personalized approach that takes into account your needs and requirements, the possibilities offered by current technology and your budget realities. Micromatt cares about the success of your archival projects and takes the time to better target appropriate solutions.

In addition to common administrative documents scanning, Micromatt also has the equipment and expertise to digitize your plans and technical drawings, your books and bound documents, even old and fragile, as well as your microfilms on 16 and 35 mm reels, microfiche or aperture cards. Micromatt can even scan very large artworks at very high resolution.

For its part, the Drouin Genealogical Institute specializes in sharing and preserving the historical and genealogical heritage of Quebec. Today, this preservation involves the digitization of the hundreds of millions of documents which reside, often forgotten, in the many libraries, societies and other institutions of the province.

From there was born the Micromatt-IGD collaboration, which aims to offer you a high-quality digitization service accompanied by unique offers made possible by the commercialization of historical and genealogical archives performed by the Drouin Institute.


Your large documents, in black or in color, can be converted into digital files to keep, transport and view, even on your mobile platforms. Micromatt can scan your plans, technical drawings, maps and other large documents up to 48 inches wide, even using advanced image processing to improve readability.


Micromatt can take over the scanning of your day-to-day business documents such as contracts, invoices, human resources documents, event and research records, etc.

In addition to the obvious space saving they provide, digitized documents can be viewed and shared without travelling, and they can easily be stored and secured in multiple locations to control access.

While microfilm serves a long-term archival need, digitization can be used on records that you need to access every day.


While the secure preservation of microfilm documents has now been replaced by digital scanning, there is still a very large quantity of legacy microfilm and microfiche, from which we can also extract indexed digital files to make them accessible and easier to read and share.


You can now ensure the longevity of your old and precious books, even fragile, entrusting us scanning your bound documents of all sizes. Using highly specialized scanners, ensuring the capture of pages without physical constraints or damaging lighting, our operators will be able to extract high quality images allowing even full text search. This allows you to give broad access to these rare documents more easily to more people.


Over the past 20 years, Micromatt has digitized more than 20 million historical records for the Drouin Genealogical Institute, and has developed unparalleled expertise in digitizing historical records of all formats and types.

In addition, Micromatt offers a free optical character recognition (OCR) service, producing a detailed index of scanned documents for you to search.

Digitize twice as many of your historical documents while keeping the same budget!

Thanks to a collaboration with the Drouin Genealogical Institute, you now have the opportunity to double your digitization capacity while keeping the same budget!

The concept is simple: the Drouin Institute subsidizes 50% of the costs incurred by the digitization of your archives and gives a second life to these documents by making them available on its website GenealogyQuebec.com. The documents digitized on Genealogy Quebec will be used by its members to discover and trace the history of their families in the province.

We are mainly interested in the following types of archives:

  • List of electors
  • Censuses
  • Birth, marriage and death registers
  • Obituaries
  • Baptism, marriage and burial directories
  • Headstone pictures
  • City directories
  • Property assessment rolls (List of land owners)
  • Memorial cards
  • Wedding photos (with names)
  • Postcards
  • Newspapers
  • School yearbooks
  • Boarding school registers (Adoption, nurseries, hospices, orphanages, schools, convents)
  • Other historical documents with a high density of names

Contact us to submit your project!

Ready to launch your digitization project or have a question about our services?

Phone: (514) 931-7508

Email: micromatt@institutdrouin.com

Or come see us!

1170, rue Beaulac , Saint-Laurent, QC H4R 1R7

New documents on Genealogy Quebec and how to donate archives to the Drouin Institute

Some 5000 documents have been added to the BMD cards tool, one of 15 collections available to Genealogy Quebec subscribers.

These documents are from the Société d’histoire de la Seigneurie de Monnoir located in Marieville, Québec.
Here are the details:

  • Collection Monast
    2186 family and BMD cards.
  • Fiches St-Sulpice
    1134 marriage cards from the St-Sulpice parish in Lanaudière.
  • Recensement (census) 1765 de St-Mathias
    226 handwritten cards pertaining to residents and the content of their farms.
  • St-Joseph-de-Chambly
    279 baptism, marriage and burial cards from the St-Joseph-de-Chambly parish, 19th century.
  • Généalogie et fiches (Genealogies and cards)
    1078 family cards, Dominique Lague’s genealogy, and death cards from the Chambly region.

These new documents may be browsed with a subscription to Genealogy Quebec at this address.

What is the BMD cards collection?

The BMD cards tool is a repository of baptism, marriage and burial cards from Quebec, Ontario and the United States.

This tool contains the Antonin LoiselleKardex and Fabien fonds, as well as Ontario BMD cards, BMD cards sorted by cities and families, adoption cards, and death cards sorted by family name, provided by the Quebec Family History Society.

The documents in this collection are organized in a tree structure. In the majority of cases, the cards are distributed in alphabetical order, according to the last name of the subject of the card or the name of the place where applicable.

This screenshot shows the path to follow in order to find cards relating to members of the Gobert family.

You will find more information about this collection on the Drouin Institute’s blog.

You can browse the BMD cards collection as well as tens of millions of other documents of historical and genealogical interest by subscribing to Genealogy Quebec today!

Donating documents to the Drouin Institute

Whether you are a genealogist or a history enthusiast, you probably have accumulated a lot of information and documents over the years.

The Drouin Genealogical Institute, whose mission is the preservation and democratization of the historical and genealogical heritage of Quebec, is constantly looking for documents and data to add to the collections available on Genealogy Quebec.

If you would like to donate your documents and ensure their preservation and access for future generations, please contact us at contact@institutdrouin.com.

We are mainly interested in the following types of archives:

  • List of electors
  • Censuses
  • Birth, marriage, and death registers
  • Obituaries
  • Baptism, marriage, and burial directories
  • Headstone pictures
  • City directories
  • Property assessment rolls (List of land owners)
  • Memorial cards
  • Wedding photos (with names)
  • Postcards
  • Newspapers
  • Boarding school registers (Adoption, nurseries, hospices, orphanages, schools, convents)
  • Other historical documents with a high density of names

Do not hesitate to contact us!

Genealogically yours,

The Drouin team

Genealogy Quebec celebrates its 10th anniversary!

On May 20, 2011, the Drouin Genealogical Institute completed its digital shift by launching Genealogy Quebec, providing online access to more than 100 years of historical data accumulated over the course of its existence.

When it launched, Genealogy Quebec offered ten collections totaling 34 million images and files.

Genealogy Quebec’s homepage from 2011 to 2014

The website has evolved quite a bit over the past 10 years!

Genealogy Quebec’s homepage today

But much more than just the design has changed. Indeed, millions of new documents and images have been added over the last decade. Here is an overview of what is available on Genealogy Quebec today.


The LAFRANCE is an index with link to the original document of births, marriages and deaths from Quebec, Ontario, Acadia and the United States. It contains:

  • ALL of Quebec’s Catholic baptisms and burials from 1621 to 1861
  • ALL of Quebec’s Catholic marriages from 1621 to 1918
  • ALL of Quebec’s Protestant marriages from 1760 to 1849
  • 1,450,000 Quebec Catholic marriages from 1919 to today
  • 80,000 Quebec civil marriages from 1969 to today
  • 140,000 Ontario marriages from 1850 to today
  • 38,000 marriages from the United States
  • 3,000 Quebec Protestant marriages from 1850 to 1941
  • 17,000 miscellaneous Quebec marriages from 2018 and 2019
  • 68,000 miscellaneous Quebec BMD records from the 20th and 21st century

You may browse the LAFRANCE with a subscription to Genealogy Quebec at this address.

Marriages and Deaths 1926-1997

This tool is an index of most of the marriages and deaths recorded in Quebec between 1926 and 1997, all religious denominations included. The original document is available for the marriages.


You may browse the Marriages and Deaths 1926-1997 tool with a subscription to Genealogy Quebec at this address.

Obituary section

This section contains all of the obituaries and headstones available on the website. It contains:

  • 2.6 million Canadian obituaries published online between 1999 and today
  • 1,250,000 obituaries published in Quebec and Ontario newspapers between 1945 and today
  • 97,000 memorial cards published between 1860 and today
  • 712,000 tombstones from Quebec and Ontario cemeteries

You may browse the Obituary section with a subscription to Genealogy Quebec at this address.

12 additional tools and collections

In addition to the collections mentioned above, Genealogy Quebec members have access to 12 additional tools containing various types of documents. These include notarial records, postcards, birth, marriage and death directories, city directories, censuses, family genealogies as well as archival funds containing historical documents and photos of all kinds.


You will find a list of all of the website’s tools at this address.

In total, Genealogy Quebec now offers more than 49 million images and documents allowing you to retrace the history of your ancestors in Quebec and the surrounding areas. Subscribe now to get access!

To all of our subscribers, whether you’ve been with us for a day or 10 years, thank you! It is through your support that we have been able to develop and grow our collections, and thus participate in the preservation of the historical heritage of Quebec and French Canadians.

Genealogically yours,

The Drouin team

Donating documents to the Drouin Institute

Whether you are a genealogist or a history enthusiast, you probably have accumulated a lot of information and documents over the years.

The Drouin Genealogical Institute, whose mission is the preservation and democratization of the historical and genealogical heritage of Quebec, is constantly looking for documents and data to add to the collections available on Genealogy Quebec.

If you would like to donate your documents and ensure their preservation and access for future generations, please contact us at contact@institutdrouin.com.


We are mainly interested in the following types of archives:

  • List of electors
  • Censuses
  • Birth, marriage, and death registers
  • Obituaries
  • Baptism, marriage, and burial directories
  • Headstone pictures
  • City directories
  • Property assessment rolls (List of land owners)
  • Memorial cards
  • Wedding photos (with names)
  • Postcards
  • Newspapers
  • School yearbooks
  • Boarding school registers (Adoption, nurseries, hospices, orphanages, schools, convents)
  • Other historical documents with a high density of names

Whether your documents are listed or not, do not hesitate to contact us!

Genealogically yours,

The Drouin team

Six historical newspapers added to Genealogy Quebec

Six historical newspapers have been added to the Drouin Institute’s Miscellaneous Collections, one of 15 tools available to Genealogy Quebec subscribers.

Here are the newly available newspapers:

Le Franco-Canadien (1893 to 1899)
Le Richelieu (1935 to 1969)
Le Richelieu agricole (1978 to 1980, 1983 and 1984)
Le Richelieu agricole et Dimanche (1986 and 1987)
Le Richelieu Dimanche (1987)
Le Canada-Français (various years between 1888 and 1987)


You will find these 72,841 new images in the Drouin Institute’s Miscellaneous Collections, under the “23 – Journaux Anciens” folder. These six publications add to the many newspapers already available in the section:

Chesterville Record Commercial Gazette (Montréal)
Daily Witness (Montréal) La Chronique de la Vallée du St-Maurice
La Minerve La Semaine (Québec)
La Tribune Canadienne (Montréal) La Vie Illustrée (Montréal)
La Voix Du Peuple (St-Jean) L’Action Canadienne
L’Alliance (St-Jean) L’Avant-Garde
L’Avenir de Quebec Le Carillon (Québec)
Le Castor (Québec) Le Charivari (Québec)
Le Courrier (St-Jean) Le National (Montréal)
Le Progrès du Golfe Le Protectionniste (St-Jean)
Le Semeur Canadien (Montréal) Le Trésor des Familles (Québec)
L’Écho d’Iberville L’Essor (St-Jean)
L’Obligation (Montréal) L’Opinion Publique (Montréal)
L’Union de Woonsocket L’Union des Cantons de l’Est (Arthabaskaville)
Midi-Presse (Montreal) Paris-Canada (Montréal)
The Advertiser The Canadian Jewish Review
The Dominion Illustrated News (Montréal) The Inquirer (Trois-Rivières)
The Quebec Gazette  

You may browse these documents as well as 49 million images and files of genealogical and historical interest by subscribing to Genealogy Quebec today!

Genealogically yours,

The Drouin team

The omission of women in family trees – Part 3

(This is a 3 part article. Click to read: Part 1, Part 2)

In my previous article, I detailed the consequences of the erasure of women in familial histories. Fortunately, although the patriarchal bases of this erasure are well rooted in our society, they can be rethought and subverted. Now that we know this problem exists, what can we do? How can the genealogical community help, to the extent of its practice, build a society that is closer to the gender equality ideal?

Two women practicing archery, 1942. Source: BAnQ digital archives.

First, we can change our vocabulary. In the first part of this article, I  stressed that, often, the terms that are used in genealogical research seem to forget about women (Cousteau Serdongs, 2008 : 133). This issue is of great importance : according to numerous authors, language, words, shape our interpretation of reality (it is the subject of the Saphir-Whorf hypothesis, see Whorf, 1978. On the link between linguistics and women’s condition, see Yaguello, 2002). Francine Cousteau Serdongs (2008: 134) therefore suggests that we should create a non-sexist genealogical vocabulary as well as a more neutral numbering system.

Secondly, we can review our way of doing genealogical research. Cousteau Serdongs (2008: 134) suggests that we should create search tools which facilitate the search for one’s female ancestors by separating them from their husbands: although there are some exceptions, for example the Féminine (Women series) in the Great Collections of the Drouin Genealogical Institute, most search tools will list a couple under the man’s name.

In the Drouin Institute’s Women Series, couples are listed according to the bride’s surname and first name. Source: La Féminine (Women series), Drouin Institute’s Great Collections, GenealogyQuebec.com

On an individual level, Cousteau Serdongs invites genealogists to take interest in their matrilineal line, traced from mother to daughter, to publish their research and to try and reunite descendants from uterine pioneers in associations (2008: 143). This lineage could even be highlighted by a new tradition of last name’s transmission, as suggested by Pierre-Yves Dionne. In his book De mère en fille : comment faire ressortir la lignée maternelle de votre arbre généalogique (From Mother to Daughter : How to bring out the maternal line of your family tree) (2004), he suggests that we could pass on the name of a common female ancestor to subsequent generations of girls.

Dionne also presents in his book his own process of reconstructing his matrilineal line: it can therefore be used as a reference for anyone who wishes to do the same. Judy Russell (Clyde, 2017b) also makes some suggestions for those who struggle with finding their female ancestors: for example, to search in divorce, school, or churches registries.

We also need to think about the future: to make sure that women will not be ignored or left in the background of tomorrow’s research, we can recognize the value of their perspectives and make them visible today. Some women have already started, like the American genealogists who participated in the study of Amy M. Smith (2008). One in particular explained how she was keeping a diary for her descendants, so that they can understand her life and her points of view (M. Smith, 2008: 93). This ensures her life will be documented for future generations to read. This practice also represents women as subjects of their own story, rather than objects in a man’s story.

Westmount Catholic Women’s Club, 1943. Source: BAnQ digital archives.

Multiple feminist genealogical practices are already applied by researchers. In future articles, I will have the occasion to explore in depth the ways in which genealogy can help bring the experiences of women to light or subvert the division between the public and the private sphere, a division which plays a primordial role in patriarchal oppression (see Bereni and Revillard, 2009). We have in front of us a world of possibilities to make genealogy more feminist: it is up to us to get involved!

Audrey Pepin


Bereni, Laure et Revillard Anne. (2009). La dichotomie “Public-Privé’’ à l’épreuve des critiques féministes: de la théorie à l’action publique. In Genre et action publique : la frontière public-privé en questions, Muller, P. et Sénac-Slawinski, R (dir.). Paris: L’Harmattan. p. 27-55.

Clyde, Linda. (2017b, 3 mai). Where to Look to Find Your Female Ancestors. Rootstech [Blog]: https://www.rootstech.org/blog/where-to-look-to-find-your-female-ancestors

Cousteau Serdongs, Francine. (2008). Le Québec, paradis de la généalogie et « re-père » du patriarcat : où sont les féministes ? De l’importance d’aborder la généalogie avec les outils de la réflexion féministe. Recherches féministes vol. 21, no. 1, p.131-147. https://doi.org/10.7202/018313ar

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M. Smiths, Amy. (2008). Family Webs: The Impact of Women’s Genealogy, Research on Family Communication. (doctoral thesis). Graduate College of Bowling Green State University.

Reny, Paule et des Rivières, Marie-José. (2005). Compte-rendu de Pierre-Yves Dionne De mère en fille. Comment faire ressortir la lignée maternelle de votre arbre généalogique. Montréal, Les Éditions Multimondes et les éditions du remue-ménage, 2004, 79 p. Recherches féministes, vol. 18, no. 1, p.153-154. https://doi.org/10.7202/012550ar

Whorf, Benjamin Lee. (1978 [1971]). Linguistique et anthropologie essai. Trad. de l’anglais par Claud Carme. Paris: Paris Denoël/Gonthier. 228 p.

Yaguello, Marina. (2002 [1978]). Les mots et les femmes. Paris: Éditions Payot. 257 p