Quebec birth records and baptisms – The best free and paid sources

Thanks to the efforts of the religious authorities and eventually the government, Quebec birth records have been documented for more than 400 years. Nowadays, most of these records can be consulted online easily. In this article, you will find a list of the best sources of Quebec birth records and baptisms available on the internet.

The LAFRANCE on Genealogy Quebec (Quebec birth records from 1621 to today)

Quebec birth record from Genealogy Quebec
Louis-Joseph Papineau’s baptism as presented on the LAFRANCE on Genealogy Quebec

The LAFRANCE is a database equipped with a search engine containing Ontario, Acadia and Quebec birth, marriage and death records. In addition to millions of marriage and burial records, the LAFRANCE contains ALL Catholic baptisms recorded in the province from the beginnings of the colony to 1861, as well as tens of thousands of baptisms dating from 1862 to the present day.


Browse the LAFRANCE on Genealogy Quebec ($)

Genealogy Quebec subscription: starting at $5 CAD

Connolly File and NBMDS tool on Genealogy Quebec (Quebec birth records from 1621 to today)

The Connolly File and the NBMDS tool are databases equipped with a search engine containing Quebec birth, marriage and death records. Notably, it contains nearly 3 million Quebec birth records dating from the beginnings of the colony to the present day.


Browse the Connolly File on Genealogy Quebec ($)

Browse the NBMDS tool on Genealogy Quebec ($)

Genealogy Quebec subscription: starting at $5 CAD

Quebec Civil Registration (Quebec birth records from 1621 to the 1940s)

The civil registration of Quebec available to the public consists of parish registers recorded between 1621 and the 1940s. This is a digitized version of the registers, but it should be noted that the various events are not individually indexed; you will have to browse the registers manually to find a specific event.


Browse Quebec’s civil registration up to the 1920s on the BANQ website (Free)

Browse Quebec’s civil registration up to the 1940s Genealogy Quebec ($)

Genealogy Quebec subscription: starting at $5 CAD

Quebec Parish Registres (Quebec birth records from 1621 to 1979)

A second copy of Quebec’s civil registration exists, which was kept within the churches. This copy is available online with a partial index and stops in 1979 for Catholic records, and 1967 for Protestant records.


Browse Quebec’s Catholic Parish Registers on Family Search (Free)

Browse Quebec’s Protestant Parish Registers on Family Search (Free)

PRDH-IGD (Quebec baptisms from 1621 to 1849)

Certificate sourced from a Quebec birth record
Baptism certificate from PRDH-IGD

The PRDH-IGD contains all of Quebec’s Catholic baptism, marriage and burial records from 1621 to 1849. These records are presented on the site in the form of a certificate, but are also used to reconstruct the life of an individual or a family via detailed files. This process is called “family reconstruction” and results in an extremely detailed and accurate family tree of the entire French-Canadian population of Quebec up to 1849. This tree can be used to trace an entire lineage in the span of minutes.

Browse the PRDH-IGD ($)

PRDH-IGD subscription: starting at $19,99 CAD

NosOrigines

Family file containing baptisms from NosOrigines
NosOrigines family file

NosOrigines is a free site containing files pertaining to individuals and families of Quebec and Acadia. These files are based on vital events which mainly come from the parish registers. A link to the original document from which the information was sourced is sometimes included.


Browse NosOrigines (Free)

BMS2000

BMS2000 contains more than 16 million Quebec birth, marriage and death records. The database can be navigated with ease using a search engine. A link to the original source document is often included.


Browse BMS2000 ($)

BMS2000 subscription: starting at $20 CAD

Fichier Origine

The Fichier Origine is made up of individual files compiled from parish and notarial records. These files pertain to the first immigrants of families who settled on Quebec soil, from the origins of the colony until 1865. These individual files list, among other things, the place and date of birth of these pioneers.


Browse the Fichier Origine

Quebec marriages – The best free and paid sources

In genealogy, the marriage record is the key to tracing one’s ancestors. We are fortunate in Quebec to have access to the majority of marriages recorded in the province from the beginnings of the colony until today, thanks to the archives kept by the church and the government. In this article, you will find a list of the best free and paid sources of Quebec marriages available on the internet.

The LAFRANCE on Genealogy Quebec (Quebec Marriages 1621 to today)

Quebec marriage from Genealogy Quebec
Quebec marriage as presented on the LAFRANCE on Genealogy Quebec

The LAFRANCE is a database equipped with a search engine containing birth, death and marriage records from Quebec as well as from Ontario and Acadia. In addition to millions of baptisms and burials, it contains the following records:

  • 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

Browse the LAFRANCE on Genealogy Quebec ($)

Genealogy Quebec subscription: starting at $5 CAD

Marriages and Deaths 1926-1997 on Genealogy Quebec

Quebec marriage from Genealogy Quebec
Quebec marriage from the Marriages and Deaths 1926-1997 tool on Genealogy Quebec

The Marriages and Deaths 1926-1997 tool contains most of the marriages and deaths recorded in Quebec by the government during that period.

The tool is equipped with a search engin and the original document can be viewed in many cases.


Browse the Marriages and Deaths 1926-1997 collection on Genealogy Quebec ($)

Genealogy Quebec subscription: starting at $5 CAD

Quebec Civil Registration (Quebec marriages from 1621 to the 1940s)

The civil registration of Quebec is a collection comprising almost all the parish registers recorded in Quebec between 1621 and the 1940s. This collection includes a digitized version of every register, but the individual records they contain are not indexed; you will have to go through the register manually, year by year, to find the record you are looking for.


Browse Quebec’s civil registration up to the 1920s on the BANQ website (Free)

Browse Quebec’s civil registration up to the 1940s Genealogy Quebec ($)

Genealogy Quebec subscription: starting at $5 CAD

Quebec Parish Registres (Quebec marriages from 1621 to 1979)

A second copy of Quebec’s civil registration exists. This one was kept within the churches themselves. This collection is available with a partial index up to 1979 for Catholic parishes, and 1967 for Protestant parishes.


Browse Quebec’s Catholic Parish Registers on Family Search (Free)

Browse Quebec’s Protestant Parish Registers on Family Search (Free)

PRDH-IGD (Quebec marriages from 1621 to 1849)

Family File from PRDH-IGD containing Quebec Marriages
Family file as presented on PRDH-IGD. It centralizes the information available about a couple and their children on a single page.

The PRDH-IGD is a directory of ALL vital events recorded by the Catholic church in Quebec from 1621 to 1849, which represents over 2.5 million records.

Every individual mentioned in one of these records gets their own “individual file” in which the information available on the individual is centralized. Links to all records where the individual is mentioned are also included in the file.

In addition, every married couple from the database is assigned a “family file” which fulfills a similar role as the individual file, but in relation to an entire family. It lists all the couple’s children with redirections to their individual files and their vital records. The family file also contains additional information pertaining to the married couple.

To put it more simply, the PRDH-IGD database is a exhaustive family tree of the entire French Canadian population from the early days of the colony to 1849.


Browse the PRDH-IGD ($)

PRDH-IGD subscription: starting at $19,99 CAD

NosOrigines

Family File from NosOrigines containing Quebec Marriages
Family file as presented on NosOrigines

NosOrigines is a free website with hundreds of thousands of files pertaining to Quebec families. These files usually refer to vital events from Quebec’s parish registers. A link to the original document available on Family Search is sometimes included.


Browse NosOrigines (Free)

BMS2000

BMS2000 is a research website containing over 16 million Quebec marriages, baptisms and burials. A search engine allows for easy browsing of the database. A link to the original document available on Family Search is sometimes included.


Browse BMS2000 ($)

BMS2000 subscription: starting at $20 CAD

Fichier Origine

The Fichier Origine contains individual files based on civil and notarial records relating to the first immigrants of families who settled on Quebec soil from the beginnings of the colony until 1865. These individual files contain information about the marriage of these pioneers, whether it took place in Quebec or in the country of origin.


Browse the Fichier Origine

Over 100,000 birth, marriage and death cards added on Genealogy Quebec

Around 120,000 birth, marriage and death cards have been added to the BMD Cards collection, one of 15 tools available to Genealogy Quebec subscribers.

They can be found under the Fonds Demers, Fonds Louis-Lachance and Fonds Marcel Rivet folders at this address.

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!

What is the BMD cards tool?

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

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

As of today, the collection contains over 2.5 million cards. You will find more information as well as research tips on the Drouin Institute’s blog.

Genealogically yours,

The Drouin team

New historical newspapers available on Genealogy Quebec

47,383 images from four Quebec newspapers have been added to the Drouin Institute’s Miscellaneous Collections, one of 15 tools available to Genealogy Quebec subscribers.

Here are the newspapers in question:

  • Montreal Gazette (1864 et 1865)
  • Quebec Gazette (1865 et 1866)
  • Montreal Witness (1865 et 1866)
  • La Frontière de l’Abitibi (1937 à 1977)

These new images can be found in the Drouin Institute’s Miscellaneous Collections, under the “23 – Journaux Anciens” folder. Here are the newspapers available in the section:

Chesterville RecordCommercial Gazette (Montréal)
Daily Witness (Montréal)Hebdo-Progrès (St-Léonard et Rosemont)
La Chronique de la Vallée du St-MauriceLa Minerve
La Parole (Drummondville)La Santé (Montreal)
La Semaine (Québec)La Tribune Canadienne (Montréal)
La Vie Illustrée (Montréal)La Voix de L’Est
La Voix de Wolfe (Ham-Nord)La Voix Du Peuple (St-Jean)
L’Action CanadienneL’Alliance (St-Jean)
L’Avant-GardeL’Avenir de Quebec
Le Canada-Français (St-Jean-sur-Richelieu)Le Carillon (Québec)
Le Castor (Québec)Le Charivari (Québec)
Le Courrier (St-Jean)Le Courrier d’Orsainville (Québec)
Le Franco-CanadienLe Monde Illustré (Montreal)
Le National (Montréal)Le Pharillon (Gaspésie)
Le Progrès Dimanche (Chicoutimi)Le Progrès du Golfe
Le Protectionniste (St-Jean)Le Quotidien (Chicoutimi)
Le RichelieuLe Richelieu Agricole (St-Jean-sur-Richelieu)
Le Richelieu Agricole et DimancheLe Richelieu Dimanche
Le Riviera (Sorel)Le Samedi (Montréal)
Le Semeur Canadien (Montréal)Le Soleil (Quebec)
Le Trésor des Familles (Québec)L’Echo (Louiseville)
L’Echo Abitibien (Val d’Or)L’Écho d’Iberville
L’Electeur (PLQ)Les Nouvelles Saint-Laurent News
L’Essor (St-Jean)L’Horizon (Joliette)
L’Obligation (Montréal)L’Opinion Publique (Montréal)
L’Union de WoonsocketL’Union des Cantons de l’Est (Arthabaskaville)
Midi-Presse (Montreal)Notre Temps (Montréal)
Paris-Canada (Montréal)Perspectives Dimanche Matin (Montréal)
The AdvertiserThe Canadian Jewish Review
The Dominion Illustrated News (Montréal)The Inquirer (Trois-Rivières)
The Quebec GazetteThe Richmond News (Richmond)
The Watchman (Lachute)Ville de Val-Belair

Subscribe to Genealogy Quebec and trace your ancestors today using our collection of over 50,000,000 genealogical and historical images and documents!

Genealogically yours,

The Drouin team

45,000 new obituaries on Genealogy Quebec

45,276 newspaper obituaries from Quebec, Ontario and the United States as well as 1897 memorial cards have been added to the Obituary Section, one of 15 collections available to Genealogy Quebec subscribers.

These documents are indexed by the first and last name as well as the date of death of the subject. You may browse them with a subscription to Genealogy Quebec at this address.

Subscribe to Genealogy Quebec and trace your ancestors today using over 50,000,000 genealogical and historical images and documents!

The Obituary section

This section contains most of the obituaries, memorial cards and headstones available on Genealogy Quebec. It is divided in 4 sub-sections:

  • Internet obituaries, which contains over 2.7 million obituaries published online from 1999 to today.
  • Newspaper obituaries, which now contains close to 1,300,000 newspaper obituaries published between 1860 and today
  • Tombstones, which contains more than 740,000 pictures of headstones from hundreds of cemeteries in Quebec and Ontario.
  • Memorial cards, which contains near 100,000 memorial cards published between 1860 and today.

These collections are indexed and can be explored using a search engine. You will find more information about this section on the Drouin Institute’s blog.

Genealogically yours,

The Drouin team

Drouin Collection rescanning on Genealogy Quebec

66,522 images from the registers of 72 Catholic and Protestant parishes in Quebec have been rescanned on Genealogy Quebec, to improve their quality and clarity.

Over a million images from the Drouin collection have now been redigitized on the website.

Rescanned images.
Source: Drouin Collection Records, GenealogyQuebec.com

The resolution of these new images is two to three times higher than that of the previous copy, which ensures superior clarity.

Browse all of Quebec’s parish registers as well as millions of documents of genealogical and historical interest by subscribing to Genealogy Quebec today!

The Drouin Collection Records

The Drouin Collection Records are a collection of parish registers (baptisms, marriages and burials) covering all of Quebec and French Acadia as well as parts of Ontario, New Brunswick and the Northeastern United States, from the parishes’ opening up to the 1940s and sometimes 1960s.

You can browse the Drouin collection with a subscription to Genealogy Quebec at this address.

The LAFRANCE, also available to Genealogy Quebec subscribers, is a search engine allowing you to explore these parish registers by searching for the individual(s) mentioned in them.

Example of a search using the LAFRANCE

You will find more information about the LAFRANCE at this address.

Rescanned parishes

Below is a list of the parishes that have been rescanned in today’s update.

Abbotsford (St-Paul)Acton Vale (St-André)
Asbestos (United Church)Ascot (Universalist Church)
Ayer’s Cliff (United Church)Ayer’s Flat (Congregational Church)
Ayer’s Flat (Congregational Church)Brompton (Church of England)
Buckingham (St-Grégoire-de-Nazianze)Bury and Lingwick (Church of England)
Coaticook (Church of England)Compton (Church of England)
Cookshire (Church of England)Danville (Church of England)
Danville (Congregational Church)Derby Line (Universalist Church)
DeschênesDixville (Church of England)
Dudswell and Ham (Church of England)East Angus (Church of England)
Eaton (Church of England)Eaton (Congregational Church)
Fitch Bay (Church of England)Fitch Bay (Congregational Church)
Georgeville (Church of England)Hatley (Church of England)
Hereford (Church of England)Hull (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce)
Hull (Notre-Dame-de-Lorette)Huntingville (Universalist Church)
Johnville (Church of England)Kingsbury and New Rockland (Church of England)
Lac Mégantic (Church of England)Lennoxville (Church of England)
Lingwick and Bury (Church of England)Magog (Church of England)
Marbleton (Church of England)Marieville (St-Nom-de-Marie)
Melbourne (Church of England)Milby (Church of England)
Newport (Church of England)North Hatley (Church of England)
North Hatley (Universalist Church)North Hatley (Universalist Church)
Ormstown (Methodist Church Saint Paul’s)Ormstown (Townships)
RichelieuRIchmond (Church of England)
Robinson (Church of England)Rougemont (St-Michel)
Sherbrooke (Church of England)Sherbrooke (Congregational Church)
Sherbrooke, Travelling Missionnary (Church of England)Shipton (Church of England)
Shipton (Congregational Church)Stanstead (Congregational Church)
St-Damase (St-Hyacinthe)St-Denis-sur-Richelieu
St-Dominique (Bagot)Ste-Hélène (Bagot)
St-RégisSts-Martyrs-Canadiens
St-Stanislas-de-KostkaSt-Timothée (Beauharnois)
Valleyfield & St-Louis-de-Gonzague (Presbyterian Church)Valleyfield (Sacré-Cœur)
Valleyfield (Ste-Cécile)Waterville (Church of England)
Waterville (Congregational Church)Weedon
Windsor Mills (St-Philippe)Wotton (St-Hippolyte)

Genealogically yours,

The Drouin team

50 million images and documents milestone reached on Genealogy Quebec!

Today, we reached a historic milestone on Genealogy Quebec, with now 50 million images and documents available on the website.

These millions of documents include birth, marriage and death records, parish registers, obituaries, tombstones, postcards, city directories, historical photos, and much more, covering from the early days of the French colony to the present day.

This incredible collection is the result of over a hundred years of work and effort, and we are proud of our contribution to the preservation and democratization of French Canada’s historical and genealogical heritage.

We are also very grateful to our members, without whom this accomplishment would not have been possible. Thank you!

Genealogy Quebec’s 15 collections

On Genealogy Quebec, these 50 million images and documents are divided between 15 collections and tools. Here is an overview.

  • The LAFRANCE – Index with link to the original document of baptisms, marriages and burials from Quebec, Ontario, Acadia and the United States.
    • 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
    • CURRENTLY BEING ADDED: Tens of thousands of baptisms, marriages and burials from Ontario and Acadia as well as Protestant records from Quebec
  • Marriages and Deaths 1926-1997 – Index with link to the original document of most of the marriages and deaths celebrated in Quebec between 1926 and 1997, all religious denominations included.
  • The Obituary Section – Index and original document of:
    • 2.7 million Canadian obituaries published online between 1999 and today
    • 1,250,000 obituaries published in Quebec and Ontario newspapers between 1945 and today
    • 97,500 memorial cards published between 1860 and today
    • 739,000 tombstones from Quebec and Ontario cemeteries
  • Drouin Institute’s Great Collections – Digitization of the following collections with search engine:
    • La Masculine
    • Fichier Histor
    • Fiches Acadiennes
    • Dossiers généalogiques Drouin
    • Affinités généalogiques Drouin
    • Petit Drouin
    • Dictionnaire national des Canadiens-Français
    • La Féminine
    • Prévôté de Québec
    • Fiches Franco-américaines
    • Patrimoine Familial
    • Patrimoine National
    • Kardex Noir
  • Drouin Collection Records – All of Quebec’s parish registers from 1621 to 1940, as well as some from parts of Ontario, New England and Acadia.
  • NBMDS – 1,320,000 baptism, marriage and burial records from various parts of Quebec, Ontario and the United States.
  • The Connolly File – 6,700,000 Quebec baptism, marriage and burial files covering from 1621 to today.
  • Drouin Institute’s Family Genealogies – 660 family genealogies produced by the Drouin Institute during the 20th century. Totals for over 230 000 pages.
  • Drouin Institute’s miscellaneous Collections – Collection of images, documents, books, pictures and directories of historical and genealogical relevance. Contains the PRDH books, the Jetté dictionary, some municipal archives, old newspapers and much more.
  • Acadia – Families – Family files, with link to the related original documents, pertaining to Acadians. Covers more than 158,000 Acadian families.
  • Postcards – Contains 256,000 postcards sent or received over the course of the 20th century. Can be searched by sender or recipient.
  • BMD Cards – A repository of millions of baptism, marriage and burial cards from Quebec, Ontario and the United States. Contains, among other things, the “Antonin Loiselle” and “Kardex” collections.
  • Census – Contains Quebec’s 1881 and 1901 censuses as well as Ontario’s 1881 census.
  • Notarized documents –  Contains some 83,000 notarized documents indexed by type of contract, cited names, name of the notary, date and location. Linked to a digitized version of the original document.
  • City directories –  Contains a digitized version of Montreal (Lovell – 1843 to 2000) and Quebec city’s (Marcotte – 1822 to 1904) directories.

You can browse these 50 million images and documents and trace your ancestors by subscribing to Genealogy Quebec today!

To conclude, we leave you with a promise: 50 million is just the beginning! Stay tuned…

Genealogically yours,

The Drouin team

40,000 new marriages available on Genealogy Quebec

More than 40,000 marriages have been added to the Drouin Collection Records, one of 15 tools available to Genealogy Quebec subscribers.

These new marriages, originally published on the Directeur de l’État Civil website, cover the years 2019, 2020 and 2021, and add to the 15,000 marriages already available in the collection.

Browsing the DECQ marriages

In order to consult these new marriages, head to the Drouin Collection Records and open the “Quebec” folder, where you will find the “Mariages DECQ 2018-2022” collection.

The marriages are listed in alphabetical order by the husband’s or wife’s surname.

For example, in order to find the marriage of a Cabana, simply go to the C folder and browse the list of marriages alphabetically listed within.

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

What are the Drouin Collection Records?

The Drouin Collection Records contain all of the parish registers available on Genealogy Quebec, which represents over 5 million images.

Sherbrooke parish register image from the Drouin Collection Records available on GenealogyQuebec.com.

This collection is home to all of Quebec’s parish registers from 1621 to the 1940s, as well as numerous parish registers from Ontario, New Brunswick, the United States and Acadia.

You may browse the Drouin Collection Records with a subscription to Genealogy Quebec at this address.


Genealogically yours,

The Drouin team

Announcing the 10 winners of the Drouin Institute’s contest!

It is now time to announce the 10 winners of our contest launched on March 8, 2022, in which you could win an annual subscription to Genealogy Quebec1,000 hits on PRDH-IGD.com or $200 on our online boutique.

Without further ado, here are the 10 winners:

  • Denys Bertrand
  • Susan Coupal
  • Martin Carriere
  • Richard Pagé
  • Jocelyne Beaulieu
  • Chantal Vallières
  • Leslie Hatch
  • Line Gibbons
  • Lise Rose
  • Gabrielle Lévesque Baudet

Congratulations!

More than 6,700 of you participated in our contest this year, a record! Many thanks to all our participants.

If you are not one of our 10 winners, don’t worry, you will have other opportunities to participate in the future. Stay tuned!

Genealogically yours,

The Drouin team

Genealogy and women’s history

(This article is a follow-up to Genealogy and care work)

As genealogists, we have access to little windows into the past. Our familial histories, the lives of our ancestors, all fit into the much larger context of the society in which they lived. If we pay enough attention, we can see traces of that in our research. These little pieces of the past can be very instructive, as they can help us better understand certain realities. In this sense, I believe genealogy can serve feminist emancipation : it can shed light on women’s history.

Genealogy can teach us a lot about the living conditions of women at different times. In our genealogical research, we can discover how many children our female ancestors had, at what interval, how many survived, how old they were when they got married and when they gave birth, if they became widows, how many times, at what age, etc. From these facts, we can rebuild their life stories, partially of course, since their lives cannot be summed up entirely to their familial context. However, because the social role of women has often been to take care of their families, these facts can teach us a lot about their daily lives, the major milestones of their lives and the challenges they faced.

Source: Individual File 13420, PRDH-IGD.com
Source: Family File 4903, PRDH-IGD.com
Marie Catherine Sicotte’s individual and family files from PRDH-IGD.com give us a relatively detailed overview of her life; her place and date of birth, marriage and death, the names of her parents as well as the list of her children including the place and date of their birth, marriage and death.

We can also certainly see in this information the different ways in which patriarchy influenced women’s lives. Subtle social norms and very concrete laws concerning the injunction to marriage and motherhood or access to contraception and abortion are directly reflected in our family trees and in our family histories. When we connect the life stories of several generations, we can see how these influences changed over the decades, or even centuries.

Genealogy can also help us understand what roles women played in society. The documents we use in a genealogical research often mention the men’s occupations, but it’s a lot more rare for women, who were taking care of the children or helping with the family business in the shadows of their husbands. However, there is an exception : the midwives! Midwives who assisted the birth of a child are sometimes mentioned on baptismal records.

Source: Record 2953156, LAFRANCE, GenealogieQuebec.com

The roles women played in our societies were rarely recognized, let alone valued: and yet, they were crucial. Midwives often were essential local medical resources, especially in smaller or remote villages where access to a doctor was not always guaranteed (Laforce, 1983 :7 ; Bates et al, 2005 :18). House work and child rearing are also essential in any family, and it was often because women took care of it that men were able to devote themselves to more public and supposedly important activities (like politics, art, science, etc).

This devalorization continues to this day : women who choose to be stay-at-home-moms are often seen as ‘’not working’’ (we can think of the notorious play ‘’Môman travaille pas, a trop d’ouvrage’’  (mom doesn’t have a job, she has too much work) (Théâtre des cuisines, 1976)) and jobs typically done by women are significatively underpaid. Canadian Women’s Foundation underlines that ‘’jobs that conform to traditional gender roles tend to be undervalued because they parallel domestic work that women were expected to perform for free’’ (Canadian Women’s Foundation, 2021). By putting these roles forward in our genealogical research, we can participate in their revalorization, so that the contributions of women from the past and the present are more recognized.

This type of genealogical research can also bridge the gap between familial histories, personal to each genealogist, and the much more global history of a society. Genealogy can therefore link the public and private spheres even if they are presented as fundamentally opposed by the patriarchy (Bereni and Revillard, 2009). This opposition is directly linked to women’s oppression : because these spheres are seen as completely different, even incompatible, women’s assignment to the private sphere necessarily excludes them from the public sphere.

Feminists worked towards the deconstruction of this opposition : this idea is notoriously carried in the famous slogan of radical feminists ‘’the personal is political’’. We can therefore consider that particular genealogical practices which link these two spheres and blur the line that divide them participate to this deconstruction and to the feminist emancipation project.

Audrey Pepin


Bibliography

Bates, Christina, Dodd, Diane and Rousseau, Nicole (2005). Sans Frontières : quatre siècles de soins infirmiers canadiens. Ottawa : Les Presses de l’Université d’Ottawa. 248 p.

Bereni, Laure and 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.

Canadian Women’s Foundation (2021). The Facts about the Gender Pay Gap in Canada  [Online]. https://canadianwomen.org/the-facts/the-gender-pay-gap/ 

Laforce, Hélène (1983). L’évolution du rôle de la sage-femme dans la région de Québec de 1620 à 1840. (Master’s thesis). Québec : Université Laval, 368 p. https://corpus.ulaval.ca/jspui/handle/20.500.11794/28994 Théâtre des cuisines. (1976). Môman travaille pas, a trop d’ouvrage. Montréal : Les Éditions du Remue-Ménage, 78 p.