New baptism, marriage and burial cards are now available under the “Fonds Fabien” folder in the BMD Cards collection, available to GenealogyQuebec.com subscribers.
This update adds some 102 000 cards from Ontario and the Outaouais region of Quebec to the collection.
They relate to baptism, marriage and burial records and generally include the name of the subject(s) and their parents as well as the date and the place of registration of the event.
The cards are sorted in a file tree structure under the surname of the subject (the baptized, the deceased, or the groom in the case of marriages).
In many cases, it is possible to find the original parish record on which a card is based using the Drouin Collection Records, also available on Genealogy Quebec.
To illustrate the process, let us find the original record related to this card, which pertains to Patrick Nagh and Albertine Ménard’s marriage :
In the Fonds Fabien cards, a lone “J.” is used in place of the name Joseph, as is the case here for Albertine’s father.
The Drouin Collection Records contain all of Quebec’s parish registers from 1621 to the 1940s as well as many parish registers from Ontario, with an emphasis on those near the border between Quebec and Ontario.
Patrick Nagh and Albertine Ménard’s marriage card indicates that the marriage was celebrated in St-François d’Assise Parish in Ottawa, which happens to be one of the Ontario parishes available in the Drouin Collection Records.
Once in the Drouin Collection Records, you will notice that the various registers are organized in a file tree structure. We begin by opening the Ontario folder, as the marriage we are interested in was recorded in that province. Following that, we must locate the St-François d’Assise parish.
Some parishes are listed under the name of the city they are located in, while others will be listed under the name of the parish itself. In the case of Ottawa’s parishes, they are listed under the city’s name.
St-François d’Assise is found under the Ottawa folder.
Once inside the correct folder, we must navigate to the right year, which will give us access to all the images associated with the register for that specific year. It is important to know that in general, the images are listed in chronological order.
This means that the first image in the folder will contain the first events recorded during that year, which are usually the ones from January. Similarly, the last few images in the folder will hold the records from the end of the year.
Since Patrick Nagh and Albertine Ménard’s marriage was celebrated on the 3rd of April, it’s likely that the marriage record will be found among the first few images.
And so, we were able to find the original document pertaining to a Fonds Fabien card using the tools available on GenealogyQuebec.com.
3460 images covering the St. Lawrence and Clinton Counties (Canton, Hogansburg, Norfolk, Schuyler Falls and Postdam) in the State of New York are now available on Genealogy Quebec, under the “Registres Divers” folder in the Drouin Collection Records.
These documents, which contain vital records as well as military archives, add to the numerous New York State records already available on Genealogy Quebec :
Here are the newspapers that were added through this update.
The Quebec Gazette (1832 to 1836) The Inquirer (Trois-Rivières) (1857 to 1863) The Dominion Illustrated News (Montréal) (1888 to 1893) The Canadian Jewish Review (1935 to 1939) Paris-Canada (1884 to 1893) Midi-Presse (Montréal) (1954) L’Opinion Publique (Montréal) (1870 to 1874) L’Obligation (Montréal) (1918 and 1919) Le Semeur Canadien (Montréal) (1856 to 1861) Le Trésor des Familles (Québec) (May 1883) Le Progrès du Golfe (1948 to 1950) Le National (Montréal) (1892) Le Charivari (Québec) (1868) Le Castor (Québec) (1879) Le Carillon (Québec) (1879) L’Action Canadienne (November 1915) La Tribune Canadienne (Montréal) La Vie Illustrée (Montréal) (1889) La Semaine (Québec) (1895) La Minerve (1868 and 1869) La Chronique de la Vallée du St-Maurice (1929) Daily Witness (Montréal) (1874 to 1879) Commercial Gazette (Montréal) (1897)
New church records are now available in the LAFRANCE, one of 15 tools available to GenealogyQuebec.com subscribers.
Original church records for Quebec’s 1918 Catholic marriages now viewable in the LAFRANCE
In June 2019, all of Quebec’s Catholic marriages from 1918 were imported into the LAFRANCE. However, the link to the image of the parish document had yet to be added to the record certificates. Today’s update added this link, allowing you to view the original parish document with a single click.
Click on the link at the top right of the certificate to view the original parish document
Ontario baptism, marriage and burial records in the LAFRANCE
We are happy to announce that we have begun indexing the parish registers of Ontario, more specifically the parishes that border the province of Quebec, as many French Canadian families settled in that region. These records will be added to the LAFRANCE gradually as they are indexed by our team.
The following parishes have been partially added as of now:
Alexandria: 1835 to 1861, 3135 records, mostly baptisms
Corkery: 1837 to 1861, 959 records, mostly baptisms
Embrun: 1858 to 1861, 194 records, mostly baptisms
LaPasse: 1851 to 1861, 408 records, baptisms, marriages and burials
What is the LAFRANCE?
The LAFRANCE, one of 15 tools available to GenealogyQuebec.com subscribers, is a detailed index with link to the original document of ALL Catholic marriages celebrated in Quebec between 1621 and 1918, ALL Catholic baptisms and burials recorded in Quebec between 1621 and 1861 as well as ALL Protestant marriages celebrated in Quebec between 1760 and 1849.
Your genealogical research might have left you with the impression that your ancestors liked to change names quite often. The concept of “dit names”, which was the subject of a previous blog post, sheds light on a part of this variation, which can be obscure to a present-day observer.
Although baptism was the cornerstone of civil identity in French Canada for four centuries, this identity was not, until the beginning of the 20th century, as constraining as it is today. It was not usual for an individual to use different first and last names in the course of a lifetime. This phenomenon is fostered by the orthographic instability of proper names, the flexibility of the civil registration system as well as illiteracy.
This article offers some tips to keep in mind in order to locate all the occurrences of your ancestors in the archives.
Do not rely on spelling
This tip may seem trivial to experienced genealogists, but it is a very handy one. For example, the ancestor of the Hétu family would spell his name Estur. The silent ‹ s › and ‹ r › were orthographic relics, for which the French language is renowned. The ‹ h › was added over the years as an ornamental letter.
Orthographic variation should not be systematically attributed to illiteracy, as evidenced by the Hénault family. Four members of this educated and wealthy family signed, in 1816, the marriage record of Honoré Hénault and Julienne Mailloux and spelled their last name three different ways: Hénault, Heneault and Eno. The priest chose the unaccented variant Henault.
Before standardization of proper names, their spelling would be determined to some extent by the whims of the priest, the notary and the individual him or herself.
Keep in mind that language changes
Most Dions are patronymic descendants of pioneer Jean Guyon. How is that possible? First, note that Guyon is pronounced Guee-yon and not Gu-yon. Nowadays, hard ‹ g › is articulated at the velum while ‹ d › is articulated behind the upper front teeth. However, in the past, ‹ g ›, when followed by a vowel pronounced from the front of the mouth like ‹ ee ›, tended to move forward. This linguistic process induced a shift from Guyon to Dion.
Guyot, which derives from the first name Guy just like Guyon, went through a parallel transformation and gave birth to Diotte. However, some names went the opposite way: Pierre Andiran is the ancestor of all Languirands.
Similarly, the Chiasson and Giasson families share the same origin. Only the vibration of the vocal folds in the onset of the word separates those two names. In the absence of a fixed spelling, this phonetic feature was likely to fluctuate across regions, time periods and individuals. Like Guyon and Dion, these two names are two sides of the same coin.
Vowels are also impacted by linguistic change. Maybe you will be surprised to learn that most Harveys from Quebec did not receive their name from an Anglo-Saxon immigrant. It rather comes from the name Hervé.
Be on the lookout for deleted or added sounds
The absence of a strict orthographic norm when it comes to proper nouns opens the door to oral variation. Certain sounds and syllables have a natural tendency to appear or disappear according to their position in the word.
One reason for adding segments is the introduction of definite articles le, la and l’(the) in front of last names: it was usual to call people le Gagnon, la Corriveau (a famous folkloric and historical figure) or l’Andiran. Reinterpretation of this structure in a merged form completes the shift from Andiran to Languirand.
Now, pronounce Reguindeau (Ruh-guin-do) out loud, then Reyindeau (Ruh-yin-do). You will probably notice the similarity between the two forms, and how easy it is to go from one to the other. The change from hard ‹ g › to ‹ y › is an example of palatalization. English yellow is linked to German gelb through the same process. You might have recognized the French-Canadian last name Riendeau (Ryin-do), inherited from Joachim Reguindeau from La Rochelle, France.
The pioneer François Amirault dit Tourangeau offers another example of deletion: most of his patronymic descendants use the name Mireault or an orthographic variant. The reverse phenomenon can also be found as the female first name Zélie produced Azélie.
The alternation between first names that are essentially distinguished by a few additional sounds can be found without regard for etymological cognateness. In French Canada, Élisabeth and its ancient derivative Isabelle behaved as two variants of the same name until the 19th century. However, Domitille & Mathilde, Jérémie & Rémi, Apolline & Pauline as well as Napoléon, Paul & Léon are not related.
Detect shared consonants, vowels and syllables
Beyond truncated segments, some names share more subtle similarities that explain why they have often been mixed up, or even used interchangeably.
Apolline & Hippolyte, Jérémie & Germain, Mathilde & Martine as well as Alice & Élise illustrate this phenomenon. In other cases, the similarities seem even more tenuous. It is improbable that a present-day genealogist would spontaneously perceive a link between Angélique, Julie and Judith. Yet records show that these three first names have often been used alternately.
Focus on the most distinctive part
A first name with a rare ending is susceptible to be substituted with other names that share the same characteristic. It is the case of David & Ovide or Stanislas & Wenceslas.
The most distinctive part of a first name, or even a last name, sometimes acts as a nucleus that can be completed with a variety of prefixes and suffixes. Thus, Rose generates Rosalie, Rosanna, Rosina and Rosa. The female first names structured around the nucleus ‹ del › provide another example. By varying starts and endings, this group includes Adèle, Adélaïde, Adeline, Délie, Délina, Délia, Délima, Odeline and even Odile, which are not all etymologically related but came to sound alike and sometimes be used alike.
Similarly, it is not surprising that Brunet is occasionally substituted with Bruneau or Brunel, and Gendreau may alternate with Gendron.
Know the first name combinations inspired by the saints
To shed light on this last type of variation, religion rather than linguistics comes in handy. Some saints’ and blesseds’ names are composed of several parts, with Jean Baptiste (John the Baptist) being the most well-known. An individual may use one part or another. Thus, Rose de Lima (Rose of Lima) paves the way for Rose and its sisters Rosalie, Rosanna, Rosa, as well as Délima and even Délina.
François Xavier (Francis Xavier), Jean François Régis (John Francis Regis), Jeanne Françoise Frémyot de Chantal (Jane Frances de Chantal) and Marie des Anges (Mary of the Angels), among others, also open the door to alternation between their parts.
The resemblance function in the LAFRANCE and on PRDH-IGD.com
The resemblance (or likeliness) function available on the search engines of both PRDH-IGD and GenealogyQuebec.com‘s LAFRANCE will neutralize some of this variation, making genealogical research easier.
For example, searching for “Mathilde” will generate a list containing women named Mathilde, Domitille, Martine, Donatille, Mélitime, Métheldée and Militilde, with their various spellings.
You will find, in the Drouin Institute’s Miscellaneous Collections (more information), a folder titled Fonds d’archives (Archival fonds), containing the genealogical and historical archives of several collaborators of the Drouin Institute. These archives contain documents of all kinds; family genealogies, photos of individuals, buildings and streets, digitizations of historical works, family histories, maps, as well as many other types of documents and archives.
It is truly a gold mine of information and documents for Quebec history and genealogy enthusiasts. This most recent update pertains to the André-Hurtubise, Gaston-Dupuis and Yvan-Beaulieu Fonds. You can consult them in the Drouin Institute’s Miscellaneous Collections under the “14 – Fonds d’archives” folder.
Some 2000 images were also added in the Drouin Institute’s Miscellaneous Collections, under the “18 – Autres documents” (Other documents) folder.
These folders contain the archives of notary Joseph Dionne dating from between 1741 and 1779 (Dionne_Joseph_1741-1779 folder), as well as a book about the descendants of Guillaume Roux, authored by Sylvain Croteau and André Roux (ROUX_Descendants_of_Guillaume folder).
Comments on the LAFRANCE
A comment field has been added to the LAFRANCE certificates, in which you will find complementary information related to the record. These comments are added by our team during the indexing process of the records. The comment field may be used, for example, to highlight a mistake made by the priest in the record.
The comment field may also be used to bring attention to various details in the record, such as an unusual cause of death.
The LAFRANCE is an index with a link to the original document of ALL Catholic baptisms and burials recorded in Quebec between 1621 and 1861, as well as ALL Catholic marriages celebrated in Quebec between 1621 and 1918. In addition, ALL Protestant marriages recorded in Quebec between 1760 and 1849 are also available on the LAFRANCE.
You can start using the LAFRANCE today by subscribing to Genealogy Quebec!
In order to facilitate browsing and searching on GenealogyQuebec.com, the Kardex and Loiselle File have been merged into a single collection, BMD Cards, containing baptism, marriage and burial cards from Quebec, Ontario and the United States.
In addition to the Kardex and Loiselle files, this collection contains Ontario BMD cards, BMD cards sorted by cities or families, and death cards organized by family name, provided by the Quebec Family History Society.
You can browse this collection with a subscription to Genealogy Quebec at this address.
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 Loiselle” and “Kardex” collections, as well as Ontario BMD cards, BMD cards sorted by cities or families, and death cards organized by family name, provided by the Quebec Family History Society.
The Loiselle File
The Loiselle File is a collection of marriage files produced by priest Antonin Loiselle as part of his personal research. In total, this collection contains 1 044 434 marriage files that pertain to about 100 different parishes.
The tool covers all of Quebec as well as Fall River, MA and Manchester, NH from 1621 to the mid 20th century.
The Loiselle File is navigated similarly to the Drouin Collection Records. The documents are organized in a file tree containing over 16 000 folders. Within these folders, the files are sorted by alphabetical order of the husband and wife’s first name. A search for Abraham will be conducted within the first few files, while a search for Zenophile should be done towards the end of the folder.
The marriage files contain the following information: first and last name of the husband and wife, last name of the parents or of the previous spouse. In most cases, a date and location will be given for the marriage. Additional information may also be present, such as the residence of the the spouses or the parents.
The Kardex is a directory of marriage files complementary to the Men and Women series. The files pertain to Catholic and Protestant marriages as well as to notarized documents.
The Kardex covers from 1621 to around 1950 for Quebec, Ontario as well as a small part of the United States.
The Kardex is navigated similarly to the Drouin Collection Records. The documents are organized in a file tree.
The Kardex marriage files contain the following information: the name and first name of the spouses, the name of the parents, or the name of the previous spouse.
In most cases, the date and location of the marriage may also be included. Additional information may also be present in the file.
To better understand the structure of the Kardex files, here is an example:
Bertrand, Joseph Alfred Émile – Husband
(Bertrand), Antoine Wilfrid – Father of the husband
St-Aubin, Rose Anna – Mother of the husband
Michaud, Marie Lise Irène – Wife
(Michaud), Joseph Adolphe – Father of the wife
Bernard, Marie Lise Elisa – Mother of the wife
St Louis de France de Montréal – Parish in which the marriage was celebrated
12 Juin 1915 – Marriage date
You can use the Kardex with a subscription to Genealogy Quebec at this address.
The PRDH website is celebrating its 20th anniversary! It was in the summer of 1999 that the Université de Montréal’s Programme de recherche en démographie historique (PRDH) launched the website, with the goal of sharing the genealogical information compiled by the PRDH with the public.
Produced in collaboration with Maison Gaëtan Morin éditeur, and thanks to a grant from the Fonds de l’autoroute de l’information, an initiative of the Government of Quebec aimed at increasing the presence of French-language content on the Internet, the website was the latest step in an already 20 year old process of making the PRDH data available outside of the academic fields.
The PRDH database takes the form of 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.
Over the years, the PRDH has become an evolutionary and multi-purpose database, available for queries regarding various human populations in general and that of Quebec in particular. It is a truly interdisciplinary information system.
The project relies on exhaustive gathering of data from the parish registers of old Quebec. By systematic attribution of baptism, marriage, and burial certificates to the respective individuals – a “family reconstruction” made on the basis of names and family ties – people are identified and their biographies established. Thus, the PRDH contains the personal history of the Quebec ancestors of all French-Canadians and is of interest to a broad public.
That is why the PRDH inaugurated, in 1980, a series of publications intended for the general public – directory of baptisms, marriages and burials in 47 volumes covering the French Regime, CD-ROM extending this directory to the whole of the XVIIIth century, Genealogical dictionary of families from the origin of the province to 1765 on Cd-Rom -, culminating with the opening of the website in 1999. The sale of these various products derived from its academic activities has provided the PRDH with revenues that have always been reinvested in the project.
Constantly corrected when necessary and enriched over time, the PRDH site quickly became the reference for 17th and 18th century genealogy in Quebec. Moreover, the PRDH established a fruitful collaboration with the Drouin Genealogical Institute about ten years ago to pool their resources and expertise to extend the coverage of the PRDH database to the 1840s. Assisted by a grant from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) obtained for the establishment of an integrated infrastructure of historical micro-data of the population of Quebec (IMPQ), the PRDH directory has now been extended to 1849, tripling the number of civil records in the database.
Today, PRDH-IGD.com contains more than 2.5 million records and offers researchers, as well as amateur and professional genealogists, one of the most comprehensive database of its kind.
The 1741 Montreal city census has just been added to PRDH-IGD.com, thanks to the generous contribution of author and genealogist Marcel Fournier.
In addition, every individual listed in this census has been identified and linked with their PRDH-IGD Individual file.
These 553 new records can be viewed now with a subscription to PRDH-IGD.com.
What is PRDH-IGD.com?
PRDH-IGD is a directory of ALL vital events (baptisms, marriages and burials) recorded by the Catholic church in Quebec and French Canada from 1621 to 1849, as well as a genealogical dictionary of families. The PRDH-IGD database contains over 2 500 000 records.
What makes PRDH-IGD unique is how these records are connected to one another through genealogical links, which we refer to as Family Reconstructions. In addition to the baptism, marriage and burial files, PRDH-IGD contains individual and family files.
Any individual mentioned in a BMD record from the database is attributed an individual file. Similarly, any married couple mentioned in a BMD record gets their own family file, which lists all of the couple’s children.
To learn more about PRDH-IGD, you can read this article on the Drouin Institute blog.
PRDH-IGD and Genealogy Quebec in a library near you!
Several libraries and genealogical societies now offer free-access to Genealogy Quebec and PRDH-IGD, mainly in Quebec but also in the rest of Canada and the United States. Contact your local library or genealogical society to see if free access to the websites is available!
Libraries and genealogical societies tend to rely on suggestions and demand when selecting resources to add to their catalog. As such, the best way to have your local institution provide Genealogy Quebec and PRDH-IGD access is simply to ask them to!
You can do so by calling or visiting the library, and letting the librarian or person in charge know about the websites.
Some libraries even allow you to suggest resources through an online form.
These new records can be consulted right now in the NBMDS tool (requires a subscription to Genealogy Quebec).
What is the NBMDS tool?
The NBMDS tool is an index of Catholic and Protestant baptism, marriage and burial records, mostly from the province of Quebec. The tool contains over 1.2 million records and is divided in 3 sections; baptisms, marriages, burials.
The regions covered by the tool are:
The Bas-St-Laurent region (1727 to 2011)
The Laurentides region (1727 to 2011)
The Outaouais region (1727 to 2011)
The Mauricie region, specifically the Shawinigan region (1846 to 1999)
The city of St-Hubert (1727 to 2011)
The marriage section also contains some 120 000 marriage records from the United States and Ontario, dated from between the 17th century and the end of the 20th century.
You will find more information about the NBMDS tool as well as search tips and best practices in this blog article.
Maple Stars and Stripes – French-Canadian genealogy podcast
Want to learn even more about the NBMDS tool? Do not miss a comprehensive overview of this collection in the latest episode of the Maple Stars and Stripes podcast, featuring Bertrand Desjardins and Sandra Goodwin.
The Drouin genealogical Institute is proud to support the Société de généalogie Saint-Hubert and its brand new website Clergenealogie.org, a free genealogical research website focusing entirely on members of the clergy. Clergenealogie.org currently lists over 128 000 members of the clergy who lived between the 16th century and today. You can explore this incredible database for free by registering at this address: https://clergenealogie.org/newacctform.php
“Some researchers estimate that over 120 000 young women and men in French America have dedicated their lives to religious service from the beginnings of New France to the present day. Their contribution to society is significant; they have worked in the fields of education, health and helping the most deprived (orphans, disabled, elderly, patients with intellectual disabilities, etc …) in addition to their religious functions.
The birth of these people is overwhelmingly recorded in baptismal records. But anyone who tries to follow the lives of these children to reconstruct the story of a family often loses their trace. Their religious commitment, regularly involving a name change, often “separated them from the world”. The vow of chastity they pronounced prevented them from getting married, leaving us with no marriage records to track them. Information about their deaths is often difficult to find, as religious communities sometimes have their own cemeteries and registers. They have become the “forgotten in genealogy”. ”