The Connolly File (births, marriages, deaths)

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The Connolly File is one of 15 tools available to Genealogy Quebec subscribers.
It is an index of Catholic and Protestant baptisms, marriages and burials from Quebec and part of the United States covering a period extending from 1621 to today.
In total, the tool contains 6,839,262 baptism, marriage and burial files.

Using the Connolly File

The Connolly File is equipped with a search engine specific to each type of record it contains, namely baptisms, marriages and burials. The search fields differ depending on the type of record searched, but the basic name, surname, date and location fields are always present.

Connolly File baptism search engine

To begin your search, fill one or multiple search fields and press on “Search”, which will prompt a list of results.

Result list produced by a search for “Pierre Loiselle”

The records are presented as files which contain all of the relevant information extracted from the original record.

Automatic search buttons

Every record in the Connolly File is equipped with one or several automatic search buttons. These buttons allow you to automatically trigger searches for various records related to the one you are viewing. In the baptism section, the automatic search button allows you to search for the parents’ marriage record.

In the marriage section, there are 6 different buttons per file. These buttons will trigger automatic searches for the parents, the baptism records or the burial records of the subjects.

Finally, the burial section will let you automatically search for the subject’s own marriage, or that of their parents.

Careful! If an automatic search does not yield any results, do not assume that the desired record does not exist in the Connolly File. For example, it is very possible that an individual’s name may be slightly different from one record to the next, or that the Priest committed a mistake when recording the original event. It is strongly recommended to do a manual search if the automatic search produces no results, and to try multiple combinations of first and last names if the initial searches are unsuccessful.

Tips and best practices

The Connolly File allows searching for many variables, which makes it tempting to fill as many fields as possible when using the tool. However, we recommend that you keep your initial search as vague as possible, and clarify it as needed by adding one piece of information at a time. When the name or surname searched is rare or unusual, it is rarely necessary to add more information to the search.

The more precise a search is, the more likely it is to omit the record you are looking for, as every single field must match.
For example, an initial search could start with the surname and first name of the subject. If the number of results is too high, a variable such as the year of the event or the surname of another individual mentioned in the record can be added. Often, the simple fact of adding a third variable is enough to narrow the search down sufficiently.

As with many of Genealogy Quebec’s tools, you may use the “%” character as a joker to search for a partial name. For example, a search for “Lar%” will include any name beginning in “Lar”, such as Larrivière, Larramée, Larue, etc. This allows you to keep your search more generic and is particularly useful for surnames that tend to have many different spellings.

Finding the original record using the information provided by the Connolly File

You may have noticed that the Connolly File does not provide a link to the original document from which its files have been created. However, as a Genealogy Quebec subscriber, you have access to the entirety of Quebec’s Parish Registry up until 1940 through the Drouin Collection Records.
You can find most of the original documents associated with the Connolly File records via the date and parish name given in each record.

As an example, here is the baptism file of Jean-Louis Girard.

It tells us that Jean-Louis was born in Bagotville on October 10, 1923, and was baptized in the St-Alphonse-de-Liguori parish. To find the original record, we must browse this parish’s register for the year 1923, which we will find 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 will begin by opening the Quebec folder, as the baptism we are interested in was recorded in the province.
Once inside the Quebec folder, we have to find the right parish folder. 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 St-Alphonse-de-Liguori parish, it is listed under Bagotville.

Once inside the correct folder, we must navigate to the right year, which will give us access to all the images associated with that 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 in that year, which are usually the ones from January. Similarly, the last few images in the folder will be those from the end of the year.
Since Jean-Louis’s baptism was celebrated in October, it’s likely that his baptism will be found among the last few images. You may have to sift through a few pages before finding the right one, but by starting towards the end, you will save yourself some time.

And with that, we were able to find the original document using the information given to us in the Connolly File record.

Useful links

The Connolly File (subscription required)
The Drouin Collection Records (subscription required)
Subscribing to Genealogy Quebec
What is Genealogy Quebec?
List of the parishes available in the Connolly File (baptism, marriage, burial)