The NBMDS tool (births, marriages, deaths)

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The NBMDS tool is one of 16 tools available to Genealogy Quebec subscribers.

It is an index of Catholic and Protestant baptism, marriage and burial records, most of which are 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.

Using the NBMDS tool

The NBMDS tool 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.

Baptism search engine

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

Results for a search for “Joseph Tremblay”

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 NBMDS tool 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.

NBMDS baptism file

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.

NBMDS marriage file

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

NBMDS burial file

Careful! If an automatic search does not yield any results, do not assume that the desired record does not exist in the NBMDS tool. 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 NBMDS tool 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 NBMDS tool

You may have noticed that the NBMDS 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 Civil Registration up to the 1940s through the Drouin Collection Records.
You can find most of the original documents associated with the NBMDS records through the date and parish name or city name given in each record.

We will use Adelaide Boucher’s baptism file as an example.

Adelaide Boucher’s baptism file in the NBMDS tool

The file tells us that Adelaide was baptized on the 14th of October in the St-Eustache parish. To find the original record, we will have to browse the St-Eustache parish register in the Drouin Collection Record.

Quebec folder 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.

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-Eustache’s parishes, they are listed under the city’s name.

St-Eustache parish register for 1818

Browsing the St-Eustache folder in the Drouin Collection Records, we notice that it contains several sub-folders associated with different parishes. Since we have no way of knowing which parish would contain the baptism record, we will have to browse one folder at a time.

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 Adélaide’s baptism was celebrated in October, it’s likely that her 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.

Original document associated with Adélaide Boucher’s baptism

And with that, we were able to find the original document using the information given to us in an NBMDS file.

Useful links

Use the NBMDS tool (subscription required)
The Drouin Collection Records (subscription required)
Subscribe to Genealogy Quebec
What is Genealogy Quebec?