This tool contains all of the Great Collections published and edited by the Drouin Institute over the course of its existence.
Masculine (Men series): Alphabetical directory of all French-Canadian marriages from Quebec between 1760 and 1935, sorted by the groom’s surname.
Féminine (Woman series): Alphabetical directory of all French-Canadian marriages from Quebec between 1760 and 1935, sorted by the bride’s surname.
Histor: Directory of marriages files, including the origin of the subjects as well as a marriage contract. This collection covers all of the Catholic and Protestant marriages celebrated in Quebec between 1730 and 1825, as well as marriages celebrated in Western French forts such as Détroit. Also contains Acadian marriages.
Fiches Acadiennes (Acadian cards): This series contains 50 000 birth, marriage and death files of Acadian individuals.
Dossiers généalogiques Drouin: Contains the data collected before 1960 by Joseph and Gabriel Drouin in order to create their family genealogies.
Affinités généalogiques Drouin: Complement to the Dossiers généalogiques Drouin, contains various genealogical and historical documents.
Petit Drouin: Directory of Quebec Catholic marriages from 1760 to 1825.
Kardex Noir: The Kardex Noir was the predecessor to La Masculine (Men Series). Its content is similar.
Prévôté de Québec: Contains transcriptions of Prévôté de Québec hearings.
DNCF: Contains all of Quebec’s Catholic marriages from 1608 to 1760, with a short biography of a few ancestors.
Patrimoine familial: This series presents the life and genealogy of some famous or significant Quebec historical figures.
Patrimoine national: Contains baptism, marriage and burial directories as well as some Quebec cemeteries, produced by various authors.
Fiches franco-américaines (Franco-american files): These files contain an index of people which have been covered in the Guide Officiel Franco-Américain. The Guide Officiel Franco-Américain (GOFA) was a guide published annually in the United States pertaining to French-Americans. It contained short biographies of individuals with French roots living in the United States.
There are 2 tabs in this tool.
Search by family in the Great Collections
The search by family in the Great Collections allows you to search for a surname in one or many of the following collections:
La Masculine (Men Series)
La Féminine (Women Series)
Le Fichier Histor
Dossiers généalogiques Drouin
Fiches Acadiennes (Acadian cards)
After searching for a surname, you will obtain a list of results that includes every page where this family name is mentioned in the collections cited above. The results are in the same order in which they appeared when the Great Collections were initially published as books, which means that an individual whose first name begins with A is more susceptible to be on the first few pages than an individual named Zenophile.
In this tab, the collections are organized within a file tree.
Here is a schema explaining the structure of La Masculine (men series) et La Féminine (woman series):
You can browse the Drouin Institute’s Great collections with a subscription to Genealogy Quebec at this address.
In a previous article, we have shown using the family of Joseph Landry dit Penot and Marie Josèphe Coron dite Dauphinais how the PRDH family reconstructions, the centralization of all the vital events pertaining to a family, allow us to bring light to the living conditions of our ancestors. This exceptional couple, married in 1778, gave birth to an incredible 25 children, a great example of the natural fertility that prevailed in the absence of contraception and other social limitations.
Such a fertility rate would have been unsustainable due to the population increase resulting of so many births, had it not been for the mortality rate that was associated with the population of the time. Elevated mortality under the Old Regime made death an omnipresent part of our ancestors’ lives: it could happen at any age, contrarily to today, where it is mostly associated with old age. The infant mortality rate (death before the age of 1) was extremely high, and the children who did live past the age of 1 were still prone to sickness and accidents. Individuals reaching the age of 50 would be considered elderly. Men and women would die of malnutrition, work accidents, lack of proper hygiene as well as sickness, including smallpox epidemics that ravaged the population.
The information colligated by the PRDH allows us to put actual figures on these conditions. At the forefront is infant mortality rate. Between a quarter and a third of children born under the French Regime died before the age of 1, with a gradual increase over time, particularly in cities. Infant mortality rate is indeed directly linked to hygienic conditions and thus to the detrimental effects of overcrowding in cities. For example, 50% of children born in Montreal within the last few decades of the French Regime died before reaching their first birthday. Overall, less than half of the population would reach the average age of marriage, which was 20 years old for women, and 25 years old for men.
Marrying at the age of 25, an average man would go on living 39 more years, to the age of 64. An average woman, marrying at 20, would also go on living 39 more years, to the age of 59. Why such a disparity? Because 1.5% of childbirths would result in the death of the mother, which meant that on average over the course of her life, a woman had a 12% chance of dying while giving birth. This had a direct impact on the average length of marriages at the time: barely half of the married couples would reach their silver wedding anniversary. This also explains the frequency of remarriages, as the presence of two parents was necessary to raise a large family.
You are now acquainted with the average living conditions and mortality rates in Quebec during the XVII and XVIII centuries. How do these rates compare to those among your ancestors? Careful! You may notice that your ancestors fared better than what is being described in this article, which is entirely logical. If you are here today to research and explore your ancestors’ history, it is through an unbroken lineage going back to them. A lineage that is a testimony to their children’s survival, as well as their own…
The Drouin Genealogical Institute is proud to announce the acquisition of Planète Généalogie, a genealogical research website offering more than 29 million images and files.
What is Planète Généalogie?
Planète Généalogie is a genealogical research website that provides various collections and databases.
It contains parish registers, GEDCOM files, tombstones, death cards, telephone directories, obituaries and more. These collections pertain to the province of Quebec as well as part of Canada and the United States.
The various subscription options can be found here. Please note that the website is only available in French.
What does this mean for GenealogyQuebec.com?
Our long term plan is a gradual transition of Planète Généalogie‘s content to GenealogyQuebec.com. This transition begins today with this addition of the following collections on Genealogy Quebec:
21 481 parish register images have been added to the Drouin Collection Records (under the Registres (Québec et Ontario) folder):
18- Autres documents, 15 094 added images. Various historical documents, including a collection dated from the 1940-1950s named “Mes Fiches“. “Mes Fiches” was a monthly publication focusing on various subjects related to the Catholic church
What will happen to Planète Généalogie?
The Planète Généalogie website will remain available for at least another year. Once a closure date has been selected for the website, we will gradually remove the subscription options starting with the yearly subscription, biannual subscription, and finally the monthly subscription. This will allow the Planète Généalogie‘s subscribers to extend their subscription up until the website’s closure.
You just have to look at a family tree to see how numerous the relationships within a family are. These may even seem exponential when you search far enough back into the past. That’s why we discover common family ties between our family and an important historical figure, or between two celebrities who were born in different countries, such as Hillary Clinton and Céline Dion.
These facts may seem surprising, but if you understand genealogy and the ancestral links between different human beings, they’re quite logical, even normal. Are all humans cousins ? Technically, yes, or at least, almost. Of course, the degrees of kinship are sometimes extremely distant. It’s because of this observation that it becomes both useful and interesting to be able to calculate and better understand family relationships.
But how do you go about this seemingly colossal task ? While it’s rather simple to perform calculations with respect to your immediate family branch, as soon as you extend this, the work gets complicated. However, it’s far from being an insurmountable task.
Calculating a Family Relationship: Which Technique to Use ?
When looking at a family tree, we see several types of links. There are the traditional links – that is, parents, children, uncles, aunts, cousins, and grandparents. Then, when we decide to go further, the issue of degrees of kinship becomes even more relevant.
There are several ways to calculate degrees of kinship. The direct line technique involves calculating the degrees according to the generations that separate two people. The collateral line technique reaches back to the common ancestor and counts one degree per generation. Here’s a more detailed explanation of the latter:
First-degree family links are those between parents and children. Second-degree links include brothers and sisters, and grandchildren and grandparents. At the third degree, there are great-grandparents, uncles and aunts, and nieces and nephews. Finally, at the fourth degree, we find a person’s first cousins. The calculation of the degrees continues in this way, without limits as to the number.
In short, the degree of kinship represents the number of intermediaries between two people, going back to the common ancestor, then returning to them.
The Role of the Family Tree in Calculating Family Relationships
If your family tree hasn’t already been completed, you’ll have to do this in order to calculate and better understand your family ties. Indeed, this is one of the best ways to efficiently present and analyze the family relationships between different people.
Having access to a pictorial diagram helps us better understand the network of links that unite us with our ancestors. This way of presenting family relationships is very concrete and greatly simplifies the calculations.
Why Calculate our Family Relationships ?
There are several reasons why we might want to make these calculations. First, because it’s fascinating to trace the history of the different people who were among our ancestors. When we want to better understand the history of our family or – more broadly – of our country, this research can bring to light some very interesting – even useful – information.
This research can also be done purely for practical matters. For example, this analysis can be used in legal cases, such as estates.
Each person comes from a vast succession of family branches that have been divided and developed over the course of history. Whether you want to find a third or a 23rd-degree link, the tools and techniques currently in use allow us to do research quickly and rather easily. Why not take advantage of them ?
Each human being is a link in a vast network that represents the past and present population of the planet. If we look back to study the origins of our ancestors, we move through this complex yet fascinating network, and we discover some very interesting historical tidbits along the way. For example, it’s possible to find out who was part of the founding families of Québec and the cities and villages established throughout the province. This research makes it possible to better understand why people settled in certain places and what roles they played in the economic and strategic development of the province.
The founding families who Came to New France
The first founding families in the history of Québec are those of the settlers who remained in New France following several attempts at colonization. During the initial voyages, the settlers had been systematically repatriated due to problems such as illness or a lack of preparation for the winter. It was finally around 1608 that the founding families came to settle here permanently.
The most famous of these families is that of Louis Hébert, who settled with his wife and children in 1617. They decided to settle in Québec only a few years after this city was founded by Samuel de Champlain. Louis Hébert and his family became firmly rooted in the region, taking their crucial role as some of the first permanent inhabitants of New France seriously. In 1626, they were even entrusted with the Saint-Joseph seigneurie.
The First Villages in Québec and Their Founding Families
Other families followed, thanks to the efforts of Robert Giffard and the Company of One Hundred Associates, among others. Giffard, himself the founder of the city of Beauport, returned to France several times to convince families to follow him to the new colony. Only a few agreed, but they decided to stay, then settled in New France and contributed to the growing population.
As the number of families increased, the exploration of the land continued, along with the creation of new seigneuries. Other parishes emerged, populated and organized by the founding families. Québec City and its surroundings developed little by little, and other sectors, such as Trois-Rivières and Montréal, also welcomed new families and were officially founded in 1634 and 1642, respectively.
Discovering Our Ancestors: Better Understanding the Role of the Founding Families
During genealogical research, it’s not uncommon to learn that certain family branches were formed during the creation of a new city or village. Since one of the goals of colonization was to populate the territory, families had the advantage of obtaining land to farm and coming together with other neighbours to form a community, which was also often based on links to the church.
Many cities and municipalities in Québec still celebrate their founding families. For example, as part of the 375th anniversary of Sorel-Tracy, a big party was organized to pay tribute to these pioneering families whose names still adorn many public places in the city. Other places, such as Repentigny, make it a point of honour during the annual city festivals to commemorate those people who came to live in the New World, with all the work and ambition that that implies.
Studying the founding families allows us to better understand the evolution and history of the province of Québec, as well as that of these many municipalities. In everyday life, it’s often the toponymy of the cities that reminds us of this, forcing us to remember. Genealogical research, as well as that done with the historical societies of the regions and municipalities in the province, help us learn more about these people and the reasons that made them settle here.
Where does your family name come from? What is its history? How long has it existed in this form? These are questions that many people ask themselves, because in most cases, our surname isn’t a choice, but a family legacy.Whether you come from a family with deep roots in Québec or of foreign origin, your family name says a lot about your past and that of your ancestors. Indeed, genealogy and surnames are closely linked. As a result, the study of surnames – or anthroponymy – is an interesting angle to adopt to get to know your family history in Québec.
Where do the Surnames in Québec come from?
Each family name is accompanied by a story, and traditions vary from one country to the next. In some areas, the first names of the father and mother are passed down to the children as a family name, while elsewhere, the professions and social ranks are used for this purpose.
In Québec, the etymology of these names comes from various sources, but we can identify several common roots. Of course, many names come from the settlers who arrived here from France and Great Britain. These names were sometimes kept as they were, or else underwent orthographic or structural changes. Some names come from the professions of the first ancestors, while others refer to the person’s place of origin.
Other immigrant populations have arrived in Québec over the years, bringing with them traditional names from their regions. That’s why we find surnames of Syrian, Chinese, Portuguese, Vietnamese, and Spanish origin among newcomers, but also among families who have been living in the province for several generations.
Given that no specific pattern has been adopted over time, the family names used in Québec all have an etymology that’s specific to them. It’s therefore worthwhile for everyone to take the initiative to do some research to find out where their surname comes from and what its evolution has been.
What are the Most Common Surnames in Québec?
You may have already guessed that Tremblay wins the prize for the most common name in Québec. It shares top ranks with the Gagnon, Roy, Côté, and Bouchard families. However, it’s interesting to know that, in Québec, family names are quite varied. Unlike other countries such as China and Denmark, where a large proportion of the population bears the same surname, Quebeckers have a wide variety of names with different roots.
How to Learn more about the History of a Family Name in Québec
Genealogical research allows us to find valuable information about surnames. It’s usually possible to trace the family lines, to see the changes, and to find the different names that have intersected or appeared at a specific moment.
Many tools are available online for those who want to research their ancestors themselves. Among other options, it’s possible to consult parish registers and to gain access to several official documents such as birth certificates or marriage and burial documents.
It’s also possible to rely on the services of a genealogy specialist. They can help you trace the origin of your family name, create a family tree, and do several other searches related to parentage and history.
Finally, researchers and historians have published some very interesting books about the origin of family names in Québec. The book “Votre nom et son histoire” by the linguist Roland Jacob presents anecdotes about the most common names in Québec. These works can therefore aid you in your quest to better understand your surname and its meaning.
The parish registers of Québec are an invaluable resource for finding information about the previous generations. Until the end of the twentieth century, these registers were used to accumulate all the information relating to the civil status of the population. This information was archived in churches as well as courthouses.Starting in the 1940s, a conservation effort was launched by the Drouin Genealogical Institute, which microfilmed the registers. They wound up with a very important database that can now be consulted by anyone seeking to track down their ancestors.
The History of the Parish Registers
It was during the period of the French Regime that the collection of information from the inhabitants of New France took the form of parish registers. This method then continued under the British authorities and following the evolution of the political regimes in Canada. It was only in 1994 that the Registrar of Civil Status of Québec received the full mandate to issue and retain the documents associated with the register.
What Information can you find in a Parish Register?
Parish registers mainly include baptismal records, marriage documents, and burial records. You can also find certain information about the registered people there, such as their place of origin, their family members, their religion, and the places where they lived.
Although the register system is rooted in the French Catholic tradition, information about people from other religions was also collected there.
What are the Reliability Guarantees of the Québec Parish Registers?
The responsibility for keeping the parish registers fell to the priests, who were the only ones authorized to issue the documents and make modifications. Other people could also be appointed by the Chancellery to act in place of the priest. However, in all cases, the person had to sign all the documents that they issued and modified in their own name. In doing so, there was no room for error.
Much more than simple genealogical documents, the parish registers were quickly considered to contain essential information about the populations of the cities and villages. The role of record keeper was therefore taken very seriously.
No one should be surprised to learn that life in Québec was long centred around the church. Because of this, all the documents relating to a person’s civil status could be found there. This practice was very logical, since this was where baptisms, weddings, and funerals were held.
Like the Register of Civil Status that exists today, parish registers were kept rigorously. The currently available archives contain scanned versions of these paper documents, and there’s often a transcript of the contents as well as an image of the original document.
How to Consult a Parish Register in Québec
Faced with this rich collection of documents to which we have access, several organizations and genealogical societies have created tools and platforms where it’s possible to do research. There’s no centralized tool presented by the government, but the information is quite easy to find.
The Genealogy Quebec site itself contains several resources where different registers are collected. The LAFRANCE directory, the Drouin Collection records, the Little BMDs, and the Connolly File all contain information from the registers, including baptismal and burial records as well as marriage documents. To access this, just register on the site and choose the tool that suits you the best.
It’s also possible to perform research with the genealogical societies in your area. Genealogy specialists there can guide people through their process to find information about their ancestors.
Finally, Library and Archives Canada makes certain documents related to the registers available through its website.
The bimonthly LAFRANCE update was applied earlier this month.
The additions pertain to the 1850-1861 period for Catholic baptisms and burials.
Catholic baptisms 1850-1861 : 11922 records added
Catholic burials 1850-1861 : 6335 records added
In addition, the corrections sent by our users over the past 2 months have been applied.
You will find more information about the parishes that have been updated on this document.
About the LAFRANCE
The LAFRANCE, one of 16 tools available to GenealogyQuebec.comsubscribers, is a detailed index with link to the original document of ALLCatholic marriages celebrated in Quebec between 1621 and 1916, ALLCatholic baptisms and burials celebrated in Quebec between 1621 and 1849 as well as ALL Protestant marriages celebrated in Quebec between 1760 and 1849. Baptisms and burials of the 1850-1861 period are added gradually through our bimonthly updates.
Drouin Institute blog
We are happy to announce our new communication and content sharing avenue, the official Drouin Institute blog!
We’ve already published a series of articles that cover the various tools available on Genealogy Quebec as well as the PRDH:
In addition, we are working on a monthly series of articles pertaining to Quebec genealogy and demography. The author of these articles, Bertrand Desjardins, holds a Ph.D. in Demography from the University Lumière-Lyon 2 and is the author of numerous scientific publications centered on the study of the populations of Quebec and Canada.
Here is a sneak peek of this new series! Twenty five children in 27 years: A look at our ancestors’ fertility
Over 20 000 death notices have been added to our free obituary section since our last update.
This section contains Canadian obituaries ranging from 1999 to this day.
Please note that this section has moved and can now be found under our main domain, here.
The PRDH-IGD is a directory of ALL vital events (baptisms, marriages and burials) celebrated by the Catholic church in Quebec and French Canada from 1621 to 1849, as well as a genealogical dictionary of families (Family Reconstructions). The PRDH-IGD database contains over 2 500 000 records.
What makes the 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, the PRDH-IGD contains individual and family files.
Any individual mentioned in a BMD record from the database is given an individual file. Similarly, any married couple mentioned in a BMD record gets their own family file.
To better understand the importance and value of family reconstructions, we will explore the database by using the example of François Plouf, who lived in St-François-Xavier-de-Verchères in the 18th century.
To begin the search, the information is entered in the search template. In this case, we are searching for any mention of a Francois Plouf in the database, without limiting the search to a specific period or parish.
We obtain a list of results for our search.
The first column gives us the record number, which is used to identify the record in the database
The second column gives us the date of the event
The third column gives us the type of record (baptism, burial or marriage)
The fourth column gives us the parish in which the event was celebrated
The role column tells us what role the individual has in the record
The sex, standard name and standard first name columns are self explanatory
We will select the 14th result, which is the baptism of François Plouf, celebrated on the 27th of November 1718 in Contrecoeur.
This baptism file was created from the original record. It extracts all the relevant information from it and presents it in a convenient manner.
In a PRDH-IGD baptism, marriage or burial file, every name is a link to that person’s individual file. By clicking on François Plouf’s name, we are taken to the following file.
The individual file centralizes all of the mentions of an individual in the database, such as the person’s baptism, burial and marriage. The individual file also mentions the parents as well as the spouse(s).
Again, every name is also a link to that person’s individual file. Additionally, written dates can be clicked to be taken to that event’s certificate.
Finally, the “First marriage” and “Family” mentions link to the appropriate family file. Let’s explore François Plouf and Marie Ursule emery Codere’s family file.
A family file is created for any married couple mentioned in a record certificate in the database. This family file centralizes all the information available on the couple as well as all of their children, and provides links to the individual files and record certificates that pertain to the family.
The family file can be seen as the final result of the PRDH’s family reconstruction process.
Ultimately, the PRDH-IGD database can be described as a massive family tree of all Catholic individuals who lived in Quebec between 1621 and 1849.
The database is being corrected and added to on a monthly basis, and we hope to be able to extend the period it covers shortly.
Members who are subscribed to both GenealogyQuebec.com and the PRDH have access to the following exclusive features:
View the original document (parish register) on GenealogyQuebec.com from any PRDH-IGD.com certificate
View the PRDH-IGD.com individual file of any individual named in a GenealogyQuebec.com‘s LAFRANCE certificate
10% bonus PRDH-IGD.com hits free of charge on purchase for GenealogyQuebec.com subscribers
What are the differences between the PRDH-IGD.com and GenealogyQuebec.com?
A hit is charged each time a page is displayed, except for the list of references obtained from a query, which is not charged. A subscription thus corresponds to the right to view a certain quantity of one or the other of the following elements: a certificate from the Repertory of vital events (record certificates), an individual or family file from the Genealogical dictionary or a couples’ file with their married children from the Repertory of couples.