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The original content for this article was contributed by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies in June 2012. It is an excerpt from their course Research: French Canadian Ancestors  by Louise St Denis. The Institute offers over 200 comprehensive genealogy courses for a fee ($).


Why prepare at home?

Given the hours the centres are open for research, you will have fewer hours available to do research during the September to May period. This drops to less during the summer, as all centres are reducing their hours in the summer. Preparation before you leave your home town will make your research trip more profitable. Decide what family or person you will research. Decide what facts you want to find, confirm, disprove.

Prepare your pedigree charts, family group sheets, and prioritized research plans (goals and objectives) for the trip. If you plan to visit more than one research centre, have a list of prioritized work planned for each research centre.

Research Centres

Know what is available at the research centres before you leave.

  • The BAnQ website is available mostly in French, with some English pages.

Do not forget to check each repositories hours and when they are closed for holidays.

See if the information that is held at Montreal repositories is available to you locally. Do not waste your precious research time searching for items readily available to you at home.

There are two FamilySearch Centers in Montréal―one French language and one English.

English Protestants

If you are interested in English Protestant roots in Montréal, please visit the Montréal GenWeb. You will find references to the Montréal Non-Catholic churches and their records, including FamilySearch film numbers for the pre-1900 BMD indexes, as well as the 20th century BMD indexes up to 1993. You will find what protestant church records are available and where you can access them. You will also find a list of Montréal Protestant cemeteries and a list of Protestant church archives with physical addresses and email addresses, along with much more.

Guides to Records

In the Guide des registres d’état civil et recensements du Québec: catholiques, protestants et autres dénominations, 1621-2000 / Guide to Québec’s Parishes, Civil Registers and Census: Catholic, Protestant and other denominations, 1621-2000, written by Francine Fortin (Montréal: Société généalogique canadienne-française, 2001) you will find a list of all churches. If your local library does not have this book, try order it through inter-library loan or you can find it readily in Montréal.

When a repertoire of vital records is available, you will also find the call numbers for the BAnQ, the Salle Gagnon, and the SGCF (Maison de la généalogie).

Druin Collection

There has been a number of corrections/additions in the 2000 edition of the Drouin microfilms which are available at both Salle Gagnon and SGCF’s Maison de la généalogie. The Drouin microfilms include Catholic and non-Catholic records and cover the period until 1940, the time at which they were microfilmed.


You should know how to get to the archive or library you want to visit. Use Google Maps to assist you. Often the repository’s website will provide a map along with information on how to get there by public transit.

Make sure you fill out your charts, whether on paper or on your laptop/electronic devise, you plan to take with you and if you take any documents, bring copies only―leave your originals at home. There is always a possibility you may forget them somewhere. Make sure you have all the genealogical and office supplies you will need. Make sure you have pencils with you, as some facilities might not allow pens.

Family group sheets, pedigree charts, research logs, abstract forms, etc. may prove to be useful. Even if you bring a laptop, bring forms in case of machine failure. Also do not forget coins for parking meters, copiers, vending machines, etc. A digital camera can be a real asset for images from books, records, microfiche readers, photographs, tombstones, family homes, heirlooms and living relatives. Remember extra batteries!

If you bring a laptop, do not forget to backup and make sure you leave a copy of your files at home.


Information in this Wiki page is excerpted from the online courses Research: French Canadian Ancestors offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. To learn more about these courses or other courses available from the Institute, see our website. We can be contacted at

We welcome updates and additions to this Wiki page.

  • This page was last modified on 29 December 2014, at 17:08.
  • This page has been accessed 782 times.