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The original content for this article was contributed by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies in April 2013. It is an excerpt from their course Canadian: Vital Statistic Records - Part 1 by Sharon L. Murphy. The Institute offers over 200 comprehensive genealogy courses for a fee ($).
For those people who are not bilingual, please understand that the term dictionary is not used as a word definition resource but as an alphabetical listing of names and information—dictionnaires.
It is through the use of these dictionaries that one can possibly trace their ancestor’s lineage to the beginning of the 1600s.
The oldest of these dictionaries, Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Canadiennes depuis la fondation de la colonie jusqu’à nos jours, was published towards the end of the 19th century. It was compiled by Mgr Cyprien Tanguay. This 7 volume dictionary contains baptismal, marriage and death/burial records from the beginning of the colony to 1760. You will sometimes find information regarding christenings, marriages and burial dates of children. Mgr Tanguay has grouped families together through different generations. Many parishes had not been included. An 8th volume, Complement au Dictionnaire Généalogique Tanguay, was compiled by Mr. J. Arthur Leboeuf to complete the missing parishes as well as listing needed corrections. This was first published as a 3 volume addition, but has now been combined into one book.
A two volume dictionary, Dictionnaire National des Canadien-Français, listing all marriages from 1608 to 1760 was compiled by L’Institut Drouin.
This lists, very clearly, the following:
- The names of the bride and groom
- The date of marriage
- The name of the parish and where the marriage occurred
- The parents of both the bride and groom
- The location of where the first settler came from
- The occupation of the first settler
The Drouin Collection is searchable by both the groom’s name and the bride’s name in an online database. Digital images are available. However, the online collection is only available on the subscription site Ancestry.ca.
The Répertoire alphabétique des mariages des Canadiens-français, consists of 2 series. The first series consists of 49 volumes in alphabetical order by men’s names. The second series consists of 64 volumes in alphabetical order by women’s names. Both series cover the period from 1760 to 1935.
Each volume contains two parts which must be verified. The first is the period from 1760 to 1880 and the second from 1880 to 1935.
A third part exists on microfilm. This provides a list of marriage contracts as well as corrections from the first two series. If you’re stuck, this microfilm could help you.
This dictionary, Dictionnaire généalogique des familles du Québec des origines à 1730, compiled by René Jetté is the most complete and is very easy to use. You will find information on baptismal, marriage and death/burial records for the period from 1608 to 1730.
These dictionnaires are often referred to by the compiler’s name alone, e.g. “Tanguay” or “Drouin” or “Jetté”. While they are incredibly useful for French Canadian genealogy, there can be errors in transcription or family reconstructions.
There are four well used card indexes (fichier) of marriages that are known as: Fichier Loiselle, Fichier Pontbriand, Fichier Rivest and Fichier Histor. The most recent, the Fichier Histor is a continuation of the Jetté dictionary.
Many of these index cards are hard to read, some are handwritten. Remember to check the end of the microfilm for errors and omissions added later.
The Fichier Loiselle was created by Père Antoine Loiselle. The index contains references to over one million marriage records for 520 parishes in Québec, six parishes in Madawaska County, New Brunswick, and two parishes in Manchester, Hillsboro County, New Hampshire. Note that only marriages from 1642 to 1963 are covered in the Index.
The Fichier Rivest are the marriage records in Joliette, Saint-Jérome, Mont-Laurier, Sorel and Québec from the 17th century to 1972. It is in alphabetical order by the bride’s last name and then the groom’s last name.
Non-Catholic records are more involved. The nine regional archives centers previously mentioned, house the vital statistic records for non-Catholic research. The following is a list of non-Catholic churches diocese:
The Diocese of Québec Archives is kept at the Library of Bishop’s University in Sherbrooke (Lennoxville). Contact the archivist at Québec Diocesan Archives, Bishop’s University, 2600 College St., Sherbrooke, Québec J1M 0C8, telephone: 819-822-9600 ext. 2567 for an appointment or for paid research assistance; email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Québec
100 - 304 The East Mall
Etobicoke, Ontario M9B 6E2
Presbyterian Church in Canada Archives and Record Office
50 Wynford Drive
Toronto, Ontario M3C 1J7
Telephone: (416) 441-1111
United Church Records
The United Church of Canada Archives holds the local church records of the United Church and its uniting denominations (Methodist, Congregational, Presbyterian (1925 union); and Evangelical United Brethren—joined in 1968). The records of the churches which did not join at union but remained part of the continuing Presbyterian Church in Canada after 1925, are held in the Presbyterian Church Archives, see address listed above.
Montréal and Ottawa Conference
Records outside of the Eastern Townships:
Archives nationales du Québec, Centre regional de l’Estrie
225, rue Frontenac, bureau 410
Sherbrooke, Québec J1H 1K1
Eastern Township Records:
Eastern Townships Research Centre
Sherbrooke, Québec J1M 1Z7
Telephone: 819-822-9600 ext. 2261
Montréal Presbytery, Consistoire Laurentien, (Montréal and area) and Ottawa Presbytery
(Québec congregations only):
Archives nationales du Québec
535, avenue Viger est
Montréal, Québec H2L 2P3
Conference Archivist Mailing Address:
Montreal and Ottawa Conference Archives
St. Andrew's United Church
Lachine, Québec H8S 3L7
Telephone: 514-634-7015, ext 4
Ottawa Presbytery and Seaway Valley Presbytery
(Ontario records only):
100 Tallwood Drive
City of Ottawa Archives
c/o City of Ottawa
110 Laurier Ave. West, MC-433
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 1J1
Telephone: 613-580-2424, ext. 13333
Jewish Genealogical Society of Montréal
5599 Edgemore Avenue
Montréal, Québec H4W 1V4
There are many independent genealogical societies across Québec. For a complete list including contact information, see the many links on the above web pages.
Information in this Wiki page is excerpted from the online course Canadian: Vital Statistic Records - Part 1 offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. To learn more about this course or other courses available from the Institute, see our website. We can be contacted at email@example.com
We welcome updates and additions to this Wiki page.
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