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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 ($).
It is through the use of these dictionaries that one’s complete lineage can be traced 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 / Genealogical dictionary of Canadian families from the foundation of the Colony to our present days 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, Complément au Dictionnaire 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.
Tanguay - Sample page
Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Canadiennes depuis la fondation de la colonie jusqu’à nos jours / Genealogical dictionary of Canadian families from the foundation of the Colony to our present days
A two-volume dictionary, Dictionnaire National des Canadiens Français, listing all marriages from 1608 to 1760 was compiled by L’Institut Drouin.
This lists very clearly the following information:
- the names of the bride and groom
- the date of marriage
- the name of the parish where the marriage occurred
- the parents of both the bride and the groom
- the location where the first settler came from
- the occupation of the first settler
Unfortunately an index of women’s names is not included. This sometimes does pose a problem. A third volume gives historical information.
This next dictionary, Répertoire alphabétique des mariages des Canadiens-français, 1760-1935, is a great tool for the researcher. The first series consists of 61 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. The first is the period from 1760 to 1880 and the second from 1880 to 1935. A third part exist on 32 microfilm reels, called Kardex. This provides a list of marriage contracts as well as corrections to 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 very easy to use. You will find information on baptismal, marriage and death/burial records for the period from 1608 to 1730.
Mr. Bona Arsenault has compiled a great deal of information regarding Acadian research. This six volume dictionary is called Histoire et généalogie des Acadiens, and is very clear and easy to use.
Also see Stephen White’s, Dictionnaire généalogique des familles acadiennes (Moncton, New Brunswick: Centre d’études acadiennes, Université de Moncton, 1999).
Drouin - Sample page
Dictionnaire National des Canadiens Français
Jetté - Sample page
Dictionnaire généalogique des familles du Québec des origines à 1730
Répertoires du Québec ancien
Répertoire des actes de baptême, mariage, sépulture et des recensements du Québec ancien / Register of baptisms, marriages, burials and census in old Québec is a large dictionary of 47 volumes and is simply called the PRDH (Programme de recherche en démographie historique de l’université de Montréal).
Baptismal records, marriage records, burial records and census information for the period of 1608 to 1766 are included. It also has information about confirmations, marriage contracts, marriage annulments, list of immigrants, lists of passengers, etc.
This dictionary contains a lot of information but you require the patience to learn how it works. There are general indexes throughout the dictionary and there are reference codes you must become familiar with.
If you take the time to analyse the methods used in this compilation, you will be able to add interesting historical information to your family book and maybe some missing factual information.
The PRDH is now available online. Although the database can be accessed for free, you will need to subscribe in order to be able to view all the indexed records. The database contains more than baptisms, marriages and burials. It also includes recantations, migrants, hospital sick lists, confirmations, marriage contracts, census, testimony of freedom to marry, naturalization, marriage annulment, and marriage rehabilitation.
PRDH - Marriages List
Répertoire des actes de baptême, mariage, sépulture et des recensements du Québec ancien
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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