Quebec, Catholic Parish Registers (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Quebec Catholic Parish Registers, 1621-1900 .
Collection Time Period
Priests maintained parish registers from 1621, when the French settled Quebec, to the present.
(familysearch.org contains parish records from 1621-1900 not indexed) for later years you need to use ancestry.com - the Drouin Collection (indexed).
The great majority of registers have been well preserved by both Church and state institutions. A few have been destroyed by fire. Because the registers were made in duplicate, a copy may exist even if one was destroyed. Some of the information in the registers has been published. The earliest, covering events through 1760 and including information from records that no longer exist, is Cyprien Tanguay's “Dictionnaire généalogique des familles canadiennes” (“Genealogical Dictionary of French Canadian Families”). The dictionary is available at
A supplement volume is J. Arthur Leboeuf’s “Complément au Dictionnaire Tanguay” (“Supplement to Tanguay’s Dictionary”), which is still in print.
Baptismal entries contain:
- Names of child, parents, and godparents
- Names of parents (women are listed by maiden name)
- Relationship of the godparents to the parents
- Date of birth and baptism (look for ne d'heir, jour precedent, avant veille or au jour d'hui)
- Parish of baptism and residence
- Later records include the parents’ marriage date and place
Marriage entries contain:
- Names of the bride, groom, parents of each, and witnesses (women are listed by maiden name)
- Relationship of the witnesses to the parents
- Marriage date
- Marriage place - Usually got married in the brides parish - also lists where groom is from.
- List weather parents are living (feu male, Feue female or decede deceased)
- Later records include the parents’ marriage place, if it differs from the marriage place of the couple
Burial entries contain:
- Names of the deceased and spouse (women are listed by maiden name). Parents are usually listed if the deceased is an unmarried child.
- Date of death and burial.
- Parish of death and burial.
- The death is recorded in the parish where the funeral took place.
Other records: Diocesan archives (File 67CD1)
- A little-known collection is available under Québec City/Québec/1659-1848 (520 images).
- Register of confirmations by the bishops of Quebec, (images 6 - 179)
- Register of abjurations (recantations) from December 8, 1662 through May 8, 1757 (images 181 - 259)
- Register of baptisms, marriages, and burials for Beaubassin, in Acadia, February 2, 1680 through May 20, 1686 (images 262 - 274)
- Register of baptisms, marriages, and burials performed by the missionaries serving to the north of Baie des Chaleurs (the Gaspé coast), from February 2, 1680 through January 23, 1757 (images 276 - 313)
- Register of baptisms, marriages, and burials performed at Peticodiac and Chipoudy by fathers Le Guerne and Le Loutre, from June 7, 1753 through April 13, 1755 (images 316 - 325)
- Register of baptisms, marriages, and burials performed by the Jesuit missionary, Jean-Baptiste de la Brosse, who served the needs of Acadian refugees and Indians hiding in the woods, November 16, 1755 through March 19, 1756 (images 327 - 329)
- Various notes, Index, and Transcription of the above acts by Charles PANET, attorney, dated March 1867 (images 330 - 372)
- Register of baptisms, marriages, and burials performed at Iles de la Madeleine by father A. A. Bélanger, from July 2, 1840 through September 21, 1845 (images 373 - 393)
- Registers of baptisms, marriages, and burials performed in the Saguenay missions, from December 6, 1770 through June 7, 1796 (images 394 - 520)
How to Use the Records
Roman Catholic parish registers are the most accurate and helpful of all the French Canadian genealogical sources for identifying individuals, parents, and spouses and for tracing ancestry as well as descent.
These records are not indexed - the individual parish registers are organized by years. Most of the collections will have an index either as a seperate register with dates that span many years or in the beginning or end of each collection you need to look before you search page by page.
Between 1679 and 1993, priests were required to make two copies of all baptisms, marriages, and burials. The second copy was sent to civil authorities, and these are found in civil archives. In 1796 churches were required to index their registers. Prior to 1800, about 50 given names were used for 70 percent of the children. Further, most French Canadians descend from a small group of immigrants, so the population shares only a few thousand family names.
Why This Collection Was Created?
1960 church registration of baptisms, marriages, and burials served as a means to register civilly and thereby provide legal proof of the life events.
While the form and content of the entries vary somewhat, the general quality of the records is excellent.
Known Issues with This Collection
The Quebec Catholic Parish Registers, 1621-1900 has several reported instances where parishes were placed inside the wrong town, or where parishes appear in more than one place, which makes searching the collection somewhat difficult. These are being gathered with the intention of reviewing the collection for a possible rework in the future.(example: Ste. Marie de Beauce, years of 1808-1844 are located with St. Joseph de Beauce records)
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Contributions to This Article
Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the Wiki Article: Help:How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections.
Examples of Source Citations for a Record in This Collection
Quebec,Catholic Parish Registers, 1621-1900." index and images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch,org: accessed 1 April 2011). entry for Rose Creven, buried 31 July 1866; citing Church Records, FHL microfilm 1,031,681; Eglise catholique, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Sources of Information for This Collection:
Registres paroissiaux, index and images, FamilySearch (http://familysearch.org/); from Montréal, Québec. Eglise catholique. Church Records. FHL microfilm, citing le presbytère de la paroisse de Notre-Dame, Montréal, Québec. Family History Library Salt Lake City, Utah.
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