Pontiac County, Quebec

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Canada Gotoarrow.png Quebec Gotoarrow.png Pontiac County

Guide to Pontiac County, Quebec ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.

Getting Started

1. What information do you wish to locate about your ancestor? To choose the sources you need to search first, please click on RECORD SELECTION TABLE: Quebec, which will help you decide.

2. From the above Record Selection Table, which sources do you wish to check in this county? To check the availability of your sources of interest as well as to check the websites that have them online, please click on this county's SOURCES LINKS TABLE

3. Do you know the location that you wish to search in this county? If so, please check for some possible sources and some online information about your location of interest, by clicking on this county's POPULATED PLACES TABLE.

4. For further information regarding your sources of interest, see "Resources" ABOVE in the "CONTENTS" table and click on the source of interest.

Remember that you should always try to get an original copy of that source to verify information.

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Here is a brief timeline regarding the history of Quebec.  You can find more information at Wikipedia: 

Era of Exploration 1508-1613
Colony of Canada 1534-1763 – French Regime
Colony of Quebec 1763-1791 – When Quebec became British.
Lower Canada 1791-1841 covered Quebec but boundaries changed.
Canada East 1841-1867 again it was Quebec but watch the boundaries.
Confederation – Province of Quebec 1867 to Present

Parent County

Pontiac County was created in about 1867 at the time of Canada's Confederation. It was part of Ottawa County which was in existence from 1830 to 1867. Census records such as the 1851 census in the early years would be found under this county and also under the former name of Ottawa, Bytown. In an even earlier time it was part of the Montreal District. 

Boundary Changes

Record Loss

In 1900 there was a fire in Hull and records were lost. The extent of the damage is unknown but apparently non-Catholic registers were lost for Hull.  Check with the Ponitac Archives and the Branch of the BAnQ in Gatineau.  

See the Census section for surviving census for the Pontiac. 


L'Ile-due-Grand-Calumet is an large island in the Ottawa River that is west from Campbell's Bay. Another large island in the area is L'Isle-aux-Allumette which is east of Pembroke, Ontario.

Populated Places

Alymer, Bryson, Chapeau, Campbell's Bay (County Seat), Chapeau, Fort Coulonge, Portage Du Fort, Quyon, Mansfield-et-Pontefract, Shawville, Sheen, Waltham.

Neighboring Counties

Renfrew County, Ontario is on the western side of the Ottawa River and further north is Nipissing County. Gatineau is east of Pontiac in Quebec.


Here are a couple of genealogy guides with information on how to do research in Quebec, unfortunately they are getting old and a really good guide is difficult to find. 

Book: Finding Your Ancestors in English Quebec, by Althea Douglas MA, CG (C), 2001 Book HC02 Heritage Productions. This may be old but still may give some idea of the sources in Quebec for genealogy. Being a Certified Genealogist Althea is very detailed in her explanations. 

Book: “Finding Your Canadian Ancestors, A Beginner’s Guide,” by Sherry Irvine and David Obee, Ancestry Publishing, 2006. This gives and overview of Quebec research. A good overview. 

Book: “Planning a Genealogical Trip to Montreal,” Paul LeCleric, BA, BSc. Book HC19 Heritage Productions, 2003. This is helpful but he doesn’t say where to go to find the records and is a little dated.

Book:  In Search of Your Canadian Roots, Tracing Your Family Tree in Canada, by Angus Baxter, Third Edition, 2000.  Family History book 971 D27ba 2000. This is old but it does give an overview. 

This online article shares about Montreal genealogy, it is a little out-of-date but gives an overview. 

Genealogical Research in Montreal

Book:  French-Canadian Sources, A Guide for Genealogists, authors various, Ancestry Publishing, 2002. It is under 971.4 D27gp at the Family History Library in book form. Many Scots, Irish and English married French-Canadians and this might give ideas where to search.  The Ottawa Public Library has a copy.  


At this time, please read about Biographies in the Province of Quebec Resources - Biography.


At this time, please read about Cemeteries in the Province of Quebec Resources - Cemeteries.

Pontiac County cemeteries listings and tombstone photos can be found on several online websites:

Pontiac County, Quebec Gravemarker Gallery. The tombstone photos are from the former Scott Naylor's collection. Pontiac County, Quebec Gravemarker Gallery

The Canadian GenWeb's Cemetery Project has listings of Pontiac Co., Quebec Cemeteries some links have more information than others. Click on Quebec and a listing for cemeteries in Quebec appears, then make your choice of county. The Canadian GenWeb's Cemetery Project

Remember to check the cemeteries and graveyards in Renfrew County, Ontario for your ancestor may have lived and died there. Another option is to check the cities of Montreal and Ottawa where many individuals who lived in the Upper Ottawa area retired and are buried.

Publications for cemetery transcriptions are available at the various archives listed below.

St. Alphonsus of Ligouri, Chapeau, Allumette Island, Pontiac County, Quebec, Cemetery Inscriptions and Burial Records, by Elaine Brown, Family History Library book 971 4215/C2 V3b or you can purchase online Persona internet

You can also search on the names Alex Fraser and Duncan Darby MacDonald for transcriptions of cemeteries, charts, lineages and church records.  

Census Records

At this time, please read about Census Records in the Province of Quebec Resources - Census.

Quebec has census that go back far into the early French regime from 1666 to 1831.  For the Pontiac you would start with the census at Ancestry or FamilySearch. Some are browseable, or you can search on a name or just an index. You can find a link in the Family Search Catalog our under Records. 

1842 Census of Canada East.  It covers Clarendon, Eardley, Hull, Litchfield, Lochaber, Gore, Onslow,Petite-Nation (seigneurie) Templeton and Wakefield. These are not all of the area as you can see. This is online at FamilySearch in the catalogue for Quebec under Census. 

1851 You would choose Ottawa County and it covers: Alymer, Bristol, Chichester, Clarendon, Hull, Litchfield, Low, Masham, Petite Nation, Sheen, Templeton, Wakefield and Waltham. This is online at Family Search as listed in the catalogue for Quebec under Census as an index. 

1861 Census of Canada you choose Pontiac County, Quebec. At Ancestry you must browse the townships or do a search.  This is online as an Index at FamilySearch under Quebec. 

1871 Census of Canada you choose, Quebec, PontiacNorth for areas really north or Pontiac South at Ancestry. Pontiac Suth covers Allumette Island, Bristol, Calumet Island, Chicheter, Clarendon, Leslie, Litchfield, Mansfield & Pontefract, Onslow, Portage Du Fort, Sheen, Thorne and Waltham. This is online as an index for census and mortablity schedules under Quebec in the catalogue. 

1881 Census of Canada you choose Quebec, then Pontiac which covers, Aldfield, Bristol, Bryson Village and Litchfield, Calumet Island, Cawood & Alleyn, Chapeau and Allumette Island, Chichester, Clapham, Clarendon Northe and Clarendon South, Leslie, Mansfield & Pontefract, Onslow North, and Portage Du Fort Village and Litchfield on Ancestry. This is online at FamilySearch under Quebec in the catalogue as an index. 

1891 Census of Canada you choose Quebec and Pontiac which covers Aldfield, Allumette Island, Bristol North and Bristol South, Bryson Village, Bryson Village and Litchfield Upper, Calumet Island, Cawood & Alleyn, Chapeau Village, Chicheter, Clarendon North and South, Duhamel and Laverlochere, Fort Coulonge Vilalge, Institutions, Leslie and Clapham and Huddersfield, Mansfield and Pontefract, Onslow North and South, Portage Du Fort Village, Portage Due Fort Village and Litchfield Lower. Alaos Quyon Village, Shawville Village, Thorne, Unorganized Territory, Waltham and Bryson at Ancestry. This is online at Family Search as an index under Quebec in the catalogue. 

1901 Census of Canada you choose Quebec, Pontiac which covers Aberdeen and Malakoff, Aldfield, Alleyn and Cawood, Allumette Island, Bristol, Bryson (Village), Calumet Island, Chapeau (Village), Chichester, Clarendon, Duhamel and Guigues, Fort Coulonge (Village), Leslie, Clapham and Huddersfield, Litchfield, Mansfield and Pontefract, Not Stated, Onslow North and South, Portage Du Fort (Village), Quyon, Shawville (Village), Sheen and Esher, Thorne, Timiskaming, Unorganized Territory, Ville-Marie (Village) Waltham and Bryson at Ancestry. This is online at FamilySearch in the catalogue under Quebec as an index.

1911 Canadian Census is at FamilySearch as an index under Quebec in the Catalog. It is still a work in progress.

1920 Census of Canada covers Pontiac, Temiscaminque-Abitibi with 75 districts at Ancestry. 

Church Records

At this time, please read about Church Records in the Province of Quebec Resources - Church Records.

Booklet: St. Alphonsus of Ligouri Chapeau, Allumette Island, Pontiac Co., Quebec, Cemetery Inscriptions Burial Records, Compiled and Published by Elaine Brown, Yarkers, Ontario, 2000. Family History Book #971.4215/C2 V3b or available online at: Cemetery Inscriptions & Burial Records

Book or CD-Rom: Mariages due comte de Pontiac, 1836-1973, published 1976. Family History Book #971.4215 K29M or CD-ROM no. 308 at Family History Lib Attendant Window or if using a computer at the Family History Library you can access the CD. Covers Pontiac County Catholic Marriages.

Civil Registration

At this time, please read about Civil Registration (i.e. Vital Records) in the Province of Quebec Resources - Civil Registration.

Court Records

At this time, please read about Court Records in the Province of Quebec Resources - Court Records.


At this time, please read about Directories in the Province of Quebec Resources - Directories.


At this time, please read about Genealogies in the Province of Quebec Resources - Genealogy.

Booklet:  Family Descendants of L'Isle-aux-Allumettes, Book 1& 2, covers family histories with pictures. Available at the Upper Ottawa Valley Genealogical Group and Pontiac Archives. 

Booklet: Crosses and Shamrocks, Souvenir of St. Paul the Hermit Parish 1872 to 1997, Sheenboro, Qubec and St. Theresa of the Little Flower 1857 to 1997 Fort William, Quebec, no publicaton date. Available at the Upper Ottawa Valley Genealogical Group in Pembroke and at the Pontiac Archives in Shawville. Gives a history of Sheen Township in Pontiac, the churches with pictures and family histories. 

Booklet: Crosses and Shamrocks, Souvenir of St. Paul the Hermit Parish 1872-1997, Sheenboro, Quebec and St. Theresa of the Little Flower 1857-1997, Fort William, Quebec, Appendix: Family Trees. Availabel at the Upper Ottawa Valley Genealogical Group and the Pontiac Archives. 

McDonalds of Chapeau, A Family Memoir, by Neil McDonald, Table of Contents: Members of the McDonalds, Dejardin and Keons, McDonalds of Chapeau, The Honorable Membor for Pontiac. No publicaton date given.  Available at the Upper Ottawa Valley Genealogical Group. Timeframe about 1860, 1870 etc. 

Land and Property Records

At this time, please read about Land and Property Records in the Province of Quebec Resources - Land and Property.

Quebec has had three systems of land:

1. The first was the seigneury 1626-1795. This sytem was discontinued in 1854 but tenants could claim their land (Seigneurial Tenures Act of 1854). Land would be granted to a land owner and they would in turn rent to tenants. They were usually established along major waterways. These are with the BAnQ and its research centres and in the Parchemin Notarial database 1626-1794 at the BAnQ. Pontiac County did not have any seigneurial lands.

2.Township 1763 – 1890 this did not replace the seigneury and are the Upper and Lower Land Grants and Letters Patent.

Sources to find Land petitions:

Land Grant by the Crown in the Province of Quebec from 1763 to 31st December 1890, Argenteuil Co. – Huntington Co., FHL#413121 covers Joliette Co.- Yamaska Co., Districts of Quebec, Montreal Alpha Index FHL#413122. These list the land grants by geographical area like Pontiac County and individual areas like Allumette Island, Chichester, Sheen etc.

Alphabetical Index to the Land Grants by the Crown in the Province of Quebec from 1763 to 31 December 1890 are at the Family History Library in volumes 1 FHL#971.4 R2a v.1-9 to 22 FHL#971.4 R2a v. 10-22. Each letter has a volume. Example: M is v. 13. You can order these from the Quebec Family History Library for about $10.00 per volume.

Libraries and Archives Canada has Land Petitions Indexes for Upper and Lower Canada from 1764 to 1841 online at: Petitions The online index gives name, surname, date and some may or may not have the image. This online index only goes up to 1841 for the Lower Canada Patents. You need to search both indexes.

Ancestry.com has under Quebec and index of the Land Grants: Quebec Land Grants 1763-1890. This index might be a little easier to search than the books listed about for specific individuals.

The BAnQ in Montreal at Viger Street has indexes to the land petitions which are also available on microfilm.

3. Cadastral started 1830 and is currently being used. The Palais du Justice in Campbell's Bay will prepare reports based on the land description (range, lot and concession) for a fee. You can also search yourself for a fee at the Registre de Foncier: Link

The Quebec Family History Society has information about how to find land patents. Link

Local Histories

At this time, please read about Local Histories in the Province of Quebec Resources - History.

Book: For Singing and Dancing and all sort sof Fun, The Story of the Ottawa Valley's Most Famous Song, The Chapeau Boys, by L. Shelon Posen, Denau, Well Done Books, 1988. This book takes you on a tour of the Ottawa Valley in the early part of the 1900's.

Book: An Illustrated Overview of Lumbering in the Ottawa Valley 1890 - 2000, by John D. Dumfield, Copy at the BAnQ in Gatineau.

Book: What Men They Were!, by S. Wyman MacKenzie, 2nd Printing, 1976, Family History Book #929.271 N 193m.

Website: Outaouais Heritage WebMagazine at Link Has many options for Museums and Historical Societies, Attractions and tours, History, Links and Photo Gallery.

Online article: Settlement and History and Archaelogy along the North Shore of the Ottawa River, Pontiac County, Quebec, by the Ottawa River Community Heritage,Link

Website: Ottawa River Organizaton, Canadian Heritage River is in several languages with history, links, photos, landmarks and more.Link

Newspaper: Chapeau Centennial published in 1974 with articles of history, maps, pictures and more.

Book: The Upper Ottawa Valley, by Clyde C. Kennedy, published by the Renfrew County Council, Pembroke, Ontario, 1970.


At this time, please read about Maps in the Province of Quebec Resources - Maps.

It is very difficult to find a map that shows both sides of the Ottawa River (Outaouais) at one time, it is either oriented toward the Quebec side or the Ontario side. Try Google and use Pontiac or Renfrew in the search box and click on images. 

The Canadian County Atlas Digital Project, Map of Renfrew County for 1881. This website had maps for other counties in Ontario.Link

Municipal Maps of Pontiac County for various townships listing concession and lot number. These are available at the Pontiac Archives. They are very large and in rolls. Be advised that as of 2012 the governmental units of Canada have gone through tremendous change and these maps may not be available at the municipal offices in Pontiac County.

Online Maps of Pontiac and Quebec can be found at Le Directeur General Des Elections Du Quebec Link. It is in French and English. On the right of the website is a drop down box for municipalities. Scroll to Pontiac and click, then click electorial map. This is of course a modern map of the Pontiac but it is a good starting point.

Or the Elections Canada Link This is a downloadable map in PDF. This is a modern map. \

Tourism for Outaouais (The French side). Link Worth checking out if you are not familiar with the area on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River.


This map gives the relationship of the Pontiac area to the City of Ottawa and it includes other areas like Lanark, Leeds & Grenville and Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry and part of Quebec that are around the city of Ottawa. You will have to scroll down to find it on the Ottawa Link

Military Records

At this time, please read about Military Records in the Province of Quebec Resources - Military Records.

Newspapers Obituaries

At this time, please read about Newspapers and Obituaries in the Province of Quebec Resources - Newspapers.

In addition to the above link to newspapers on this wiki, check out the Pontiac Archives in Shawville for the newspapers in that region. They may have indexes or abstract books for vital records. Pontiac archives Births-marriages-deaths-published-in-the-equity-beginning-1883-now

Also check the newspapers in Pembroke, Ontario some are held at the Pembroke Public Library and the Upper Ottawa Valley Genealogical Society in Pembroke. Also other local libraries in the Pontiac and Renfrew County areas.

There are books of abstracted vital records such as birth, marriage, death and more. In the Pontiac area also check Renfrew County and remember your ancestor moved around and the news would be reported in a major area close by.

Births, Marriages and Deaths from the Pembroke, Ontario Newspapers, Multi volumes, Compiled by the Members of the Upper Ottawa Valley Genealogical Group, Pembroke, ONT, 2003.

Births, Marriages, Death Abstracts from the Renfrew Mercury Multi-volumes from 1870 to 1920.There are other volumes. Check with the Upper Ottawa Valley Genealogical Group for these abstract books, the Toronto Public Library or archives nearby in the Renfrew and Pontiac area.

Library and Archives in Ottawa has newspapers that you can access at their website for Quebec. It is more by town or city: Library and Archives Ottawa newspapers

This is by geographic region in Quebec. Try Aylmer, Bryson, Fort Coulonge, Gatineau, Hull, Shawville,


Notarial Records

At this time, please read about Notarial Records in the Province of Quebec Resources - Notarial Records.

Notarial records for the Pontiac area would be housed in the Archives of Quebec in Montreal at 535 Viger Street West, Montreal, Quebec. Currently the website has an online database that are still a work in progress. Pontiac Records

More records and originals will be housed in the branch of the Archives in Gatineau at 855 Blvd. Gappe, Gatineau, Quebec. If you do not read or speak French and are going to use their websites you will find some parts in French. You can set your browser to translate for you. Archives in Gatineau

Probate Records

At this time, please read about Probate Records in the Province of Quebec Resources - Probate Records.

Taxation Records

At this time, please read about Taxation Records in the Province of Quebec Resources - Taxation.

There are Valuation Rolls at the Pontiac Archive for the townships.  The earliest was 1856 for Sheen. Contact the archives for the area you are interested.  They are spreadsheets of many pages with names listed, lots, and the value of the land.  They are kept in indivdual file folders labeled with the location and year. 

Vital Records

See Civil Registration Records above.

Societies and Libraries

When doing genealogical research in the Pontiac County area of Quebec, you need to consult archives on both sides of the Ottawa River (Outaouais, the French version). This means you have to consult archives in Ontario and Quebec such as Renfrew County, Ontario, Gatineau, Quebec, Ottawa and Montreal. Your ancestors did not stay in one area and would frequently move back and forth across, up and down the Ottawa river with ease.


Pontiac Archives, 356 Rue Main, Shawville, QC JOX 2YO, Canada. Please use their PO Box or email them for research inquires, and hours by consulting their website. This archive is in the lower floor of the Shawville Public Library. They emphasize Pontiac County. They have family histories, maps, books for each region of the Pontiac, cemetery records and more. Website:

Upper Ottawa Valley Genealogical Society Group, 225 Dickerson Ave., Pembroke, Renfrew Co., Ontario. This society is in the lower floor of the Masonic Building in Pembroke, Ontario. This society covers all of Renfrew County and further north in the area on the Ontario side, as well as Pontiac County, Quebec. They have family histories, newspapers, books, cemetery records and more. Consult their webite for their holdings, hours, and research policies.

Arnprior McNap/Braeside Archive, 21 B Madawaska St., Arnprior, ON K7S 1R6. This archive is in the public library of Arnprior, Ontario. This archive's emphasis is more on Renfrew County and surrounding areas but again our ancestors moved around more than you think. Consult their website for their holdings, hours and research policies.

Quebec Family History Society, 173 Cartier Avenue, Suite 102, Pointe-Claire, Quebec. This library has a great collection of cemetery records for the Pontiac County area of Quebec. Their focus is on English speaking people who settled in Quebec but they are now expanding into the French-Canadian sources. Consult their website for their holdings, research policies and how to do Quebec genealogical research, hours and research inquires.

The Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society library is at 100 Tallwood Drive, Ottawa, Ontario. Mailing address is P.O. Box 8346 Station T, Ottawa, Ontario K1G 3H8. They cover the counties of Carleton, Lanark, Renfrew, Prescott and Russell, which all are in Ontario but again our ancestors migrated a lot more than we think and had family ties in various areas. Check their website for more information.

Libraries and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa, ON K1A ON4, Canada. This is the Canada's main government archive. Consult their online website for more information all topics of genealogy in Canada.

The Archives of Quebec has the main building in Montreal and branches throughout Quebec. The main building is at 535 Viger Avenue W. in Montreal. The Branch for Pontiac is located in Gatineau. The Archives of Quebec

Ottawa Chapter of the Ontario Genealogical Society in Ottawa. Link They have cemetery records for Renfrew, Pontiac, Gatineau and areas along the Ottawa River.

The Societe Genealogie de l'Outaouais shares the space with the Branch office of the BAnQ in Gatineau. There interests are more toward French Canadian Research. If you do research in the Pontiac who will have English marrying French Canadians.Link

Pembroke Public Library' s Local History & Genealogy Database (free). Though this database includes mostly Renfrew County (Ontario) records, some Pontiac County materials are also included. The database includes the indexes and records such as: Cemetery Records for most areas of Renfrew County; The Newspaper Index of selected headlines and articles on local events as well as birth, marriage, death from Pembroke Observer newspaper; Obituary Index to obituaries appearing in local newspaper.

Web Sites

Bytown or Bust, a Digital History of Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec, Canada, Including the Cities of Ottawa and Hull/Gatineau 1600 to 2014. Bytown

Ottawa Valley Irish, A Family History weblog & genealogical database: Ottawa Valley Irish

Burns, Hughes, Somerville, Gentle, The Byrns/Burns Family who lived in Chichester Twp. Persona internet

The Man Who Lived Airplanes, The Life of Keith B. MacDonald whose father was born in Chichester, Pontiac Co., Quebec and his family. There is also a tour of the Upper Ottawa River Valley from May 21, 2012 to June 27, 2012 covering cities, cemeteries and archives visited. Macdonell Family

Ottawa Family Tree, Link May have posts of interest to Pontiac County, Quebec.

Irish Catholic Families of North Onslow and Bristol, Quebec: Link