Loiselle Marriage Index
The Loiselle Marriage Index and its supplement are some of the best sources for finding Catholic marriages in Québec. They are easy to use, and most entries are typewritten. The index and supplement contain over a million marriage records. About 70 percent of the Catholic marriages before 1900 are included. A smaller percentage of marriages after 1900 are included. There is very little duplication between the original Loiselle Marriage Index and the supplement.
Years and Localities Covered
The original index and the supplement include marriages from the mid-1600s to about 1960.
The original index covers 520 Catholic parishes in Québec and a few parishes outside Québec where there were large settlements of French Canadians (such as Madawaska County, New Brunswick, and Manchester, Hillsboro County, New Hampshire).
The supplement extends the original geographical coverage to the Montréal region, to the Ottawa River Valley in both Québec and Ontario, and to a few parishes in western Canada.
Information in the Index
Each record lists:
- The name of the bride.
- The name of the groom.
- The date of marriage (year, day, month).
- The parish where they were married.
- If the bride was a widow or the groom was a widower.
- The name of the parents (if the person was never married before).
- The name of the previous spouse (if the person was a widow or widower).
The record usually shows:
- Whether a parent of the bride or groom is dead.
- The parish where the parents married (if they did not marry in the same parish as the bride and groom).
Organization of the Index
In the original index, the beginning of each film has:
- A list of abbreviations used for first names.
- A list of abbreviations used for localities.
- A list of the parishes and years that were indexed.
These listings do not appear in the supplement.
The marriage information is on cards. Each marriage has two cards—one for the bride and one for the groom. Brides are listed by their maiden name. The cards are in alphabetical order, and the order is fairly accurate.
Spelling variations of a surname may be filed together. For example, Deneau and Deneault are filed together.
Some surnames are split into two or more groups. The groups are filmed one after the other. For example, film 543703 has a group of Dubeau names that ends with “Dubeau, Zoé.” The next film has a second group of Dubeau names that begins with “Dubeau, Abraham.” If your ancestor is Pierre Dubeau, you may have to look in both groups to find his marriage record.
There are also cards filed under “Inconnu(e)” (unknown) where the surname is not known because of illegitimate birth.
Common Terms and Abbreviations
For the English translation of common terms that appear in the index, see “Key Words” in the “Language and Languages” section of this outline.
BEFORE YOU START
If you are not familiar with French Canadian naming customs, read the “Names, Personal” section of this outline. The information there can help if you do not find a marriage record immediately.
HOW TO USE THE INDEX
Finding a Marriage Record
Step 1. Find the microfilm(s) you need from the Names and Film Numbers list (look in both the original index and the supplement). Write down the film number(s). (You may look for either the bride or groom.)
Step 2. Get a copy of the microfilm(s).
Step 3. Find the record on the microfilm.
Step 4. Use the information to find the marriage in the original parish register (see the “Church Records“ section of this outline).
Finding the Parents of a Widow or Widower:
Parents are only listed the first time a person was married. If a record has “ve,” “vve,” “vf,” or “veuf” by a person's name, the person was widowed and the previous spouse is listed. To find the names of the parents, look at the record of the previous marriage.
If You Can't Find the Name:
NAMES AND FILM NUMBERS
The film numbers and the name of the first and last person on each microfilm are listed in this FHL Catalog link.