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National Institute for Genealogical StudiesNational Institute for Genealogical Studies.gif

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: Quebec Non-Francophone Ancestors  by Althea Douglas M.A., CG. The Institute offers over 200 comprehensive genealogy courses for a fee ($).

Other Québec Records

With remarkably complete records of Baptisms (births), Marriages and Burials (deaths), and the well-preserved notarial records, genealogists working in Québec tend to overlook other sources. However, the Québec Family History Society has prepared an extensive list which includes reminders of documents in Provincial government sources:

  • Legal Registry Offices: 1840s to 2000, for Property transactions and documents, which may include wills.
  • Judicial records, both civil records including probate, and criminal records, including coroner’s inquests.
  • Tax Records: Valuation and Assessment Rolls for Cities and Districts.

Land Records

Papers relating to original Crown Land Grants (1764-1841) are held by the Archives of Canada. A list of Crown grants, 1763-1890, arranged by County and Township and indexed by grantee was published in 1891.

Land Transfers after the First Grant

Subsequent sales, gifts, bequests, or other transfers of land have been a matters of local record since about 1831, under the responsibility of the Ministère de la Justice and registered at the Bureau d’enregistrement [Legal Registry Office] of the various Judicial Districts. In 1996 there were 55 different land registry offices. Current addresses are given in the Canadian Almanac or in a current Québec Government Telephone Directory, or Québec Legal Telephone Directory, and probably other legal directories. Ask your librarian. You must know the street address or Range and lot number and it helps to know the Ward or Parish.

Be prepared for very high search fees. I was once told offices were very busy in May, and to check opening hours before visiting. Remember, these offices are there for lawyers and notaries to search titles for current land sales, not for genealogists.

Most land transfer documents will have been drawn up by the local Notary, and if over 100 years old, may be in his greffe in the ANQ. That is a less expensive way to search for such records, so if you can find one land transfer document and get the name of the Notary, you can search the greffe for other papers and probably track other sales backward or forward.


Information in this Wiki page is excerpted from the online course Research: Quebec Non-Francophone Ancestors 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 wiki@genealogicalstudies.com

We welcome updates and additions to this Wiki page.