I thought, before I post any more information, I should talk about my sources. Those of us addicted to genealogy know there are an extremely large number of family trees floating around cyberspace with few, if any, sources cited. The internet, as well as being an amazing source of information, can be a source of misinformation that unfortunately can live forever.
Having retired from a career as a school librarian, I’m picky about things like sources, citations and copyright! While I will not document every fact on this blog in a strictly scholarly manner, I will give enough information to point readers to the sources I have used. Of course I will share detailed sources with any relatives who request them. I will only post pictures that are mine, or whose owners have given me permission. You’ll find lots of hypertext links to other websites, such as the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, when appropriate.
Those of us with French-Canadian ancestry are extremely lucky to have many well-documented sources at our disposal. There are four such sources that have been invaluable to my research:
- The PRDH (Le Programme de recherche en démographie historique/The Research Program in Historical Demography) is an undertaking from the Université de Montréal. Here’s a quote from their website. “The project relies basically on exhaustive gathering of data from the parish registers of old Quebec. By systematic attribution of baptism, marriage, and burial certificates to the respective individuals – a “family reconstitution” made on the basis of names and family ties – people are identified and their biographies established. PRDH’s data base, covering the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, thus contains the personal history of the Quebec ancestors of all French- Canadians.” This is a subscription site, but well worth the money. Available in both English and French.
- Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967 accessed on ancestry.ca. Another subscription site, this provides digital copies of church baptism, marriage and burial records. Legibility and analysis of old style handwriting can be a challenge, but I’m always thrilled to see the actual record of one of these events in an ancestor’s life.
- The Fichier Origine is a “repertory of baptisms of immigrants to Quebec found in their country of origin (France, essentially) within a collaborative project between French and Quebec genealogy federations co-ordinated in Quebec by Marcel Fournier.” This free site is in French, but names and dates are easily understood. Let’s hear it for Google Translate!
- PREFEN or The Research on the emigration of French in New France includes Banque Migrants, a database of emigrants that uses French church and civil records to give extensive information on some 14,000 people. Here you can sometimes find digital copies of church records in France, and fairly detailed info on the ancestor’s life in New France. This free site is also in French.
If, when you encounter a name on this blog, you decide to search the internet for more information, you may find lots of other family trees or websites with facts and stories that don’t agree with what I post here. Some of it may even be true! Genealogy research is never “finished”. I certainly don’t claim that my research is irrefutable, but I am careful about the facts I post. Others have probably done more exhaustive research on some of these ancestors than I have. I welcome any corrections or additional information that readers can provide.