Quebec Church Records
|Quebec Wiki Topics|
|Local Research Resources|
- 1 Historical Background
- 2 Information Found in the Records
- 3 Finding the Records
- 4 Go to the Wiki article for your ancestors' denomination to find more archives.
- 5 Correspond with genealogical or historical societies.
- 6 Carefully compare any record you find to known facts about the ancestor
Historical Background[edit | edit source]
Roman Catholic[edit | edit source]
- The largest religious group in Québec is the Roman Catholic Church. The first Catholic parish register was for Notre-Dame de Québec, founded in 1621.
- From 1679 to 1993, most vital records for Québec were copies of church records. The province required churches to send copies to government archives.
- On 1 January 1994, the government began to keep separate vital records.
- Vital records could be registered civilly without a church record as early as 1926. Beginning in the 1960s, many births and marriages were recorded only in civil registers.
Protestant[edit | edit source]
- The earliest Protestant records are from 1766, when the Church of England (Anglican) parishes were founded in Montréal. Presbyterian records date from 1770 in the city of Québec and 1779 in Montréal. Other non-Catholic groups came later.
- Protestant church records are not as extensive as the Catholic records. Clergy of legally recognized Protestant groups were required to send duplicate copies of their church records to the civil archives. They did not always do it.
- Also, baptisms and marriages performed by some non-Catholic clergy were not recognized by civil authorities until 1825 or later. Beginning in 1825, the registers of various denominations were "authenticated" (given legal authority) by the legislative assembly.
- Many Protestant registers contain less information than the Catholic records. For example, many marriage records do not list the parents of the bride or groom.
Information Found in the Records[edit | edit source]
To effectively use church records, become familiar with their content. Click on these links to learn about a specific record type:
Finding the Records[edit | edit source]
Look for online records.[edit | edit source]
Online databases are incomplete. This can lead to two common errors:
FamilySearch[edit | edit source]
- 1621-1979 - Quebec, Catholic parish registers, 1621-1979 Index only and images. List of parishes and links to images
- 1642-1967 - Quebec index to civil copy of church records, 1642-1902, digitized, browsable index.
- 1763-1967 - Quebec, non-Catholic parish registers, 1763-1967, images only. List of parishes and links to images
- 1662-1898 - Quebec Births and Baptisms, 1662-1898 Index only. Incomplete.
- 1661-1959 - Canada, Births and Baptisms, 1661-1959 Index only.
- 1661-1949 - Canada, Marriages, 1661-1949 Index only.
- 1664-1955 - Canada Deaths and Burials, 1664-1955 Index only.
Methodist[edit | edit source]
- 1828-1910 - Canada, Wesleyan Methodist Baptismal Register, 1828-1910, index, ($)
University of Montreal[edit | edit source]
The Drouin Collection[edit | edit source]
- 1695-1954 - Early U.S. French Catholic Church Records, 1695-1954 ($) (Ancestry).
- 1757-1946 - Acadia, Canada, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1757-1946], index and images, ($)
- The Drouin Collection has six databases:
- Quebec Vital and Church Records, 1621-1967
- Ontario French Catholic Church Records, 1747-1967
- Early U.S. French Catholic Church Records, 1695-1954
- Acadia French Catholic Church Records, 1670-1946
- Quebec Notarial Records, 1647-1942
- Miscellaneous French Records, 1651-1941.
- For details about this six databases, see The Drouin Collection: Six Databases.
- The Drouin Collection has six databases:
Loiselle Card Index[edit | edit source]
- Loiselle card index to many marriages of the province of Quebec and adjacent areas Loiselle, Antonin. This source usually lists the names of the bride and groom, their parents’ names, and the date and place of their marriage. The index is arranged roughly in alphabetical order. This index lists more than a million marriages. It covers about 70 percent of Québec Catholic marriages to 1900, with a few as late as the 1960s. It also includes a few parishes outside Québec where there were large settlements of French Canadians
- Supplement to Loiselle card index to many marriages of the province of Quebec and adjacent areasLoiselle, Antonin. This supplement to the Loiselle index adds many more marriages and covers the Ottawa River valley area of Ontario and Quebec. This is a supplement to the original Loiselle Index. It extends the original geographical coverage to the Montréal region, the Ottawa River Valley in both Québec and Ontario, and to a few parishes in western Canada.
- Instructions for using the Loiselle Marriage Index
Jacques-Henri Fabien Collection[edit | edit source]
- 1657-1974 - Jacques-Henri Fabien Collection This collection of microfilm consists of genealogical information over the period 1657 to 1974, distributed on more than 250,000 cards, mostly for marriages, that indicate date and place, names of spouses and their parents. The collection includes parishes in the Outaouais region of Québec and Ontario, some parishes in Eastern and Northern Ontario, counties of Pontiac, Vaudreuil, Châteauguay, Huntingdon, Beauharnois, l'Assomption, Laval, Deux-Montagnes and Argenteuil, in Quebec.
Other Marriage Indexes[edit | edit source]
- 1670-1964 - "Index to Marriages of Québec and Adjacent Areas 1670–1964". Rivest, Lucien. It lists 230,000 Catholic marriages in 13 counties northwest and northeast of Montréal, alphabetical by the bride's maiden surname.
- "Mariages de Québec (Marriages of Québec)". It lists Catholic marriages to 1970 in the Eastern Townships region southeast of Montréal. It is alphabetical by the groom's name.
Online Indexed Databases[edit | edit source]
- BMS2000 Database, index and images. ($) A database of baptism, marriage and burial records of 14 million records. There is a charge for consulting the BMS2000 database.
- PRDH Database, index and images. ($) Computerized population register, with biographical files of for European settlers of St. Lawrence Valley.
- Fichier Origine (Original File) Database, index and images. ($) Index of civil status documents and notarial deeds for French and foreign emigrants. Free-of-charge.
United Church of Canada[edit | edit source]
United Church records include Methodist, most Presbyterian, and Congregational church records dating from before the 1925 merger which formed the church. Many records are still in the hands of local clergymen. Others are at:
United Church of Canada Archives
40 Oak Street
Toronto, ON M5A 2C6
Tel: 416-231-7680 ext. 1101
Toll-free: 1-800-268-3781 ext. 1101
Fax: 416-231-3103 attn: Archives
Go to the Wiki article for your ancestors' denomination to find more archives.[edit | edit source]
There are frequently additional, nationwide or regional archives for each denomination. Find the article for your ancestors' denomination and follow the instructions there to access these sources. This is especially important if local archives are not given above.
|Wiki Articles for Records of Major Churches in Canada|
Correspond with genealogical or historical societies.[edit | edit source]
Some church records have been given to historical societies. Also, historical societies may be able to tell you where the records are being held. To find a society near you, consult these lists:
Carefully compare any record you find to known facts about the ancestor[edit | edit source]
You will possibly find many different people with the same name as your ancestor, especially when a family stayed in a locality for several generations, and several children were named after the grandparents or aunts and uncles. Be prepared to find the correct church records by organizing in advance as many of these exact details about the ancestor as possible:
- name, including middle name and maiden name
- names of all spouses, including middle and maiden name
- exact or closely estimated dates of birth, marriage, and death
- names and approximate birthdates of children
- all known places of residence
- military service details
Carefully evaluate the church records you find to make sure you have really found records for your ancestor and not just a "near match". If one or more of the details do not line up, be careful about accepting the entry as your ancestor. There are guiding principles for deciding how to resolve discrepancies between records that are seemingly close. For more instruction in evaluating evidence, read the Wiki article, Evaluate the Evidence.
It's easier than you think! You do not have to be fluent in French to use these records, as there is only a limited vocabulary used in them. By learning a few key phrases, you will be able to read them adequately. Here are some resources for learning to read French records.
During the reign of Napoleon, a different calendar was used. You will want to translate the dates written in these records back to normal Julian calendar dates. Charts in this article will help you:
- Alsace-Lorraine: Converting French Republican Calendar Dates - Instruction
There is a three-lesson course in reading handwriting in old French records:
- Reading French Handwritten Records Lesson 1: The French Alphabet,
- Reading French Handwritten Records Lesson 2: Key Words and Phrases
- Reading French Handwritten Records Lesson 3: Reading French Records
These lessons focus on reading church record and civil registration records:
Another resource is the French Records Extraction Manual, Full Manual. Much more is covered, but these first four lessons are especially useful.
- Chapter 1: OLD FRENCH RECORDS
- Chapter 2: PARISH CHRISTENING AND CIVIL BIRTH ENTRIES
- Chapter 3: MARRIAGE ENTRIES
- Chapter 4: OTHER ENTRIES
- Chapter 5: FRENCH HANDWRITING AND SPELLING
Some Catholic Church records will be written in Latin:
- "Genealogy in 8 Lessons", at Quebec Federation off Genealogical Societies, http://federationgenealogie.qc.ca/guide-ressources/8-lecons, accessed 17 October 2020.