Quebec Newspapers

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Online Resources[edit | edit source]

Resources for Quebec Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Libraries and Archives[edit | edit source]

The principal repository for newspapers is the:

Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ)
475, boulevard De Maisonneuve Est
Montréal, Québec H2L 5C4
Telephone: 514-873-1100
Toll free in Québec outside Montréal: 1-800-363-9028

The Archives nationales du Québec has nine locations, each of which has the materials for its area:

Abitibi-Témiscamingue et Nord-du-Québec
27, rue du Terminus Ouest
Rouyn-Noranda, Québec J9X 293
Telephone: (819) 763-3484

Bas-Saint-Laurent et Gaspésie, Iles-de-la-Madeleine
337, rue Moreault
Rimouski, Québec G5L 1P4
Telephone: (418) 727-3500

700, boulevard Laure, Bureau 190-2
Sept-Iles, Québec, G4R 1Y1
Telephone: (418) 964-8434

225, rue Frontenac, bureau 401
Sherbrooke, Québec J1H 1K1
Telephone: (819) 820-3010

Mauricie et Centre-du-Québec
225, rue des Forges
Trois-Rivières, Québec G9A 2G7
Telephone: (819) 371-6015

Édifice Gilles-Hocquart
535 avenue Viger est
Montréal, Québec H2L 2P3
Telephone: (514) 873-1100, option 4

855, boulevard de la Gappe
Gatineau (Québec) J8T 8H9
Telephone: (819) 568-8798

Campus de l’Université Laval
Pavillon Louis-Jacques-Casault
Cité universitaire, C.P. 10450
1055, avenue du Séminaire
Case postale 10450, succursale Sainte-Foy
Québec G1V 4N1
Telephone: (418) 643-8904

Saguenay - Lac-Saint-Jean
930, rue Jacques-Cartier Est
Bureau C-103
Chicoutimi, Québec G7H 2A9
Telephone: 418-698-3516

The Family History Library has few newspapers from Québec. There are some extracts of vital records from English-language newspapers and some extracts of death notices from French newspapers.

Newspaper Directories[edit | edit source]

A bibliography of Québec newspapers from 1764 to the present is:

  • Beaulieu, André, and Jean Hamelin. La Presse québecoise: des origines à nos jours (Québec Newspapers). Ten Volumes. Québec, Canada: Les Presses de l'Université Laval, 1973–. (Family History Library book 971.4 B33b.) Text in French.

There are these listings of French-language publications outside Québec:

  • Répertoire des journaux, bulletins et revues de l’Amérique française hors Québec. Québec: Sécretariat permanent des peuples francophones, 1983-1985. Annual.
  • Répertoire des journaux et périodiques courants de langue française ou bilingues publiés au Canada à l’exception du Québec: supplément, mise à jour, 1994, sous la direction d’Albert Lévesque. Association des responsables des bibliothèques et centres de documentation universitaires et de recherche d’expression française au Canada, 1994.[2]

Digital Issues Online[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia has more about this subject: List of online newspaper archives
  • 1775-1872 - The Quebec Gazette at Google News - free.
  • 1788-1791 - Quebec Herald at Google News - free.
  • 1811-1984 - The Montreal Herald at Google News - free.
  • 1814, 1842-1844, 1848-1849 - Québec-Le Canadien at Google News - free.
  • 1816-1893 - Montreal Herald at Google News - free.
  • 1817-1821 - Gazette des Trois-Rivieres at Google News - free.
  • 1817-1819, 1846-1846 - Gazette des Trois-Rivieres at Google News - free.
  • 1817-1889 - La Journal de Quebec at Google News - free.
  • 1818-1984 - La Minerve at Google News - free.
  • 1819-1820 - Montreal Western Star at Google News - free.
  • 1841-1842 - The Quebec Argus at Google News - free.
  • 1848 - The Quebec Spectator at Google News - free.
  • 1855-1866 - The Quebec Colonist at Google News - free.
  • 1862-1864 - The Quebec Mercury at Google News - free.
  • 1862-1867 - The Quebec Daily News at Google News - free.
  • 1869-1870 - The Quebec Evening News at Google News - free.
  • 1870-1903 - The Quebec Daily Mercury at Google News - free.
  • 1874-1906 - The Quebec Saturday Budget at Google News - free.
  • 1876-1879 - Quebec Daily Evening Mercury at Google News - free.
  • 1880s-1925 - The Quebec Daily Telegraph at Google News - free.
  • 1889, 1909-1910 - Le Québec at Google News - free.
  • 1910-1922 - Quebec Telegraph at Google News - free.
  • 1926-1926 - Le Québec Minier at Google News - free.
  • 1935, 1953-1970 - Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph at Google News - free.
  • 1969-1974 - Québec-Presse at Google News - free.
  • 1973-1974 - Québec International at Google News - free.

Indexes[edit | edit source]

Québec Published Indexes[edit | edit source]

The Quebec Gazette was the first newspaper in the province. It was bilingual and sometimes published passenger lists, marriage notices, and other items that are useful in family history research. The Manuscript Division of the Public Archives of Canada created an important name and subject index to the Quebec Gazette:

  • Index to the Quebec Gazette, 1764–1823. Salt Lake City, Utah, USA: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1990. (On 31 Family History Library films beginning with film 1682785.)

Additional examples:

  • Diana Hibbert Bailey. Extracts from newspapers of the eastern townships (Quebec) 1823-1849: references of interest to the family historian, including births, deaths, marriages, legal notices, news items, etc. Carlton Place, Ont.: Bailey, 1990.
  • Index de “La gazette des campagnes”. La Pocatière: Société historique de la Côte-du-Sud, 1985.
  • Mathieu Gourdes Vachon. Mariages, anniversaires de mariages, générations et nécrologies parus dans le journal Le Courrier de Frontenac. Société généalogique de la Région de l’Amiante, [n.d.] Published so far, v. 1. 1987, v. 2. 1988, v. 3. 1989, v. 4. 1990, v. 5. 1991, v. 6. 1992.[1]

English Language Newspapers[edit | edit source]

More Then Now
On 3 April 1857 the Knowlton Advertiser and Eastern Townships Sentinel announced:

There are thirty-seven English papers and three published in English and French in Lower Canada. Of These, twenty-three are published in Montréal, seven in Québec, and two in Sherbrooke. Three Rivers, Aylmer on the Ottawa, St. John’s, Stanstead, Granby and Knowlton in the Eastern Townships, and New Carlisle in the district of Gaspé have one each. The publication of another English paper is announced; it is to be entitled the Québec Herald and Knowlton Advertiser.

Those that survive contain a great deal of information useful to genealogists. Most reference libraries will have the now out of dateUnion List of Newspapers Held by Canadian Libraries (Ottawa: Library of Canada, 1977; 1983), or theCanadian Newspapers on Microfiche (Ottawa: Library of Canada, 1993). This catalogue list of newspapers available in microform at the Library of Canada, is now available on the NLC website as are listings of the newspapers the library currently receives, and an updated Checklist of indexes to Canadian newspapers, compiled by Sandra Burrows and Franceen Gaudet (Ottawa:Library of Canada, 1987). The Library of Canada receives, through legal deposit, all newspapers filmed after 1 January 1988 for which more than three copies are produced and are attempting to acquire all newspapers filmed commercially before 1988, starting with daily newspapers. The Library has acquired most of the Québec daily newspapers through purchase or legal deposit. The Bibliothèque nationale du Québec through its filming programme with the Archives nationale du Québec makes all the print titles it has acquired available on film.

Québec newspapers, both French and English-language, and their history are dealt with extensively by André Beaulieu and Jean Hamelin, La presse Québecoise: des ori gines à nos jours, 10 volumes, (Québec City: Université de Laval, 1973-1990).

Early Québec Newspapers[edit | edit source]

The second newspaper to appear in what is now Canada was the Québec Gazette or Gazette de Québec founded in 1764 (the Halifax Gazette dates from 1752). The index to the Québec Gazette at the Archives covers the years 1764-1823. It only ceased publication in 1874. The Québec Mercury, founded by Thomas Cary in 1805 was published until 1903 and the Canadien appeared between 1806 and 1893 (except for 1810-1820 and 1825-1831). The Québec Mercury is microfilmed from 1805-1863 and the Québec Chronicle is available from 18 May 1847 to the end of 1873, and from 1879 to 1886; today the English community of Québec City is served by the Québec Chronicle Telegraph. There were English language newspapers in Sorel and Three Rivers in the 19th century. Check the NLC catalogue for titles and dates of the short runs that survive. The Montréal Gazette dates from the late 1700s and the Montréal Herald was founded in 1811.The Montréal Star was founded in 1869.

Know the Readers[edit | edit source]

Aside from dates and survival, other factors also matter when conducting newspaper searches: until well into the 20th century, larger cities in Canada normally had several daily papers; at least a morning and evening paper, often a third that came out - or arrived by train - to be sold at noon. Each paper served a different segment of society, usually holding different political beliefs. In those days remember that the newspapers were violently partisan.[4]  In Montréal, the Gazette and the Herald were true-blue Tories . [5] When English-speaking Montréal had several daily papers and a dozen suburban weeklies, the Gazette was a morning, business paper and its social notices covered the lives and interests of wealthy English-speaking “society”. French-speaking intellectuals are served by Le Devoir, a good source of cultural news. For accounts of local accidents or disasters and other events, the Montréal Star orLa Presse (French language) are far better sources. These larger evening papers also carried many more engagement announcements, accounts of weddings and obituaries.

Similar distinctions will apply in other cities but only local experience or sensitive research will reveal them - and remember that contents and editorial views might change over half a century. In Montréal, the once true-blue Tory Herald, was, when I knew it, a tabloid that came out in the late morning and carried little or no social news. [6]

Rural Newspapers Indexed by Marlene Simmons[edit | edit source]

Someone who has done important work in Brome and Mississquoi counties, especially in indexing older Townships newspapers is Marlene Simmons. Aware of the cross-border connections she has publishedIndex to Richford Vermont Gazette and Journal Gazette, 1880-1957: extracts of Canadian genealogical information.[7]

On her former webpage she reports both the bad news and the good news for researchers:

There are very few complete runs of newspapers extant, and I have begun indexing what is available on microfilm from the Library in Ottawa as well as the extensive holdings of the Missisquoi Historical Society (MHS) in Stanbridge East. I shall eventually index all the unindexed English language newspapers which served the Eastern Townships which are available on microfilm. This will take years.

She then lists the newspapers she was working on. As you can see, many are held by (MHS) and some of the individual issues or short runs may not be available elsewhere.

  • Bedford News (Bedford) 6 October 1899, 19 February 1942.
  • Bedford Press (Bedford) 6 December 1889.
  • Bedford Times (Bedford & St. Johns) 6 January 1882, 14 April 1898.
  • Brome County Register (Knowlton) 26 March, 21 May 1880.
  • Canadian Times (Sherbrooke) 4 January, 27 December 1855.
  • Cowansville Observer (Cowansville; later called Cotton’s Weekly) 2 September 1870, 12 August 1909.
  • District of Bedford Times and General Advertiser (Sweetsburg) 24 August 1866, 24 September 1869.
  • Farnham Leader and Eastern Townships Advocate(Farnham) January, September 1940 (MHS).
  • Gibson’s Monthly (Cowansville) June and July 1899 (MHS).
  • Granby Leader and Shefford County Record (later and Eastern Townships Record) (Granby) 10 September 1891, 25 January 1901.
  • Granby Leader-Mail and Eastern Townships Record (Granby) 7 November 1902, 16 December 1910.
  • Granby Mail (Granby) 2 September 1896, 13 February 1901.
  • Knowlton News and Brome County Advocate (Knowlton) 1 November 1889, 12 December 1935.
  • The Land (Cowansville) 4 June 1925 (MHS).
  • Missisquoi Record (Stanbridge East) 5 June 1885, 26 April 1888.
  • Missiskoui Standard (Frelighsburg) 8 April 1835, 23 April 1839.
  • Philipsburg Weekly Gleaner (Philipsburg) 3 October, 26 December 1848 (MHS).
  • The Richford Gazette(Richford, Vt.) 1880-1957 (Available as a Québec Family History Society publication)
  • "St. Johns News and Eastern Townships Advocate(St. Johns) 30 August 1884 (MHS). ŸThe Sutton Pioneer(Sutton) 16 October 1879 (MHS).
  • The Township Reformer (Stanbridge) 20 December 1836, 21 November 1837
  • Waterloo Advertiser(First year at Knowlton, at Waterloo afterwards) 1 January 1856, 27 June 1890—3 January 1902, 27 May 1904— 4 October 1907, 5 October 1923.
  • The Record (Sherbrooke) 9 February 1897, 7 April 1903—1 January 1992 to present. Over 20,000 entries
There is no break in The Record run from 9 February 1897, to the present, so presumably 1903-1992 is being indexed elsewhere

Other Newspapers in Rural Québec[edit | edit source]

Except for the Sherbrooke Record, the list above is almost exclusively newspapers from the western Eastern Townships. The following are a few other Townships newspapers I once used for a term-paper with some notes as to size, frequency or publication, area served, editor, politics, and dates of microfilmed issues. A lot of these are in the Robarts Library at the University of Toronto as well as the Library, and other university libraries may well have unexpected newspaper holdings. What a Library ordered or was given may well depend on an individual Professor’s research project, and have nothing to do with where the library is located.

  • The Stanstead Journal and Eastern Townships Advocate
    4pp. weekly
    serving: Rock Island—Compton and Stanstead Counties, upstate Vermont
    editor: Lee Roy Robinson—conservative
    6 November 1845-1900 [mf. U of T]
Stanstead Historical Society has published an index: Vital statistics from “The Stanstead Journal”, volumes 1-6, (1845-1925).
  • The British Colonist
    Stanstead,? pages. Weekly?
    1 May 1823, 4 August 1841 [mf. U of T]
  • Sherbrooke Gazette and Eastern Townships Advocate or Sherbrooke Gazette and Shefford Co. Advertiser
    4pp. weekly
    3 September 1837, 18 September 1896 [missing-30/6/94-12/95, mf.U of T]
    editor: (c. 1855) Joseph Soper Walton
  • [The Waterloo Advertiser (above) appeared under several other titles:]
    Advertiser and Eastern Townships Sentinal, Knowlton/Waterloo
    Advertiser and District of Bedford Times, Waterloo
    Lucius Seth Huntington, prop
    11 January 1856, July 1857-Waterloo-1875 [1909] [mf. U of T]
  • Granby Gazette and Shefford County Advertiser
    editor: John Spackman
    2 November 1855, 26 January 1877 [mf. U of T]
  • The Canadian Gleaner, Huntingdon, ed. Robert Sellar
    18 September 1863, 27 December 1900
    [missing 08-09-1866—13-06-1867]

This paper served the Chateauguay valley region and the western townships. Sellar is known for his book, The Tragedy of Québec: the Expulsion of its Protestant Farmers (1907-1916)

  • Shirley Burke Thibault has indexed The Canadian Gleaner 1864-1874 (Kanata, Ontario: Thibault, S.B. Thibault, c. 1982) Births, marriages and deaths Huntingdon, Québec Indexed alphabetically by name
  • Gerald Walsh, compiled an Index to births, marriages and deaths in the “Aylmer Times,” Aylmer, Québec, 1884-1890 (printed in OGS Ottawa Branch news. Vol. XX, No. 6 (November 1987), pages 72-73; Vol. XXI, No. 1 (January 1988), pages 12-13; Vol. XXI, No. 2 (March 1988) pages 20-22.[8]

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

The Sherbrooke Record is a favourite Québec newspaper for obituaries, and for the better part of the 20th century it is a genealogical treasure. It now serves most of the “English” Townships which once had papers for almost every large community. It sometimes takes the local correspondent several weeks to write up the achievements of some regional notable, so an obituary hunt may be a long one. The big city newspapers are usually quicker to print their story, but know less about the individual. As the “English” population in Québec cities declines, so does the number of newspapers.[9]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Taylor, Ryan, "Canada Newspaper Indexes and Abstracts (National Institute)," The National Institute for Genealogical Studies (2012),
  2. de Groot, Susanna, "Canada Historical Newspapers Bibliographies (National Institute)," The National Institute for Genealogical Studies (2012),
  3. Taylor, Ryan, "Obtaining Canada Newspaper Resources (National Institute)," The National Institute for Genealogical Studies (2012),
  4. For help in sorting out the politics of early newspapers , see the "Journalism" entry in The Encyclopedia of Canada, Editor W. Steward Wallace (Toronto: University Associates of Canada, 6 volumes 1940).
  5. Jenkins, Kathleen, Montréal: Island City of the St. Lawrence (New York: Doubleday and Co. Inc., 1966) page 284
  6. Extracted from Chapter 8 of Tools of the Trade for Canadian Genealogy.
  7. Simmons, Marlene, Index to Richford Vermont Gazette and Journal Gazett, 1880-1957: extracts of Canadian genealogical information (Pointe Clare, Québec: Québec Family History Society,c. 1994).
  8. Douglas, Althea. "Québec English Language Newspapers (National Institute)," National Institute for Genealogical Studies (2012),
  9. Douglas, Althea. "Québec Cemeteries and Obituaries (National Institute)," National Institute for Genealogical Studies (2012),