French Canadian records on

Two Quebec Record Collections on

In the 1980s I researched my paternal line back to the first European landowner of Canada. There was no internet at the time so all was done with mail, library and archives. My paternal grandmother gave me the name of her parents, their marriage date and the names of her fifteen siblings. I requested by mail original documents of my great grandparents’ marriage certificate. That gave me their birth province location and approximate year. Once I had copies of their birth certificates, I then requested a copy of the original documents for their parents and so on back a few generations. I mailed requests for death certificates and marriage certificates for each generation. I also found copies, written in French, on microfilm of the events.

When researching my French Canadian ancestors there were two collections which enabled me to research farther back and easier than mailing and paying for each certificate especially when those were no longer available. The collections are the Drouin Collection and the Tanguay Collection. These volumes of books are a must for anyone researching in Quebec, [Lower Canada] Canada.

The Drouin Collection Quebec contains vital and church records from 1621 – 1968.  The Tanguay Collection, Genealogical Dictionary of Canadian families, 1608 – 1890 is a genealogical Dictionary of Canadian Families from the Foundation of the Colony to the Present Day to 1890. I was researching in the eighteen hundreds before my family tied into these wonderful databases so do not get discouraged if your family does not appear at first. As you go back each generation in your research, search to see if you have tied into them yet or not. I had to live in a capital of Canada to have access to them in the 1980s, now they are available on for easy access.

The Ancestry description for both databases are listed below. I have also created a separate post for each with examples. Please click on the title for the collection to learn more about each database.

Drouin Collection Vital and Church records, 1621 – 1968

Ancestry description of the database
"Until the late 1900s, church registers in Quebec served as civil and vital records in that province. Throughout the years a second copy of church records, from all denominations, was sent annually to the appropriate courthouse. During the 1940s, the vital record collections in courthouses throughout Quebec were filmed by the Institut Généalogique Drouin. The filming of vital records continued for some areas up through the 1960s. Consequently, this filmed set of records became known as the Drouin Collection.

The source and link to begin searching this database is:

The majority of the records in this database come from Catholic parishes. However, since all denominations were to send copies of their records to the courthouses, other churches whose records are contained in this database include:

·         Adventist
·         Congregational
·         Pentecostal
·         Anglican
·         Episcopal
·         Presbyterian
·         Apostolic
·         Evangelical
·         Protestant
·         Baptist
·         Free Church
·         Orthodox Romanian
·         Christ Church
·         Greek Orthodox
·         Russian Orthodox
·         Christian Brethren
·         Holiness Movement
·         Salvation Army
·         Christian Missionary     Alliance
·         Jewish
·         Unitarian
·         Church of Christ
·         Lutheran
·         United Church
·         Church of England
·         Methodist
·         Universalist
·         Church of Scotland

Record Types
Most of the records in this collection include baptisms, marriages, and burials. However, several other types of church records are also included. These records may be confirmations, dispensations, censuses, statements of readmission to the church, etc.

Language of the Records
The majority of the records are written in French, but some are written in English, Latin, or Italian.

These records include:
Baptism date
Event Place
Church name
Image of the recording document page
In French 

Tanguay Collection, Genealogical Dictionary of Canadian families, 1608-1890

Ancestry description of the database
"Entries are organized alphabetically, by husband's surname. The dates in large, bold type mark the beginning of a new family record. That date is the date of the husband's first marriage. The entries may contain the following details as applicable:
husband's name
husband's baptism or christening year and place
year and place of marriage
year and place of burial
parents' names
wife's name (if there were multiple marriages, each wife will be listed in order)
wife's baptism or christening year and place
year and place of marriage
year and place of burial
parents' names
children's names (these are in italics)
baptism or christening dates and places
marriage dates and places
spouse's names
years and places of burial
Roman numerals represent the generation distant a person is from the family's original immigrant ancestor. Entries also include the following abbreviations:

b = baptism or christening date
m = marriage date
s = burial date
III, IV (etc.) = generations away from immigrant ancestor
superscript numbers = these represent a place within the family record; for example if a superscript 3 follows Quebec at the beginning of the record, whenever a superscript 3 appears in that record, it means the event took place in Quebec. Note that this is only applicable within the particular family record and not throughout the book. In another family record, a superscript 3 might stand for another place."

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