14 December 2019   Click here to View this email in your browser 
Membership News

The annual membership fee for the Québec Genealogical eSociety will be increasing to $50, effective 1 February 2020.
Your participation makes this society possible, consequently we are offering a shop-early promotion of $45 if you renew before 1 February 2020. With your shop-early purchase, you reserve your membership renewal @ $45 instead of $50, regardless of when your renewal is due. For example, if your membership is due in June 2020 and you renew before 1 February 2020 @ $45, your membership expiration date will be June 2021.
Our recent fundraiser brought us over $500; however, as we enter our third year of existence we face increased operating costs to support access to the BMS2000 and PRDH databases. In addition, we must update our website’s content management system as the current version is nearing the end of its service life.
$50 is still good value for your money with a 12-month membership in a worldwide genealogical society that provides family historians with free on-line access to Quebec’s premier genealogical databases, as well as other resources and opportunities to learn and to share your own knowledge and discoveries.
You can renew your membership at any time by logging on to the Québec Genealogical eSociety website at then, under the Account menu, clicking on the Membership Renewal sub-menu. 

Members' Forum

Seeking info on Joseph Demers (1892-1959)

My grand uncle Joseph Demers (1892-1959) son of Wilbrod Demers and Josephine Elie left Auburn, Maine to return to Canada sometime in the 1930's. He was never married. The family story was that he had "gone to live with the Brothers" - meaning a religious order, I believe, though I don't know which one. Various obits of his siblings placed him in Trois-Rivieres and Montreal in the late 1950's, early 1960's. I recently found his death and burial information in BMS2000 as #4655180. He died 03 Oct 1959 and was buried 06 Oct 1959 in St-Dominque, Jonquière, Chicoutimi, Québec, Canada. His parents' names here are correct here. Did not find him on FamilySearch, or GenealogyQuebec yet, nor Billion Graves. I would like to know more about him and his life. I have not found an obituary nor photo of a tombstone for him yet. He does not show up on Clergenealogie. Does anyone have ideas about where I could look for more info? I have a photo and other info if someone would like to help me with this. 

To comment on this post, please go to the Members' Forum page on our website and post a Reply.



Date and Time: Wednesday, 8 January, 2020 - 19:00 EST

Presenter: Marcel Blais

FamilySearch is the largest genealogical organization in the world. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources and services to learn more about their family history. Marcel Blais will give you a live demonstration of
FamilySearch, including how to create your family tree and how to find out more about your ancestors in Quebec.

Click here to register:

New Member Orientation


Date and Time: Monday, 13 January 2020 - 19:00 EST

Presenter: Johanne Gervais

This webinar is scheduled for the second Monday of every month. Join us to help familiarize yourself with all the features of the eSociety including using the Resource Links, Members' Forum, and the PRDH, BMS2000, and Fichier Origine databases.

To register for this webinar, go to our Upcoming Webinars page on our Website.

Don't forget our Past Webinars page on our website has recorded webinars that you can view at your leisure.

Resource Links
Administrative Region 11 - Gaspésie- Îles-de-la-Madeleine

The Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine region is located at the junction of the St. Lawrence River and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. It includes most of the Gaspé Peninsula and the Magdalen Islands Archipelago in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The Gaspé Peninsula is bordered to the south by the Baie des Chaleurs and the province of New Brunswick, to the north by the St. Lawrence estuary and to the west by the Bas-Saint-Laurent region. With almost all of its population living along the coast. The peninsula, an extension of the Appalachians called the Chic-Chocs, borders the estuary and the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the north. It is also noted as being the only region outside the Channel Islands to contain native speakers of Jersey Norman. The peninsula is divided into five regions: The Coast (Matane, Métis-sur-Mer, Mont-Joli),  Upper Gaspé (Sainte-Anne-des-Monts, Gaspésie National Park), Land's End (Gaspé, Percé, Bonaventure Island and Percé Rock National Park, Forillon National Park), Chaleur Bay (Bonaventure, New Richmond, Miguasha National Park), and Matapédia Valley (Amqui).
There's a mix of regional cultures in the Gaspésie, including two distinct French-speaking groups that both go back to the 17th century. France had three main colonies in North America: Quebec, Louisiana, and Acadia in what are now the Maritimes and parts of Maine. The British took Acadia in the early 18th century and soon expelled much of the French-speaking population; many of them ended up in the Gaspésie, where they retained some of their culture and accent. The first large group of English-speaking immigrants were United Empire Loyalists who left the United States around the time of the American Revolution; their descendants are mainly in the south of the peninsual, on the shore of Chaleur Bay.
After discovering a series of islands that would later be named Îles-de-la-Madeleine, it was at Pointe-Penouille, in Gaspé Bay, that Jacques Cartier planted a cross in 1534 to take possession of the territory in the name of King François I. 

In 1765, the Magdalen Islands were inhabited by 22 French-speaking Acadians and their families. They were working and hunting walruses for a British trader, Richard Gridley. Many inhabitants of the Magdalen Islands (Madelinots) still fly the Acadian flag and identify as both Acadian and Québécois.
The main communities of the Magdalen Islands are Grindstone (Cap-aux-Meules), Fatima, Grande-Entrée, House Harbour, L'Étang-du-Nord, and Amherst.
Some of the islanders are descendants of survivors of the more than 400 shipwrecks on the islands. Some of the historic houses were built from wood that was from the shipwrecks. The islands have some of Quebec's oldest English-speaking settlements. Although most Anglophones have long either assimilated with the francophone population or migrated elsewhere, English-speaking settlements are found at Old Harry, Grosse-Île, and Entry Island.

Below are the resources added over the past week to the Resource Links page of our website. If you know of any websites related to the Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine region that could help with family history research, please let us know.

Births, Marriages, Deaths

From the Originis database, transcriptions of baptisms from 1904 to 1914, marriages from 1908 to 1909, and burials from 1908 to 1914 have been added to our website.
Cemetery Transcriptions

Having trouble finding information about the death of your ancestors? Gravestone transcriptions are a very valuable source of genealogical information as they frequently include dates of birth and death as well as the names of spouses, children and other family members.

Find A Grave

Includes cemetery transcriptions for 55 locations in the Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine region. Below is an interesting cemetery transcription from the  Zion United Church Cemetery in New Carlisle, Bonaventure County, on the Gaspé Peninsula. Note that the individual died in Minnesota, U.S.A. so if you cannot find a burial in the place of death of your ancestor, check their hometown!
Saint James Cemetery – Port Daniel, Gaspé County

This cemetery is a new addition to CanadaGenWeb's Cemetery Project with about 100 tombstone transcriptions.


The Harveys of the Magdalen Islands

If you are interested in the Harvey/Hervé surname, this resource link recently added to our website has genealogical information and interesting stories on the Quebec Harveys, in particular the Harveys of the Magdalen Islands.

Links to three digitized newspapers have been added to the Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine region.
  • Cap-Aux-Meules : Le Madelinot 1973-1976
  • La Voix de Gaspé 1928-1930
  • La Voix Gaspésienne 1956-1957

Passenger Lists

Looking for your ancestors on a passenger list from France to Gaspé? A new resource link has been added to our website listing the ships and passengers departing Granville, France and arriving in Gaspé 1741-1759.

Stay tuned for our next issue where we will be concentrating on administrative region 12 Chaudière-Appalaches !

If you have found an interesting resource link that is not on our website, please let us know and we will add it.
In the News

What’s in a French Surname?

By Talya November 24, 2019 Family History
MyHeritage Blog

MyHeritage recently added an important collection of historical records from France, opening new horizons for genealogists with French heritage. The France, Nord Civil Marriages collection contains not only details about brides and grooms registered from 1792–1937, but also details on their parents. If your ancestors hail from this magnificent region so steeped in history and culture, you likely have some French ancestral surnames in your family.

The word “surname” actually derives from the French surnom, derived from sur (“above” or “over”) and nom (“name”). Surnames were uncommon in ancient times, probably because there wasn’t much of a need for them. Social circles and communities were much smaller, and people didn’t move around very much. As the world developed and the population of Europe grew, the need for a way to distinguish between the various Jeans, Pierres, and Michels emerged. The earliest documented use of surnames in France was during the 11th century, but they did not become common until around the 14th century.

French surnames normally fit into one of the following categories:

Patronymic & Matronymic

One common type of surname across cultures is the patronymic or matronymic surname: a surname derived from the first name of the person’s father or mother respectively. Patronymic names are more common, since in general, matronymic names were only used when the father’s name was unknown.

A patronymic or matronymic surname might simply be the father’s or mother’s given name, like Bernard, Martin, or Richard. It also might have a prefix, such as de, des, du, lu, or the Norman fitz (for example, de Gaulle or Fitzgerald), or a suffix that means “little son of,” such as -eau, -elet, -elin, -elle, and so on.


Another common type of surname is the occupational surname: a surname based on the person’s profession or trade. For example, Lefebvre (meaning “craftsman” or “smith”), Leclercq (“the clerk”), Lemaire (“the mayor”), Carpentier (“carpenter”), or Dufour (“of the oven,” meaning a baker).


A surname might also be derived from the description of a unique characteristic of the individual. For example, Legrand (“the large one”), Moreau (“dark skinned”), Petit (“small”), or Caron (“beloved”).


These names are based on a place—often a former residence. For example, if a man named Pierre moved to a town from Lyon, the people in the new town might call him Pierre Lyon or Pierre de Lyon. Examples of this from our France Nord collection include Delannoy (“of Lannoy”), geographical name might also be a description of where the person lived, such as Fontaine (meaning “fountain” or “spring”). These names might also have a prefix such as de, des, du, or le to indicate “of.” For example, Dubois (“of the wood”), Dupont (“of the bridge”), Dumont (“of the mountain”), Descamps (“of the fields”), or Delattre (“of the churchyard”).

Dit names and Noms de Guerre

Sometimes, a second surname was adopted in addition to an original surname for various reasons. These surnames included the word dit, which means something like “that is to say.” Gustave Eiffel, architect of the Eiffel Tower, was born Alexandre Gustave Bonickhausen dit Eiffel. He formally changed his surname to Eiffel in 1880.

Before the French Revolution, new recruits to the military were required to adopt a nom de guerre, literally a “war name,” under which they would serve. This was a predecessor of military identification numbers. Some soldiers went on to use their noms de guerre in civil life as well.

The Archive Lady: Preserving Family Christmas Ornaments


Are you properly storing and preserving your family’s heirloom holiday ornaments? Learn the best preservation methods with Melissa Barker, The Archive Lady!
Jackie in Illinois asks “As I get ready for Christmas and trim my tree with family Christmas ornaments I wondered if there is a particular way that I should be storing these precious family heirlooms when Christmas is over. Can you tell me what is the best way to preserve and store my family Christmas ornaments?”

Handmade Ornament, Wikimedia Commons

Jackie asks a great question, especially for this time of year. So many of us are dragging out those boxes of Christmas decorations and making our homes ready for the holiday season this month. We are mindful of our family heirlooms that we have in our possession and we see on a daily basis but have you considered those Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa family heirlooms, like handmade ornaments, when it comes to preservation? Maybe, like Jackie, we only think about it when we are unwrapping those family ornaments and then we are not sure what to do.

Unwrapping Christmas ornaments and placing them strategically on the tree so that we don’t leave any holes. Many of these ornaments bring back so many memories. Handmade ornaments made by my daughter when she was growing up. Christmas ornaments that I inherited from my Grandmother after her passing, they remind me that she always had one of those silver metal trees. And ornaments that my husband and I purchased at monumental times in our married life like the one that says “Our First Christmas”.

Handmade Ornament, Melissa Barker

As a county archivist, I work every day to archive and preserve my county’s historical records. Using the right archival materials like file folders, boxes, tissue paper, etc. to make sure these records, ephemera and artifacts are preserved for future researchers.

Preserving our families precious and one-of-a-kind Christmas ornaments is something that I find most genealogists don’t think about, not like they do their genealogical documents. The fact is, these handmade ornaments have meaning and tell a story just like our family documents do. Preserving these ornaments properly is something that any genealogist can do quite easily.

Archival Items You Will Need:

  • Archival Tissue Paper, to wrap handmade and unique ornaments with for protection
  • Archival Divided Compartment Box, to store the wrapped ornaments

Archival Box from Gaylord Archival

Wrap up each ornament very carefully in the tissue paper and then lay them in the compartments in the archival box. If needed, crumple up additional tissue paper and put around the wrapped ornament so that it won’t move around in the box.

Store these ornaments in a cool, dry and dark place. Do not store in an attic, basement or in direct sunlight. It might be a good idea to put these family ornaments where genealogical records are stored since they are considered family artifacts.

So, as you are putting your Christmas tree up this year and you are seeing the handmade and unique family ornaments, think about preserving them like I have discussed instead of putting them back in the garage or attic where they could be deteriorating.

I discovered through 23andMe that my daughter is not mine — can I claim back child support from the biological father?

By Quentin Fottrell

Published: Dec 12, 2019 

‘I was forced to marry, thinking the baby was mine’


Dear Moneyist,

I recently found out through a DNA test through 23andMe that my “daughter” isn’t mine. I was forced to marry, thinking the baby was mine. My wife passed away in 1990. Can I claim back child support from the biological father? I reside in Pennsylvania. Thank you.

Al K.

Dear Al,

There’s a phrase in Ireland that resulted from a political scandal in the 1980s involving the then Attorney General, a debonair party boy and murderer named Malcolm Daniel Edward McArthur and a nurse named Bridie McGargan who was bludgeoned to death while sunning herself in the Phoenix Park on the outskirts of Dublin City. McArthur was arrested while staying at the home of the Attorney General, who was on vacation. The then Prime Minister declared the case: “Grotesque, Unbelievable, Bizarre and Unprecedented.” It led to the slightly absurd acronym GUBU, which found its way into the Irish vernacular and, for a brief period, a pub also called GUBU.

The instinct for one living creature to care for another runs in our DNA too. 23andMe and can’t measure that.

Why am I telling you this sordid and tragic tale? Because I never fail to find some letters sent to the Moneyist grotesque, unbelievable, bizarre and unprecedented. There are no winners here: Your wife did not behave in an honorable manner, and your “daughter” (your quotation marks) was not brought up knowing who her real father was. Were you in her life when she was growing up? Did you try to be involved with the girl you believed to be your flesh and blood? Do you have any love or affection for her? If the answer to those questions is no, I feel for her and the absence of a loving father in her life.

I feel less concerned about the payments you made to help this young girl. You could ask a lawyer for his/her advice, but my suspicion is you will get the same response you will get here: This man cannot be held responsible as a “dead beat dad” if he did not know he had a daughter and, as such, you can’t ask him or your “daughter” (your quotation marks) for this money back, and the statute of limitations has long passed. Plus, your daughter is no longer a minor. Take pride and heart in the fact that you helped this young woman and think what it would do to her if she knew you wanted such cruel reparations.

Not everyone feels that way. Some members of the Moneyist Facebook Group have sympathy for you, and they’re not all men. They believe you were led up the garden path and around the mulberry tree for 18 years. A woman writes: “He was lied to and forced to take responsibility for someone else’s actions.” Another man adds: “Paternity fraud is a real and disgusting thing that happens frequently, and takes years to uncover when a father puts his trust in an untrustworthy woman. There is an entire “subreddit” dedicated to men being forced to pay child support for children they are not biological fathers to. Totally disgusting!”

Is a DNA test the only measure in life that determines whether someone is your child or not?

I, however, find this situation GUBU for another reason. Is a DNA test the only measure in life that determines whether someone is your child or not? Legally, perhaps. But what about emotionally, spiritually or morally? I recently watched a story on “The Dodo” Facebook FB, -1.34%  page: A stray dog was found cuddling up to two abandoned kittens to keep them warm. It was moving and beautiful. I saw another video where a dog rocked a baby’s crib and licked the baby’s hand until he/she stopped crying. The instinct for one living creature to care for another runs in our DNA too. 23andMe and can’t measure that.

Sometimes, unexpected and challenging situations can reveal who we are because it presents us with a choice. Choose to be the best man you can be. Wish this young woman well and move on.

2020 Upcoming Events

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