14 March 2020   Click here to View this email in your browser 

Happy Anniversary to Us!

The end of February 2020 marked our second full year in existence. We value your membership and thank you for supporting the Québec Genealogical eSociety over the last 12 months.
Your continuing contribution to our eSociety enables us to provide you with the research tools and resources to further your Québec genealogical research.
Wondering what our membership looks like?


Mount Royal Cemetery


Date and Time: Monday, 23 March 2020 - 19:30 EDT

Presenter: Myriam Cloutier

Myriam Cloutier, Director of Heritage Programs at Mount Royal Cemetery in Montreal, will discuss the history and evolution of Mount Royal Cemetery (including Hawthorn-Dale and Belvedere Cemeteries) and stories of interesting burials and monuments. She will demonstrate how best to use the on-line genealogy search function and how to search for a monument if able to visit the cemetery in person. Myriam will also talk about the Friends of the Mount Royal Cemetery’s role in promoting and preserving Mount Royal Cemetery’s history through monument restoration, walking tours, and numerous publications.

Click here to register:

New Member Orientation


Date and Time: Monday, 13 April 2020 - 19:00 EDT

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.

PRDH-IGD Database


Date and Time: Wednesday, 15 April, 2020 - 20:00 EST

Presenter: Bertrand Desjardins

Mr. Bertrand Desjardins, Genealogist emeritus, PRDH-IGD, will provide an online demonstration of the PRDH database to show you all of its functionality and some tips to help you with your research.

Click here to register:


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

If you would like to share your genealogical interests or expertise in a webinar, please let us know. We are looking for speakers for our 2020 webinar series.

Special offer to our members
To counter the current health risks associated with COVID-19, the Québec Genealogical eSociety is offering our webinar services to members for their local genealogical events.

This web-based software enables virtual meetings (e.g. special focus-groups, local society meetings, lectures, etc.) where members meet and discuss, share, and investigate without the need of a physical presence.

If you are interested in using our GoToWebinar software (free of charge) to help you or your local genealogical society continue their events, please contact us at
Members' Forum
Costello/Brophy Family
I've hit a brick wall in my research of my great great grandparents who came to Quebec during the late 1840's or early 1850's. My GG Grandfather was John Brophy and his wife was Mary/Margaret Costello. I'm trying to determine exactly when they came to Quebec and where they are from in Ireland. I found John Brophy, his wife Mary and two sons, Michael and William listed in the 1851 Census of Canada East.... through Ancestry. Michael Brophy is my great grandfather. I know he was born and baptized Canada because I've also found birth records through Ancestry. Further, his obituary indicated that he had been born in Canada and came to the United States after his mother died. I also found the death information for Mary Costello in the Drouin records on Ancestry. She died in 1855 and was buried in St. Louis Cemetery from the Basilica of Notre Dame in Quebec. To date, I have not been able to find any information on when they arrived in Canada. My hope is that this information will lead me back to their place of birth in Ireland. I have some theories and data related to possible connections in Ireland but I am hopeful that information on ships passenger list or other sites may provide conclusive information. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

To comment on this post, please go to the Members' Forum page on our website and post a Reply.
Resource Links
Administrative Region 15 - Laurentides

The Laurentides region of Quebec, located just north of Montreal, is often called the Laurentians in English, even though the region includes only part of the Laurentian Mountains.
When settlement in the Laurentians finally commenced, and documented history began, there were two main thrusts of development. The first, in the 1780s and 90s, was along the old fur trading water route west from Montreal and up the Ottawa River towards Carillon and St. Andrews East. This was mostly an English-speaking settlement initially of United Empire Loyalists and other Americans from New England, and later of immigrants from Scotland. These two groups established the towns of Lachute, Grenville and St. Andrews East. The first paper mill in Canada was in St. Andrews East. Much of the early history of this region is on display at the Argenteuil County Museum in Carillon.
The other settlement route came more gradually and directly north from Montreal and the old north shore seigneuries around St. Eustache and Terrebonne. Taking place in the 19th century, it was an expansion of French-speaking farmers, again, mainly along the rivers that flowed down from the mountains. After the railways penetrated the Laurentians in the 1890s, English-speaking Montrealers constituted the main arrivals in the area.
The early period, from about 1790 to 1860 was primarily a time of agricultural pioneering by first generation emigrants from the British Isles. The majority of settlers after about 1830 came from Ireland, their numbers peaking in the famine years of the 1840s.
The lands granted to these people were in the rougher, rocky areas above Lachute. As they had come by the old water route up the Ottawa River to Carillon, their settlement moved northeast. The townships of Gore, Mille Isles, and Shrewsbury were initially entirely populated by Irish who cleared the land and eventually established farms. As this group continued to move onward into the even more mountainous terrain of Morin, they encountered the French-speaking settlers moving in from the St. Sauveur region. Even now, unlike other municipalities in the Laurentians, Morin Heights remains steadily bilingual. In the 1880’s, many of the next generation expanded further northwest to Arundel and Weir. There had also been expansion from Lachute and Grenville up the Rouge River valley towards Arundel with the settlements around Harrington.
The Laurentian region, known for the beauty of its landscapes and its exceptional natural setting, is now a world-class four-season resort destination offering a host of outdoor activities and festivals.
Below are the resources added over the past weeks for Region 15 - Laurentides to our Resource Links page of our website. If you know of any websites related to the Laurentides region that could help with family history research, please let us know.

Births, Marriages, Deaths

Originis Database

From the Originis database, an index of baptisms, marriages, and burials for the region from about 1899 to 1915 have been added. The following is a partial list of baptisms in the region.

Cemetery Transcriptions

Having trouble finding information about the death of your ancestors? Gravestone transcriptions are a 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. Some websites also include biographical information on the deceased that could help with your research.

Find A Grave

The Find A Grave database includes cemetery transcriptions for 79 locations in the Laurentides region. 

Below is a cemetery transcription from the Knox Church Crystal Falls Cemetery. Located in Terrebonne County,  Crystal Falls was a small community that existed between Arundel and St-Jovite. It lies on the north side of the municipal road Montée Tassé. It is in an odd area as it represents the northern limits of the Scotch and English penetration up the Rouge River. Today, all that remains of the original settlement is the Knox Church where the Crystal Falls Cemetery is located.

Many  historical sites in the Laurentides region  tell the story of our past from religious sites, heritage homes, postcards, and historical persons. Below are a few examples that may help with your ancestral research:

List of historic places in Laurentides

A resource link has been recently added to our website which provides a list of over 50 historic places in the Laurentides region entered on the Canadian Register of Historic Places, whether they are federal, provincial, or municipal. Their respective addresses and descriptions are also provided, as well as some pictures. Below is the first historic site listed:

On the slopes of Oka Mountain stand a series of simple whitewashed stone sculptures representing the Stations of the Cross and Calvary. The four oratories and three chapels (see picture below) were built between 1740 and 1744 by Hamon Le Guen, a Sulpician from Brittany, in an effort to evangelize the indigenous population.


The Patrimoine-Laurentides website (Laurentian Heritage) has a plethora of information that could help you with your family research. Below is some of the unique information stored on this website:

The Notaries and Cadastres of the Laurentians

This database allows you to search the directories of former notaries in the Laurentides administrative region, as well as certain cadastres. Note that only directory information is given. To consult the details of the notarial records, you will have to access the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, where these records are located.

Laurentian Courts

This database allows you to search the judgments of the former courts of justice.  The information available varies from one court to another. To consult case files, where they exist, you will have to access the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, where these documents are located; however, few documents have been kept for the oldest courts.

Photographers from the Laurentians

This is a directory of the main producers of postcards that contributed to the conservation on paper of the heritage of the Laurentians, between 1900 and 1970. This list is a "work in progress" that will be completed as research and discoveries are made.

Portraits of historical people of the Laurentians

You can click on a particular location and a list of names is displayed where you could click on a  name.

Below are some of the names listed for Saint-Jérôme and the portrait of William Scott, postmaster of Saint-Jérôme.


Onomastic References of the History of the Laurentians

This database consists of an onomastic (study of the history and origin of surnames) index of published sources on the history of the Laurentians, namely the former counties of Deux-Montagnes and Terrebonne.


Links to the following digitized newspapers have been added to our website for the  Laurentides region.

  • Le Pionnier 25 January 1912

  • La Nation : journal canadien pour le peuple canadien - Thursday 18 July 1901

  • Le Provincial 1879-1881

Stay tuned for our next issue where we will be concentrating on administrative region 16 - Montérégie !

If you have found an interesting resource link that is not on our website, please let us know and we will add it.
Did You Know?

Légaré Mill

Did you know that the Légaré Mill in Saint-Eustache in the Laurentides region is the oldest water-powered mill in North America that has never ceased to operate. It is also the oldest industry still operating in Canada. The miller and his assistant produce between 30 and 40 tons of wheat and buckwheat flour annually. They still respect the traditional methods of flour making.

In 1762, Lord Louis-Eustache Lambert-Dumont ordered the construction of a flour mill where his censitaires could grind their grain. Built in stone in the Breton style, the future Légaré mill was then operated by a large wooden bucket wheel installed outside the mill. The following spring, however, it is washed away by spring floods. It was quickly rebuilt, this time inside the mill. The presence of a flour mill attracted more and more settlers to the seigneury. The village of Saint-Eustache begins to take shape.

Lord Lambert-Dumont died in 1854. His son-in-law, Charles-Auguste-Maximilien Globensky, succeeded him and took possession of the mill.  In 1880, Globensky took advantage of the technological advances of the last few decades and made several modifications to the mill's mechanisms to increase its productivity. The bucket wheel was replaced by two more powerful cast iron turbines. A third, smaller turbine was added at the turn of the century. Globensky also had a mechanical grain cleaner installed in 1880. All of these mechanisms are still functional today.
At the beginning of the 20th century, flour production in Canada became industrialized. Several large industrial mills were built in Montreal. Capable of producing large quantities of flour at low cost, they competed fiercely with the small artisanal mills, which closed one by one. Globensky, a shrewd businessman, sold the mill to a man named Urbain Gagnon in 1902. Gagnon had a "boomtown" style house built over the mill.
In 1908, Gagnon was forced to sell the mill. Magloire Légaré acquired it. In 1919, he had the roof of the mill modified which gave it its current appearance. He reduced the slope of the roof, thus increasing the space available in the attic.
Magloire Légaré died in 1924. His widow, Virginie Villiotte dit Latour, took over the management of the family business and became a businesswoman, a remarkable fact in rural Quebec in the 1920s. Donat Légaré replaced his father on the production floor. He was assisted by the youngest of the family of 18 children, Philippe. The two brothers bought the mill from their mother in 1953.
In 1976, several years of efforts bore fruit: the Légaré mill was classified as a historical monument by the Quebec government. Towards the end of the 1970s, the Légaré brothers and their sister Lucille, who lived with them, are concerned about the future of the mill. Donat Légaré began looking for a potential buyer who would be interested in continuing flour production. It was finally the town of Saint-Eustache that became the owner of the mill in 1978. It entrusted its management to the Corporation du moulin Légaré, a non-profit organization created two years earlier.
In the News

Anonymous no more: combining genetics with genealogy to identify the dead in unmarked graves



A method developed by a team of geneticists, archaeologists and demographers may make it possible to identify thousands of individuals whose remains lie in unmarked graves.

In Quebec, gravestones did not come into common use until the second half of the 19th century, so historical cemeteries contain many unmarked graves. Inspired by colleagues at Barcelona's Pompeu Fabra University, a team of researchers in genetics, archaeology and demography from three Quebec universities (Université de Montréal, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi and Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières) conducted a study in which they combined genealogical information from BALSAC (a Quebec database that is the only one of its kind in the world) with genetic information from more than 960 modern Quebecers in order to access the genetic profile of Quebec’s historical population. The results, published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, suggest the capabilities that this method may offer in the near future.

The BALSAC database contains the genealogical relationships linking five million individuals, the vast majority of whom married in Quebec, over the past four centuries.* Work on developing this database began in 1972 at Université du Québec à Chicoutimi under the direction of historian Gérard Bouchard.

The first author of this study is Tommy Harding, a postdoctoral researcher at Université de Montréal who specializes in DNA sequencing. BALSAC, he said, “is a fabulous database for researchers, because both the quantity and the quality of the data that it contains are truly exceptional. The parish records meticulously kept by Catholic priests have been very well preserved so that today, thanks to advances in technology, it is possible to use this data to identify the bones from unmarked graves."

Using the Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA

This study was directed by Damian Labuda, an expert in genetic structure and diversity who is a  professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Université de Montréal and its affiliated Sainte-Justine Hospital Research Centre. “Genetics,” he said, “has of course been used many times to identify the remains of historical figures, such as the members of the Romanov Russian imperial family who were killed by the Bolsheviks and buried in a common grave, or the English king Richard III, who died in 1483 and whose remains were discovered in 2012.

“What is different about our research team’s genetic method,” Dr. Labuda added, “is that we use the information contained in two genetic markers that are transmitted to children by only one parent: the Y chromosome, which is passed from fathers to their sons, and mitochondrial DNA, which is passed from mothers both to their daughters and to their sons. These two genetic molecules are inherited with few modifications (that is, mutations), so that individuals today have the same, or almost the same, DNA sequence as their ancestors who lived more than 10 generations earlier.”  

Read more

 The top six DNA tools I can’t live without


1 – AncestryDNA – Groups / Dots feature

When I first launched this site, I used to talk about the Chrome extension DNA tool that allowed you to apply little coloured dots to different match groups in your AncestryDNA matches, so you could sort your matches into different groups.  Little did I know that Ancestry were hard at work on their own tool!  This great tool allows you to sort your matches into different groups, for whatever purpose you want.  There are 24 different groups available, each of which is assigned a different colour.

What can you use it for?

But why would I want to do that, I also hear you ask?  Well, you can use it in a few different ways.  For example, you might want to create a group of DNA matches that you know exactly how they are related to you or a group of matches you want to concentrate on researching.

More helpfully you can use it to segment groups when you are researching.  A really simple way to begin your research, if you know some of your family tree, is to create one group for paternal matches, and another for maternal matches.  You might not be able to segment all your matches in this way, but unless you have endogamy in your family, or you have a parent from a country where DNA testing is not yet a thing, it’s usually quite easy to differentiate two different sides in your matches at least for closer matches  (if you don’t know who either of your parents are, you may not be able to label them as paternal/maternal yet, but you could label them say ‘Side A’ and ‘Side B’).

You can also use this same process to create groups of matches who share DNA with each other by using the shared matches tab of a particular match to colour everyone in that group the same colour; the likelihood is that those people share a common ancestor on a particular line or lines of your family tree.

2 – AncestryDNA Thrulines

Ancestry unveiled their Thrulines DNA tool, at the same time as the groups feature in 2019.  It’s not infallible, it does make some errors, but it can be a useful starting point, and it can uncover relationships that you hadn’t found, particularly in more distant matches I’ve found.

To use Thrulines, you must have a populated Ancestry tree, and your DNA results must be linked to a person in the tree.  Let’s see how it works in practice.

I have a 3x great-grandfather named Robert Tweedley, born in Scotland in about 1827. If I go to the Thrulines tool and hover over his entry, I can see that there are seven DNA matches who Ancestry can link to him:


I can ignore some of the matches as they are my immediate relatives, I already know about them, we all descend from the same child of Robert.  Another match appears to descend from a daughter Margaret.  Three other matches are descended via Robert’s son James.  All are exactly third cousins to my mother, with the amount of shared DNA with my mother ranging from 13cm to 37cm.

One of the matches only had a private tree and none of the other matches had fleshed out their trees as far as Robert, but Ancestry was able to use other public Ancestry trees and its records to fill out the details to prove the link, making it relatively easy for me to double-check the details and confirm that Ancestry had it correct.  Without Thrulines I wouldn’t have been able to work with one match at all unless they responded to a message, and for the others, I would have had to do a couple of hours of research at least to work out the link.


3- DNA Painter – Shared CM Calculator

The first thing I do whenever I’m researching a new match is go to DNA Painter’s Shared CM Calculator, which is a great DNA Tool which allows you to see all the possible relationships for a new match; although the testing company itself gives you an idea of the relationships, I prefer to see all the possibilities.

Read more
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