18 August 2020   Click here to View this email in your browser 

“Art” is something intuitive, imprecise, and subjective, a skill cultivated through practice and imagination. “Science” is something researched, measured, and objective.

Learn techniques, resources, and strategies to sharpen your family history skills in Quebec.

Stay tuned for more details!

Our conference volunteers are hard at work developing our three day program. We will announce our speakers as they are confirmed.

Click on our 2021 Conference main menu tab on our website for updates.


Montreal's McCord Museum


Date and Time: Wednesday, 19 August 2020 - 19:30 EDT

Presenter: Heather McNabb, Ph.D. - McCord Museum Reference Archivist, Archives and Documentation Center

Learn how the McCord Museum’s online and in-person resources can help you in your search for genealogical information. The McCord Museum has a wealth of objects relating to individuals and families and their daily lives, work, and leisure activities. From photographs, paintings, prints and drawings, to archival holdings, and more, the focus is not only on Montreal and Montrealers, but also includes other regions of Quebec.

This webinar will demonstrate how to search for images and objects, digitized archival documents, and other, little-known resources available through the McCord Museum’s website. It will also introduce the viewer to additional information that can be uncovered during an in-person appointment in the Archives and Documentation Centre. This includes a quick survey of the contents of the internal database and the analog finding aids for the as-yet uncatalogued portions of the Notman Photographic Archives.

Click here to register

New Member Orientation


Date and Time: Monday, 14 September 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.

Click here to register

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

Resource Links
Administrative Region 01- Bas-Saint-Laurent

The Bas-Saint-Laurent (Lower Saint-Lawrence), is located along the south shore of the lower Saint Lawrence River in Quebec. The river widens at this place, later becoming a bay which discharges into the Atlantic Ocean and is often nicknamed "Bas-du-Fleuve" (Lower-River).

The region is formed by 8 regional county municipalities. In the south, it borders Maine and New Brunswick and the regions of Chaudière-Appalaches and Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine.

The city of Rimouski is the main urban centre of Bas-Saint-Laurent, located on the south bank of the St. Lawrence, east of Quebec City. Located 325 km (202 mi) away from the capital of Quebec, the city is the economic, social and cultural metropolis of the region. A number of major regional institutions, like Université du Québec à Rimouski, the cégep de Rimouski, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Rimouski, the courthouse, the federal and provincial public administration, and the regional hospital of Rimouski, the most important hospital centre of eastern Quebec, are located there.

Below are the resources added over the past weeks for Region 01 - Bas-Saint-Laurent to our Resource Links page of our website. If you know of any websites related to this region that could help with family history research, please let us know.

Cemetery Transcriptions

Having trouble finding information on 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 over 100 cemeteries in 73 Bas-Saint-Laurent locations.

Here is an example from Leggatt's Point Presbyterian Church Cemetery in the village of Price in La Mitis Regional County Municipality.

Digitized Newspapers

Links to the following digitized newspapers from the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) website have been added to our Resource Links for the Bas-Saint-Laurent region.

First Nations People in Bas-Saint-Laurent: Meet the Maliseet (Wolastoqiyik)

This resource link is a blog with a tremendous amount of information on the First Nations people in Bas-Saint-Laurent. The following is an excerpt:

As you enter the region from Québec City, you’ll drive through the charming village of Kamouraska, the first of many with an Indigenous name. This is where the first colonists of New France settled in 1694. The name of the village comes from the Mi’gmaq words kamoo, which means “expanse,” and askaw, which means “hay” or “bulrush,” so Kamouraska means “expanse of bulrushes.” It has also been suggested that the name comes from the Algonquin word akamaraska, meaning “there are bulrushes along the water’s edge.”

Remember to go to our Resource Links section on our website to access all of the above resource links.

Stay tuned for our next issue where we will be concentrating on Administrative Region 02 - Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean.

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

Bas-Saint-Laurent Trivia

Did you know Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha!, a parish municipality in the Témiscouata Regional County, is the only municipality in the world with two exclamation points in its name?

Did you know that Bas-Saint-Laurent is home to the second largest lake south of the St. Lawrence? This is Lake Témiscouata (or Cecimiscouata, as it used to be called). Its name come from the Mi’gmaq word timi, meaning “deep,” and esgateg or goateg, which means “lake"?

Did you know that Rimouski is the site of Canada's greatest maritime disaster? The RMS Empress of Ireland was an ocean liner that sank near the mouth of the Saint Lawrence River near Rimouski following a collision in thick fog with the Norwegian steam cargo ship SS Storstad in the early hours of 29 May 1914. Although the ship was equipped with watertight compartments and, in the aftermath of the Titanic disaster two years earlier, carried more than enough lifeboats for all onboard, she foundered in only 14 minutes.

Of the 1,477 people on board, 1,012 died, making it the worst peacetime marine disaster in Canadian history. There is a memorial and mass grave in Rimouski identifying all the deceased.

The wreck lies in 40 metres (130 ft) of water, making it accessible to advanced divers. Many artifacts from the wreckage have been retrieved, some of which are on display in the Empress of Ireland Pavilion at the Site historique maritime de la Pointe-au-Père in Rimouski, Quebec.
In the News

Why a Data Breach at a Genealogy Site Has Privacy Experts Worried 

The New York Times Aug. 1, 2020

Nearly two-thirds of GEDmatch’s users opt out of helping law enforcement. For a brief window this month, that didn’t matter.

The peculiar matches began early on a Sunday morning. Across the world, genealogists found that they had numerous new relatives on GEDmatch, a website known for its role in helping crack the Golden State Killer case.

New relatives are typically cause for celebration among genealogists. But upon close inspection, experienced users noticed that some of the new relatives seemed to be the DNA equivalent of a Twitter bot or a scammer; the DNA did things that actual people’s DNA should not be able to do.

Others seemed to be suspected murderers and rapists, uploaded by genealogists working with law enforcement. Users knew that the police sometimes used the site to try to identify DNA found at crime scenes. But users found the new profiles strange because they also knew that profiles made for law enforcement purposes were supposed to be hidden to prevent tipping off or upsetting a suspect’s relatives amid an investigation. What really drew attention, however, was the fact that all one million or so users who had opted not to help law enforcement had been forced to opt in.

GEDmatch, a longstanding family history site containing around 1.4 million people’s genetic information, had experienced a data breach. The peculiar matches were not new uploads but rather the result of two back-to-back hacks, which overrode existing user settings, according to Brett Williams, the chief executive of Verogen, a forensic company that has owned GEDmatch since December.
Read more

Ancestry's Breakthrough Changes DNA Game

by Sarah Mahoney, Staff Writer @mahoney_sarah, August 3, 2020


While consumers have been losing interest in DNA home-testing kits, AncestryHealth hopes its new risk-detection test will appeal to growing concerns about staying healthy.

Called AncestryHealth powered by NGS, it uses a new testing technology called Next Generation Sequencing. Marketing for the new test will target moms, and focus on people’s growing need to take control of their family’s health. It offers information about what to do if users are at risk for certain cancers or heart disease, and peace of mind if they’re not.

“That’s what consumers want,” says Ron Park, MD, executive vice president of health and DNA at Ancestry. “They’re not so interested in cool facts, but in information that is relevant to their health today, that they can take action on.”

Until now, home kits have relied on a DNA sampling technique known as microarray testing. But Ancestry says new technology can achieve up to 80% to 90% detection of inherited risks, often providing information that is between four and ten times more accurate, he tells D2C FYI.

“This is that next level of information in genetics that everybody knew we needed,” he says. And while the price was prohibitive a few years ago, “it’s gotten more affordable. And we can now offer it to consumers, providing much better information at a more affordable price point. It really is bringing the future of healthcare, now.”

The new test comes from the AncestryHealth division and costs $179. Existing AncestryDNA customers can upgrade to AncestryHealth for a promotional rate of $79, eventually rising to $99. Customers will receive guidance on tracking family health history, through the company’s partnership with an independent network of board-certified genetic counselors, geneticists, physicians and other allied health professionals.

The pandemic certainly factors into consumer interest for this product. Ancestry’s research has found that 47% of Americans, and almost 60% of parents,  say COVID-19 has increased their investment in understanding genetic health risks.

Ads will run on broadcast and digital channels.

Ancestry, with headquarters in both San Francisco and Lehi, Utah, launched its AncestryHealth division last year, as rival (and smaller) 23AndMe also steps up its health offerings.

Both companies have felt the slowdown. Earlier this year, Ancestry announced that cooling consumer interest caused it to lay off about 6% of its staff, and 23andMe let 14% of its staff go.

Park emphasizes that this first release of a health product is just the beginning. “This is a journey,” he says, adding future releases will expand to include more diseases and conditions. “This is by no means the end.”

All of our archived newsletters are located on our website under the About Us main menu tab.

We want to hear from you, contact us with your suggestions for future newsletters.
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