22 July 2020   Click here to View this email in your browser 
Virtual Conference

If our Québec Genealogical eSociety is the world's first virtual  genealogical society focusing on Québec, how about the first virtual Québec genealogical conference?

The time is right.

We are looking for volunteer members to help us plan, organize, promote, and manage this event. 

Contact us

New Member Orientation


Date and Time: Monday, 10 August 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

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

Heather McNabb will explain how to search the on-line collections at Montreal's McCord Museum to help with your research.

Click here to register

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

Members' Forum
Looking for grandmother

I am in the United States. I am trying to find vitality records for my grandmother, born Narda Patricia Manley. I know she was born on February 3, 1931 in Montreal. She was the daughter of Leonarda Gallagher and Patrick Manley. She moved to the United States sometime between her birth and the year 1940 (the first record we have of her is a US Census in 1940). I have hit a brick wall finding any birth or baptism records of my grandmother. Please help!

Update: Johanne Gervais responded to my email with the following: “ I did a quick look on the BMS2000 database of our website and found the baptisms of two other children of Patrick Manley and Leonarda Gallagher. Those of John Vincent born 1930-02-07 and baptized on 1930-03-16 in the St-Thomas-d'Aquin parish in Hudson, Vaudreuil County and Edith Margaret born 1928-07-12 and baptized on 1930-03-16 in the same parish. I haven't found the birth of Narda Patricia yet. Why don't you post this in the Members' Forum? One of our members might be able to help you out. I did notice for Edith Margaret's baptism that the godfather and the priest were from Cleveland.”

Anyone know where I can look next? I also searched the United States’ St. Albans Canadian Border Crossings collection, (soundex M1463) and found nothing there either. So not only can I not find my grandmother’s birth and baptism records, but I can’t find any record of her moving to the United States, either. My mother remembers sometime in the 1950s or 1960s my grandmother told her that she naturalized as a United States Citizen. My grandmother passed away in 2007.

Ultimately, I’m trying to find my grandmother’s birth certificate number or her certificate of Canadian citizenship number. Thank you to anyone who can help me.


Looking for help in breaking down your brick walls?

List your brick wall on our
 Members' Forum page on our website.

Resource Links
General Resource Links

This newsletter continues with more additions to our General Resource Links section.

Our General Resource Links section on our website consists of resource links that do not fit in one of Quebec’s 17 administrative regions. This section includes resources to help you with your research on Acadians, Quebec adoptees, your ancestors in France, Métis, Quebec land records, Quebec military records, Quebec cemetery transcriptions, New France census records and much more.

To access this superb set of Quebec resources, on our website click on the Resources main menu then click on the Resource Links sub-menu. Scroll to the very bottom and click on the General Resource Links tab.

This eNewsletter will focus on adding to our existing list of resources to help find your ancestral information in France.

Paris, France - Cemetery Records

The burial registers of 19 of the 20 cemeteries of Paris, France (the Calvary cemetery do not have any) are now available online on the Paris Archives website for the period 1804 to 1968.

These registers provide access to the following information in particular:
   - date of death or date of burial;
   - location and extent of burial in the cemetery concerned;
   - place of death (district or commune);
   - age of the deceased.

Here is an example of a burial register for the Auteuil Cemetery:

The founding families of New France in the central minute book of the notaries of Paris

This digital publication was produced for Quebec genealogists searching for their Parisian ancestors. It provides a summary description of the notarial deeds concerning the Canadians and their Parisian families as written by Jean-Paul Macouin between 2003 and 2015. Each fact sheet includes often previously unpublished information on some 350 pioneers of Parisian origin from the 16th to 18th centuries. Under the name of each pioneer, the acts are classified in chronological order from the oldest to the most recent.



Launched in 1996 by genealogy enthusiasts, the Geneanet website is a community of more than 4 million members who share their genealogical information for free: more than 7 billion individuals in the family trees, some digitized archival records, some family pictures, some indexes, all available through a powerful search engine, and a blog. 

You could try a simple search on a surname then click on one of the search results to obtain various interesting pieces of information. Or you could start your family tree - all for free.

FamilySearch - France Online Genealogy Records

FamilySearch  has a treasure trove of French genealogical records to help with your research in France. It also has a guide to birth, marriage, death, census, church, military, immigration, and naturalization records in France.

EuroDocs: Online Sources for European History

From Brigham Young University, this website has links connecting to European primary historical documents that are transcribed, reproduced, or translated. In addition you will find video or sound files, maps, photographs, databases, and other documentation. The sources cover a broad range of historical events (political, economic, social and cultural). The order of documents is chronological wherever possible.

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

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

Surnames tell a story?

BALSAC Population Database


Did you know the family name, or surname, helps to define us as individuals? It includes members of the same family and characterizes us outside our family networks.
But why are some surnames more common than others, to the point that a meeting between two Tremblays does not necessarily mean a family party? At the beginning of European settlement, there were few surnames: for 651 individuals who married between 1640 and 1660, 531 different surnames were recorded. Some of them will stand out because of a strong descendance and will become typical Québecois surnames like Pelletier, Boucher and Gagnon, while others will eventually become rarer, like Guyon or Sevestre. Couples giving birth to many boys are favored because the surname is passed down from father to son. On the contrary, some surnames, including those carried only by female immigrants, have not survived time. And for those who have crossed close to 4 centuries, it is not without distortion, for example, Shumph became Jomphe and Thibault became…

From 1700, some surnames stand out.

Is your surname shared by many Quebecois?

The table 100 surnames by period lists the 100 most common family names in various periods, as well as the percentage of the population with this surname.

Did you know that…

The Gagnons are in the top 4 of the most popular surnames in Quebec since 1650?

The surname Tremblay did not appear until 1750 and it was finally enthroned at the top of the chart 150 years later, in 1900?

The Houdes entered the top 15 in 1750 and dropped to the 96th rank in 1800?


Surnames are both diverse and common

From 500 at the beginning of settlement, the number of surnames peaks near 44,000 for a little over a million individuals married around 1950. Despite this diversification of the patronymic pool, nearly one person in 10 carries one of the 15 most common surnames, and 3 in 10, one of the 100 most frequent.


In the News

French History and Records for Genealogy 

FamilySearch Blog
July 5, 2020  - by  Sunny Morton


Over the centuries, France’s government and culture has changed many times. These changes often affected record keeping. The good news is that historical change in France sometimes resulted in the creation of valuable French genealogy records. Here are a few examples of how French history may have affected records kept about your ancestors in France.

The Catholic Church and Parish Records

For hundreds of years, the Roman Catholic Church played an influential role in French history—and record keeping. Clovis I, considered the founder of modern Ordinance of Villers Cotterêts, a french records documentFrance, converted to Catholicism around the year 500. The church and the French monarchy mutually supported each other; the Roman Catholic Church in France became a state church.

In 1539, King Francis I signed the Ordinance of Villers Cotterêts, which required that priests keep registers of baptisms. Forty years later, another law mandated that they keep marriage and burial records too. Louis XIV further required that copies of parish vital records be created, beginning in 1667, which increased chances that at least one copy would survive in future years.

These records now sometimes make it possible to trace your French ancestry back to the 1600s or even the 1500s. They typically include details that help genealogists reconstruct family trees. For example, baptismal registers typically included an infant’s name and baptismal date (usually within two days of birth) and parents’ names. Marriage registers also identified the parents of the bride and groom and perhaps a deceased spouse (for later marriages) and explained familial relationships between brides and grooms who were related to each other. Burial records named the surviving spouse or parents of the deceased.


The French Revolution and Civil Registration

The French Revolution, which started in 1789, upended the monarchy and the Catholic Church’s political power. In 1792, a new law transferred responsibility for official vital record keeping from parish priests to new civil offices. Local civil registration officials gathered registers from local churches and began recording new births, marriages, and deaths. Parish priests continued to maintain registers for church use, so, from this point forward, you may be able to find both civil registration and parish records for your French ancestors.


The earliest French civil registration records weren’t very detailed, but eventually they included quite a bit of genealogical information. Birth records named children and identified their sex, birth date and place, parents’ names (including mother’s maiden surname), and more. Marriage records identified the bride and groom and gave their birth information, details about their parents, identities of four witnesses, and sometimes more. In death records, you’ll generally find at least the decedent’s name, death date and place, age at death, birthplace, and parents’ names.

Censuses and a Nation in Transition

France was slow to conduct nationwide censuses. Citizens feared that being enumerated would lead to greater taxation and forced military service. A scattering of local censuses were taken in the late 1700s, but what survives is mostly statistical data. Napoleon ordered the first full census in 1801. Though some censuses followed, logistical issues and political upheaval prevented a successful nationwide, every-name census until 1836.

Read more

31 Traditional French Foods and Recipes

FamilySearch Blog
July 17, 2020  - by Alison Ensign

French food and cooking styles have been developed for generations. Historically influenced by surrounding areas like Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and Belgium, France eventually developed a unique style. Today, French cuisine has influenced and inspired various cuisines around the world.

Traditional French cooking features cheese, wine, sauces, and bread as staples. For a look into authentic French recipes from the middle ages, try finding a copy of Le Viandier, one of the earliest-known French recipe collections to be printed. This version even has English translations along with the original French recipes. Le Viandier will take you straight to the source to find French foods your ancestors would have enjoyed. 

If you have French ancestors or you’re interested in visiting France, French food provides a unique way of understanding French people and culture. Food and culinary traditions open a window into the daily lives of people in a region. Common ingredients often reflect what was available in the area, and cooking styles provide insight into cultural traditions.

Do you have family recipes for French foods? Record them with FamilySearch Memories to preserve them and share them with your family. You can also explore to find other French recipes shared on FamilySearch.


Breakfast in France is often a simple or quick meal. It’s common practice to eat a slice of bread topped with butter, honey, jam, cheese, or ham. Alongside this, you’ll typically find a hot beverage such as coffee, tea, or hot chocolate.

Variations are still usually based on bread with a hot beverage. Pastries such as a croissant are a sweeter treat while more savory versions include meats and eggs.

Alternatively, dishes such as an omelette or quiche are another option for breakfast in France.

Croissant a buttery, flaky pastry shaped like a crescent

Omelette an egg mixture that’s cooked and folded

Quiche a tart filled with a savory, cooked custard

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

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