14 October 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.

Our volunteers are hard at work confirming all of our speakers for the end of October. The conference schedule will be open for registration sometime in November.

Here's a preview of some of our speakers. For a complete list, keep checking the Our Speakers sub-menu tab under our 2021 Conference main menu tab on our website. 

Professor Jane G. V. McGaughey, PhD

Jane McGaughey is the Johnson Chair in Quebec and Canadian Irish Studies at Concordia University. She completed her PhD in 2008 at the University of London and taught in the history department at the Royal Military College of Canada before coming to Concordia's School of Irish Studies as a professor of the Irish Diaspora.  Her publications address themes of Irishness, masculinity, imperialism, and violence in the Irish Diaspora. She is the author of Ulster's Men: Protestant Unionist Masculinities and Militarization in the North of Ireland, 1912-23 (2012), Ireland and Masculinities in History (2019) and Violent Loyalties: Manliness, Migration, and the Irish in the Canadas, 1798-1841 (2020). Jane has been President of the Canadian Association for Irish Studies since 2015. 

Joseph Gagné

Joseph Gagné is a young professional historian. Franco-Ontarian from Chapleau in Northern Ontario, he is currently a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Windsor. His field of study is the 18th century and he is a specialist of the Seven Years’ War (1754-1763). He is currently researching the role of women camp followers during the French & Indian War. Author of the book Inconquis : Deux retraites françaises vers la Louisiane après 1760 at Éditions du Septentrion, he also blogs at Curious New France. Active in Québec, Ontario, and the United States, he is present on social media and in traditional media. Bon vivant, cat person and rum enthusiast, he also has a penchant for weird historical anecdotes.

Tommy Harding

As a molecular biologist, Tommy Harding has an in-depth expertise in high-throughput DNA sequencing data analysis, bioinformatics, genomics and genetic profiling. In 2018, he joins a multi-disciplinary team of researchers working on a method to identify human remains exhumed from historical cemeteries of Québec. By combining genetic information obtained from contemporary volunteers with the genealogical records of the Québec population contained in the BALSAC database, this method aims to reconstruct the genome of the founders of Québec.

Click here to check out more speakers on our website

The Lalondes in Canada


Date and Time: Wednesday, 28 October 2020 - 20:30 EDT

Presenter: Judy Gauthier

Judy Gauthier has been researching the origins of her father for several years, in particular her great-grandfather Alfred Lalonde. Judy will talk about the history of the Lalondes, the sources she used, how to find them and the process she used to compile the information.

Click here to register

The Forgotten in Genealogy – Clergenealogy

Date and Time: Tuesday, 29 September and 13 October 2020 - 20:00 EDT

Presenter: Mr. André Morel

Unfortunately these two webinars had to be cancelled due to illness of Mr. Morel. Each time, we were given no advance warning prior to the start of the webinar that  Mr. Morel was ill. To all of the registrants and participants of these two webinars, we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you. 

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

Resource Links
Administrative Region 03- Capitale-Nationale

The Capitale-Nationale region is located north of the St. Lawrence River, at the entrance to the river estuary. The urban agglomeration of Québec City, whose name means "where the river narrows", is at the region's geographic center.

The region is bordered to the south by the St. Lawrence River, where on the other side of the river are the Chaudière-Appalaches and Lower St. Lawrence regions, to the west by the Mauricie region and to the north and east by the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region. Because of its location, the region is an economic, historical and social crossroads between the west, east and north of the province.
As you can see by the above map, the Capitale-Nationale region is made up several local municipalities, as well as Quebec City. It also includes an Amerindian reserve (Wendake) and a monastic parish (Notre-Dame-des-Anges).

Much can be said about the architecture and culture of Quebec City, the oldest French city in North America. The architecture of colonial public buildings reflects the grandeur of the French monarchy. The presence of religious institutions, including the Jesuit College and the Seminary founded by Bishop de Laval, contributed to its intellectual and cultural influence in the colony. During the first half of the 17th century, Quebec City became an important ecclesiastical center. The récollets, the Jesuits, the Ursulines, and other religious orders dedicated to hospital work laid the foundations of their work of evangelization of the native populations. These communities of religious men and women endowed the city with institutions whose traces can still be seen today. In 1674, the capital of New France became the seat of a bishopric that extended to the farthest reaches of the North American continent.

Below are the resources added over the past weeks for Region 03 - Capitale-Nationale 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.


Archives of the the Augustinian Monastery

For more than 375 years, the Augustinians were the guardians of unexpected treasures. Thanks to this heritage preserved in the archive center and the museum reserve, the Monastery is today a unique place of historical reference as well as an exceptional research center for discovering the history of the Augustinians and that of Quebec society.

The archives of the Augustines trace the evolution of health care, social development, community life and the establishment of twelve hospitals in Quebec since the early days of the colony. Some 40,000 artifacts are stored in the museum reserve. They include medical and pharmaceutical instruments, furniture, works of art, liturgical ornaments, everyday objects related to crafts or traditional know-how, and many other reminders of the past.
Quebec City Archives

Québec City maintains a rich collection of documents that bear witness to the city's history. The City Clerk's Office and Archives Department plays a leading role in the acquisition, conservation, enrichment and dissemination of Québec City's archival and historical heritage. Several million pages of historical documents covering the 19th and 20th centuries are kept in the archives, as well as valuable items, all of which represent an invaluable treasure.

The archives search engine allows you to perform full-text searches on all the fonds and collections of the Historical Archives of Quebec City for which a description exists. You can conduct your research with various criteria:
  • By subject, for example Champlain
  • By date, for example 1908
  • By image number (if you know it), for example N019292
(Please note that although the website has an option for English screens, the functionality to access archival information is only in French.)
Birth, Marriages, Burials

The Valcartier genealogy website lists some miscellaneous birth, marriage, and burial indexes and transcriptions that you may not find in databases listed on our website. These include:
  • St. Gabriel Catholic Church, 1843-1919 Baptisms, Marriages,  and Burials (transcriptions)
  • Christ Church (Anglican) 1839-1882 Marriage indexes
  • Church of England 1857-1874 Marriage indexes
  • Church of Scotland, 1833-1855 Marriage indexes

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.

Cemeteries of the Valcartier Area

On this resource link, you could click on the image of the cemetery or the cemetery name to see gravestone images and transcriptions. Here is an example from St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Cemetery. The images of gravestones are arranged alphabetically according to the first person listed on a stone.  This may be a husband or wife or another family member, so a person can search for the image by using the possible surnames in that family, including maiden names.  Each image can be magnified by clicking on it. There is also a link available where you can jump directly to the gravestone transcriptions.

Census Records

The Valcartier genealogy website includes various census records from Valcartier and surrounding areas which include the original census record and the transcription, such as:
  • Valcartier censuses - 1824, 1825, 1831, 1851-1911 
  • Stoneham censuses - 1825, 1831, 1851, 1861, and 1871
  • Ste-Catherine-de-Fossambault Censuses - 1824, 1825, 1831, 1851, 1861, and 1871
  • Bourg Louis (St. Raymond) Censuses - 1842, 1851-1911
  • Graves Settlement Censuses - 1831 and 1841
  • Halesborough/Cap-Sante Censuses - 1825, 1831, 1842, 1851-1911
  • St-Basile Censuses - 1861, 1871, 1901, 1911, and 1921


Laval University - Yearbooks 1856-1920

These yearbooks (in French) have the names of all the students and faculty as well as some personal stories.
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 page for the Capitale-Nationale region.
  • Baie-Saint-Paul
  • Charlesbourg
  • L'Ancienne-Lorette
  • Québec City
  • Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré
  • Sainte-Foy – Sillery


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 04 - Mauricie.

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?

Capitale-Nationale Trivia

Did you know the Notre-Dame-des-Anges parish municipality is the smallest incorporated municipal entity in Canada? It is entirely occupied by the Hôpital Général de Québec and by the various religious buildings associated with the hospital, including an Augustine monastery, the Église de Notre-Dame-des-Anges (the parish church), and a museum. The hospital is surrounded by a cemetery holding, among others, the remains of General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm. Enclaved within the territory of Quebec City, this unusual municipality has a population of 318 in 2019 and measures only 6 hectares (15 acres) in area. With a density of 12,206.67/km2 (31,615.1/sq mi) according to Statistics Canada, it is the second densest census subdivision in Canada. It lacks any governmental structure and has no mayor but rather an "administrator."

Did you know Île d'Orléans, located in the Saint Lawrence River about 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) east of downtown Quebec City, was one of the first parts of the province to be colonized by the French? A large percentage of French Canadians can trace their ancestry to early residents of the island. The island has been described as the "microcosm of traditional Quebec and as the birthplace of francophones in North America."

Did you know the St. Anne Basilica is the oldest pilgrimage site in North America? The Shrine of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, located only 20 minutes from Québec City, welcomes almost a million visitors annually. For over 350 years, people of all ages have been gathering at this Shrine dedicated to Saint Anne, the grandmother of Jesus.

Did you know Wendake is the current name for an urban reserve of the Huron-Wendat Nation? It is an enclave entirely surrounded by the La Haute-Saint-Charles borough of Quebec City, within the former city of Loretteville. One of the Seven Nations of Canada, the settlement was formerly known as Village-des-Hurons ("Huron Village"), and also as (Jeune)-Lorette ("New Lorette").

The current population of the Indian reserve is 2,134 persons (2016 census). The land area is only 1.46 km² (about 360 acres).

Part of the Huron population had been integrated into the Iroquois Confederation. The survivors of this tragic period divided into two groups in Canada: the Great-Lake Wyandot and the Huron-Wendat. The latter were the ancestors of the Huron-Wendat of Wendake. 

Did you know the oldest recorded marriage in Canada was the marriage of Anne Cloutier to Robert Drouin? In 1636 when her marriage contract was drawn, Anne was merely ten years of age. The religious sacrament of marriage was not performed until a year later on July 12, 1637. However, according to the contract drawn the year prior, the couple would only be allowed non-conjugal visits for the next two years.
Anne was the daughter of Zacharie Cloutier and Xainte Dupont. Zacharie Cloutier was a French carpenter who immigrated to New France in 1634 in the first wave of the Percheron immigration from the former province of Perche. He settled in Beauport and founded one of the foremost families of Quebec.
In the News

Finding out I had 600 half-siblings sent me on a quest to end sperm donor anonymity
My mother wanted children very much, but unfortunately my father was infertile. So they went to see a doctor, who injected my mother with sperm from an anonymous man. This was London, U.K., in the early 1950s, and the practice was new and borderline illegal. 

When the doctor published what she had been doing, there was outcry from the government, the church and the public. And it's no wonder there was absolute secrecy about our origins. By English law of the time, my sister and I would have been "bastards."

Learning the truth about our origins

Anonymity became the norm for decades, as the infertility business became commercialized and donor conception common. But after our dad died, our mother bravely told us the truth. It was a shock. Though there has never been any question that our dad was our true father, we were curious about our progenitor. But there were no records and, in those days, no way of finding out who he was.

All that changed when cheap DNA tests arrived on the internet. We met a man, David, who was conceived at the same clinic, and DNA revealed him to be my brother. I had the thrilling experience of feeling a bond with someone who was like me in many ways, but whom I'd never met until then. We now really wanted to know who we came from. 

Finding my siblings, lots of them

Wanting to make sure my search wouldn't scare off donors and prevent couples like my parents from having kids, I researched the evidence. Even then, in 1999, there were programs with donors willing to be identifiable to their offspring. Years later, I discovered that B.P. Wiesner — a brilliant scientist and the husband of my parents' doctor — was our biological father. Amazingly, we would learn he had about 600 children, a story I tell in the CBC Docs POV film, The World's Biggest Family.

Now, with the arrival of consumer DNA tests, those children, my half-siblings, are starting to show up — about 45 so far. It's fascinating to see how similar we all are. Quite a few are filmmakers or writers, and we share verbosity and a sense of humour. There is a particular pleasure in seeing yourself reflected in people you hadn't met before. Some argue genetics means nothing, that it can't be as important as a loving family. But it is hard to deny the power and meaning of the close genetic tie when you have experienced it. Even the simplest organism can recognize its kin, and our culture — from Oedipus to Luke Skywalker — is full of stories of people finding their biological fathers. 

Changing laws around sperm donor-conceived children

I am a member of the Donor Conceived Alliance of Canada, and like many others around the world I argue that nobody has the right to deliberately withhold a citizen's significant personal information. Not all donor-conceived people care to know who they come from, but many do and should have that right. Many countries, like the U.K., have ruled that the only people who may donate eggs or sperm must be willing to be identifiable when their offspring reach maturity. Canada is not among those countries. It should be.  

While consumer DNA companies may have ended any guarantee of a donor's anonymity, real dangers persist, including the sense of betrayal when parents' lies are revealed. Many individuals have developed diseases inherited from donors; surely some of these conditions could have been caught and treated earlier with better knowledge of their genetic history. And, of course, there's the importance of knowing who your half-siblings could be. Since sperm donors can have 50 or 100 kids or more, there is a chance that some half-siblings have met and married without knowing they're related. 

When a doctor like Norman Barwin in Ottawa secretly inseminates women with his own sperm, people are horrified. When a hospital swaps babies at birth as happened in Newfoundland, people are sympathetic. And many seem to understand the desire of adoptees to know their birth parents. Our situation is not so different. 

As donor-conceived people, we have the same human desire to know where — and who — we come from. I made this documentary in the hope that it might help end the secrecy, the lies and the anonymity of donor conception. 

Watch the video clip

5 Easy Steps to Preserving Newspaper Clippings

Melissa Barker
A Genealogist In The Archives blog
Friday, October 9, 2020

Obituaries, marriage announcements, birth announcements are just a few of the types of newspaper clippings that can be in genealogical records. Are you archiving and preserving them so they don't harm other documents? Yes, newspaper clippings and news print can harm, even damage, other documents.

The chemicals in newspaper print, if in contact with another document, can leave an orange or dark stain. You don't want this to happen to original documents such as death certificates, birth certificates and marriage records. The damage is not reversible!

Here are 5 steps that the home archivist can use to archive newspaper clippings:

1. Digitize the newspaper clippings. This can be done by scanning or photographing them, then saving them to a computer, thumb drive or backup hard drive.

2. Make good quality photocopies of the clippings. Be sure to record the source citation of the clipping, if there is any, on the photocopy with a pencil. Many newspaper clippings don't have the date or name of the newspaper because that information was clipped off. 

3. Purchase archival safe sleeves to store the clippings. These sleeves can be purchased at any online archival materials store or through

4. Only put one clipping in one sleeve. Stuffing the sleeve with newspaper clippings could damage them. Newspaper clippings, in sleeves, will insure that they don't touch any other documents.

5. File the preserved newspaper clippings in genealogy files, 3-ring binders or wherever genealogical records are stored.

These 5 steps will insure the newspaper clippings are preserved and the information contained in them is saved.

CAUTION: Do not laminate newspaper clippings or any genealogical documents. The laminating sheets contain chemicals that can leech into the documents and destroy them over time. Lamination is very difficult to reverse. Do not do anything to documents that can't be undone.

Be sure to store all genealogical records, newspapers and newspaper clippings in a cool, dry and dark place. Newspapers deteriorate very rapidly when stored in a warm and humid environment.

Newspapers and newspaper clippings can be gold mine for the genealogist, be sure to preserve the ones you have!

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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