Many of our French-Canadian ancestors used an additional surname, besides the one their parents used. If your ancestor has a surname that had a dit name associated with it, you need to know this to find all the marriages and births you are looking for.
Jean Bard, son of Guillaume and Catherine Bechet, came to Québec from Gardegan, in Bordeaux, Guyenne. The Bard family, sometimes dit Jeanbard, is quite small. Last updated May 1, 1997, it includes 208 people and is 12K in size.
Bouchard ancestors included Claude Bouchard dit Dorval; Claude Bouchard dit le Petit Claude; Michel and Nicolas, the sons of Clément Bouchard; Etienne Bouchard; and Guillaume Bouchard.
The earliest Couture immigrant was Guillaume, who was born in Rouen, Normandy in 1617. He came to Quebec, where all his children were born. They then settled in Ile-d'Orleans, Lauzon, and Beaumont. Last updated February 25, 1999, this file contains 2064 people and is 131K long.
Their were four Fournier immigrants who had children that lived long enough to marry. Descendancies are provided here for two of them.
Guillaume Fournier, son of Gilles and Noëlle Gageut, came to Québec from Coulmer, ar. Argentan, Normandie, France. Nicolas Fournier came from St-Étienne, of Marans, ar. and ev. La Rochelle, Aunis, FRA, the son of Hugues and Jeanne Huguette.
We have two Gagnon ancestors: Pierre and Robert.Last updated November 17, 1997, Robert's page has 1957 people and is 115K long.
Pierre Hudon dit Beaulieu was born in Angers, Anjou, France circa 1647. He married Marie Gobeil in 1676. The Hudon genealogy page is about 232K and 3965 people, last updated August 20, 1998.
René Plourde, son of François and Jeanne Gremillion, came to Québec from St-Pierre, Poitiers, Poitou, France and was married in 1697 in Rivière-Ouelle to Jeanne-Marguerite Bérubé. This family is even smaller than the Vaillancourts. On the Plourde page you can see the descendancy of François Plourde and a few Plourde research problems. Size: 261K, 4100 people. Last updated: February 22, 1997.
Robert Vaillancourt was baptised at St-Nicholas d'Aliermont, Normandy, France on 3 October 1644. He arrived in Canada around 1665. Today, his descendants might be named Vaillancourt or Smart. This is not a very large family, considering how early it was established in Canada. But it's my grandmother's line, and so I try to gather all possible information on the Vaillancourts. On the Vaillancourt page, you will find Robert's Descendancy List as well as a more information on this family. Last updated: January 17, 2013.
On-line access to genealogical information is exploding. It's not always the quickest, cheapest, or most accurate source of information, but it may be the most fun. I'm listing the electronic sources I think are most useful. If I miss any important sites or any important services at any sites, please do let me know.
Libraries and Research Centers
If you hope to do any serious research on your family roots, you're going to have to have access to some hard-copy resources. See the Resource page for some places to do your research.
The sources you will use most often are divided into three types: genealogical dictionaries, which contain marriages for many surnames and many places; marriage repertoires, which contain marriages for many surnames in just one place; and family genealogies, which have marriages for just one surname in many places.
- Quintin Publications, in Pawtucket, RI, has been selling genealogy books since 1977, and they specialize in French-Canadian resources (especially microfilm), though they have an extensive collection of other genealogy books as well. Call 1-800-74-ROOTS, e-mail them at email@example.com, or check out their Web site.
- For home use, the most reliable source of information on French-Canadians in the province of Québec is René Jetté's Dictionnaire généalogique des familles du Québec. The only drawback with this book is that it stops dead at 1730. You have to go to Tanguay after that.
- Cyprien Tanguay's Dictionnaire généalogique is not considered to be as reliable as Jetté, but it has the huge advantage of going far beyond Jetté's 1730 cutoff date. Marriages are listed reliably through about 1770, and in hit-or-miss fashion up to around 1810. This out-of-print book is now available on CD-ROM. It's a little less convenient than the print version, but it includes both volumes of the Complement, in which many errors and omissions are corrected. You can order it from GlobalGenealogy.com in Canada. I recently ordered a copy and it arrived in about 10 days.
- If you are just starting out, and your French-Canadian grandparents are from the Maine/New Hampshire/Québec/Western NB area, then you will need a source to take you back far enough so you can use Jette and Tanguay. At the Family History Centers of the Mormon Church, (FHC), you can order microfilm of Henri Langlois' Dictionnaire généalogique du Madawaska: répertoire des marriages. This is a simple marriage repertoire (no birth information), and it actually goes all the way back to the earliest marriages.
- If you live near a large research center that can afford the large Drouin, then you will want to make extensive use of this. It is poorly reproduced and outrageously expensive, but it often contains marriages that cannot be located anywhere else. The full title is Répertoire alphabetique des mariages des Canadiens-Français de 1760 a 1935. There is also a small, or petit Drouin, that may be available at some libraries without the budget for the large one.
- The PRDH is another fantastic reference that you will only have access to at large libraries or research centers. PRDH stands for "Program de Research en Démographie Historique," and it's a sort of nickname, referring to the group that compiled it. The actual title, if you want to try to get your library to arrange for an interlibrary loan, is "Repertoire des Actes de Baptême, Mariage, Sépulture, et des Recensements du Québec Ancien." It covers events in Québec from the early 1600s to 1765. There are 45 volumes. To determine which volume you need, refer to the PRDH Index.
- The Loiselle Index is only available on microfilm and microfiche. It's available on microfilm at the FHC, but at a cost of $5.00 for each roll, it's very expensive to use. And although there are zillions of marriages listed, I personally have never, ever found a marriage that was not listed elsewhere, despite hours of painstaking browsing. The plus side of the Index is that you can search by males or females. If you just can't find a marriage anywhere else, you might as well give the Loiselle Index a try.
- If you know where your family was located, then you may find it most effective to use a marriage repertoire, if one has been compiled for your area. This is a collection of marriages, generally covering one parish or one county, over a period of many years--often from the 1600s to the 1990s. For a cross-reference of places and the repertoires that include them, check the Places page. Please feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Last Updated: Thursday, Feb 25, 1999