Preserving the Past, Informing the Future
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This research guide is an introduction to several major Canadian genealogical resources in the State Library's collection and how to best utilize them. The presence of many of these resources is the result of one individual, Robert R. Bisaillon. An avid genealogist, author, and teacher, Mr. Bisaillon amassed an extensive collection of materials dealing with Acadian and French-Canadian genealogy. After his death on October 25, 1994, it was announced that he had bequeathed his book collection to the Connecticut State Library. It is through his generosity that the Connecticut State Library is able to offer many of the following Canadian genealogical sources:
A list of introductory books on Canadian genealogy at the Connecticut State Library follows. The list provided below is by no means exhaustive. Researchers should consult the library's main catalogs, the Manuscripts and Archives Catalog, and State Archives research guides to ascertain if there are additional resources.
Baxter, Angus. In Search of Your Canadian Roots. Toronto: MacMillan of Canada, 1989 [CSL call number HistRef CS82.B39 1989]. This monograph is an excellent resource to use in researching one's Canadian heritage. Baxter begins with general advice on doing genealogy and moves on to profile the various ethnic groups found in Canada (i.e., French, Scots, Irish, Huguenots, and Jews). The majority of the book consists of chapters on vital, land, census, probate, church, and cemetery records; provincial archives; libraries; and LDS Family History Centers. An extensive bibliography is also included.
Jonansson, Eric. The Canadian Genealogical Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Finding Your Ancestors in Canada. 2nd edition. Winnipeg, Manitoba: Wheatfield Press, 1978 [CSL call number HistRef CS82 J66 1978]. This book is similar to Baxter's and is useful for its descriptions of available Canadian records. Due to its age (1978), however, addresses and telephone numbers may be outdated. The work is arranged in six sections: Section 1 gives general information on organizing research. Section 2 introduces Canadian genealogy and includes a brief chronology of important Canadian events, as well as addresses of archives, genealogical societies, and LDS Family History Centers. Section 3 deals with census, vital records, probate records, and other genealogical sources. Sections 4-6 provide information on the Canadian Public Archives and individual provincial archives, along with other organizations and governmental agencies which may aid the researcher.
Morris, Julie. Tracing Your Ancestors in Nova Scotia. 2nd edition. Halifax: Public Archives of Nova Scotia, 1981 [CSL call number HistRef CS 88.N64 P83 1981]. This 15-page booklet describes the types of records available for research in the Nova Scotia Provincial Archive. Addresses of other organizations are also provided.Genealogical Resources for Canadians in Connecticut
The town or county of birth is usually not included in census and naturalization records; in most cases the entry will simply read "France" or "Canada". Research guides to naturalization records, census records, and ships' passenger lists are also available.Archival Resources
RG 10, Records of the Education Department. Includes some attendance reports and some passports and birth certificates of work permit applicants, 1870-1930.
RG 33:8, Ethnic Groups Survey.
The Ancestral File is a collection of thousands of names and pedigrees submitted to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.
The International Genealogical Index is an index of names extracted from church and civil records. It includes over 200 million names from records around the world, with concentrations in North America, Mexico, Great Britain, and Europe. Names are placed in the IGI by researchers or through name extraction programs. If your ancestor is in the IGI, you may be able to find the date and place of his or her birth, marriage, and/or death.Serial Resources
The Canadian Historical Review (The Canadian Historical Association) [CSL call number F 1001 .C27].
Connecticut Maple Leaf (French-Canadian Genealogical Society of Connecticut) [CSL call number F 105 .F85 C8].
Collections of the New Brunswick Historical Society [CSL call number F 1041 .N53].
Collections of the Nova Scotia Historical Society [CSL call number F 1036 .N68].
Connections (Quebec Family History Society) [CSL call number CS 88 .Q4 C64].
Memoires de la Societe Genealogique Canadienne-Francaise [CSL call number CS80.S62]. Published in French.Genealogical and Historical Resources for Specific Provinces and Groups
Angus, Henry F. et. al. British Columbia and the United States: The North Pacific Slope from Fur Trade to Aviation. Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1942 [CSL call number F 1088 .A6].
Hobson, Richmond P. Grass Beyond the Mountains: Discovering the Last Great Cattle Frontier on the North American Continent. New York: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1951 [CSL call number F 1087 .H77].
Bryce, George. The Romantic Settlement of Lord Selkirk's Colonists: The Pioneers of Manitoba. Toronto: Musson Book Co., 1909 [CSL call number F 1063 .B916].
Oliver, Edmund H. The Canadian North-west: Its Early Development and Legislative Records: Minutes of the Councils of the Red River Colony and the Northern Department of Rupert's Land. Ottawa: Government Printing Bureau, 1914-15. 2 volumes [CSL call number F 1001 .C128 no. 9].
Barto, Martha Ford. Passamaquoddy: Genealogies of West Isles Families. St. John, New Bunswick: Lingley Printing Co., 1975 [CSL call number F 1044 .P37 1975].
Hale, R. Wallace. Early New Brunswick Probate Records, 1785-1835. Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, 1989 [CSL call number F 1041.8 .H35 1989].
Wood-Holt, B. Early Marriage Records of New Brunswick: Saint John City and County from the British Conquest to 1839. St. John, New Brunswick: Holland House, 1986 [CSL call number F 1041.8 .W66 1986].
Hatton, Joseph and M. Harvey. Newfoundland: Its History, Its Present Condition and Its Prospects in the Future. Boston: Doyle & Whittle, 1883 [CSL call number F 1122 .H37 1883a].
Young, Ewart. This is Newfoundland. Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1949 [CSL call number F 1122 .Y68].
Arsenault, Bona. Histoire et Genealogie des Acadiens. Montreal: Lemeac, 1978. 6 volumes [CSL call number F 1038 .A72 1978].
Brown, George S. Yarmouth, Nova Scotia Genealogies Transcribed from the Yarmouth Herald. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1993 [CSL call number F 1039.5 .Y3 B76 1993].
Haliburton, Thomas C. An Historical and Statistical Account of Nova-Scotia. London: J. Howe, 1829. 2 volumes [CSL call number SpecColl F 1038 .H17].
Morris, Julie. Tracing Your Ancestors in Nova Scotia. 2nd edition.. Halifax: Public Archives of Nova Scotia, 1981 [CSL call number HistRef CS 88.N64 P83 1981].
Morse, William I. Gravestones of Acadie, and Other Essays on Local History, Genealogy and Parish Records of Annapolis County, Nova Scotia. London: A. Smith & Co., 1929 [CSL call number F 1039 .A16 M88].
Smith, Leonard and Norma Smith. Nova Scotia Immigrants to 1867. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992 [CSL call number F 1036.8 .S65 1992].
Chadwick, Edward M. Ontarian Families: Genealogies of United Empire Loyalist and Other Pioneer Families of Upper Canada. Lambertville, NJ: Hunterdon House, 1983 [CSL call number CS 88.06 .C45 1983].
Cowder, Norman K. Early Ontario Settlers: A Source Book. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1993 [CSL call number CS 88.O6 C75 1993].
Fitzgerald, E. Keith. Ontario People, 1796-1803. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1993 [CSL call number CS 88.06 .F58 1993].
Wilson, Thomas B . Marriage Bonds of Ontario, 1803-1834. Lambertville, NJ: Hunterdon House, 1985 [CSL call number CS 88 .O6 .W498 1985].
Prince Edward Island
Campbell, Duncan. History of Prince Edward Island. Charlottetown: Bremmer Brothers, 1875 [CSL call number F 1048 .C18].
Harvey, Daniel C. The French Regime in Prince Edward Island. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1926 [CSL call number F 1048 .H34].
Bergeron, Adrien. Le Grand Arrangement Des Acadiens Au Quebec. Montreal: Editions Elysee, 1981. 8 volumes [CSL call number CS 87 .A25 B47 1981]. Published in French.
Charbonneau, Hubert, and Jaques Legare. Repertoire des actes de bapteme mariage sepulture et des recensements du Quebec ancien. Montreal: Les Presses de l'Universite de Montreal, 1980. 17 volumes [CSL call number F 1051.8 .R47 1980].
Black, Norman F. A History of Saskatchewan and the Old North West. Regina, Canada: North West Historical Co., 1913 [CSL call number F 1071 .B63].
Campbell, Marjorie W. Rivers of America: The Saskatchewan. New York: Rinehart & Co., 1950 [CSL call number F 1076 .C18].Specific Groups
Arsenault, Bona. Histoire et Genealogie des Acadiens. Montreal: Lemeac, 1978. 6 volumes [CSL call number F 1038 .A72 1978].
Doty, C. Stewert. Acadian Hard Times: The Farm Security Administration in Maine's St. John Valley, 1940-1943. Orono, Maine: University of Maine Press, 1991 [CSL call number F 27 .S3 D67 1991].
Jehn, Janet. Acadian Descendants. Covington, Kentucky: Janet Jehn, 1972-87. Six Volumes [CSL call number CS 69 .J48].
_______________. Acadian Exiles in the Colonies. Covington, Kentucky: Janet Jehn, 1977 [CSL call number E 184 .A2 J43].French-Canadians
Drouin, Claude, ed. Repertoire Alphabetique des Mariages des Canadiens-Francais 1760-1935. Ottawa: Services Genealogiques Claude Drouin, 1989. 49 volumes [CSL call number HistRef F 1051.8 .R45 1989f]. This forty-nine volume work is a very good place to start hunting for your French-Canadian roots. It is a listing of Quebec marriages from 1760 to 1935, which is arranged alphabetically by the groom's surname and given name, and secondly by the bride's surname and given name. Some typical entries are as follows:
|michel-gaudry lse||paul-ethier m.||13 oct. 1823|
|frs.-huriot genev.||pr.-auge madel.||4 oct. 1779|
Each entry will usually list the name of the groom and bride, their parents, and the place and date of the marriage. Notice that in Example 1 the the groom is listed as Joseph, son of Michel & Louise (Gaudry) Aroeuet and the bride as Emile Bariau, daughter of Paul & Marie Ethier Bariau. Armed with this information, one can then reach further back along the Aroeuet line by finding the marriage for Michel Aroeuet and Louise Gaudry and so on.
In Example 2 quotation marks (" ") are used to indicate an individual also named Joseph Aroeuet. These quotations will be used until the given or surname changes.
There are exceptions, however, when the entries will be slightly different. When a marriage is not the first for either party, the name of the previous spouse will appear in the place where the individuals' parents should be listed. The abbreviations "vf" or "vve" will also appear, signifying an earlier spouse.
Listed below are some examples:
Example 3. Groom previously married:
|vf vandaigue frse||pr.-colin anchange||19 janv. 1835|
Example 4. Bride previously married:
|aubin jean-bte||girard||sophia||st-louis france mtl|
|moise-papineau marg.||vve labranche david||3 dec. 1888|
Example 5. Both Groom & Bride previously married:
|vf valade josette||vve riopel pierre||16 oct. 1838|
It is important to know about these exceptions and the accompanying abbreviations, in order to differentiate between parents and previous spouses. To find parents, one must find an entry relating to the first marriage, which is where parental information is located. For instance, using Example 5, above, when both individuals had been previously married, in order to determine the parentage of Francois Aubain, one must find his marriage to Josette Valade. Likewise for Catherine Sommier, who had previously been married to a Pierre Riopel.
One final aspect of the marriage entries is that given names are often abbreviated. Represented below is a partial listing of some of the abbreviations and the given names they represent:
|aug. = augustia
chs. = charleset. = etienne
eug. = eugenefrs. = francois
gab. = gabrielgeo. = georges
jacq. = jacques
|jn. = jean
jn-bte. = jean baptistejos. = joseph
ls. = louismich. = michel
oliv. = oliverpr. = pierre
ths. = thomas
|ang. = angele
cath. = cathrinecharl. = charlotte
elis. = elisabethfrse. = francoise
genev. = genevieve
|jos. = josephe
lse. = louisem. = marie
madel. = madeleine
marg. = marguerite
phil. = philomene
Drouin, Claude and Les Services Genealogiques. Table Alphabetique des Noms de Famile avec Leuers Variations et Leurs Surnoms. Ottawa: Services Genealogiques Claude Drouin, 1989 [CSL call number HistRef F 1051.8 .R46 1989]. Quite often in French-Canadian genealogy, a surname may change. Multiple spellings, misspellings and name changes are just a few of the obstacles facing the French-Canadian genealogist. This monograph aids the researcher by listing the possible variations of a French-Canadian surname. For example, if you cannot find the marriage of Jean Joubert you may be wish to investigate the surname "Desfontaines" with which the name "Joubert" is connected.
One final aspect of French-Canadian surnames is the use of the word "dit" in conjunction with a surname. In English "dit" means so-called, alias, or surnamed. For instance, Jean Leclerc dit Descoteaux would translate to, John Leclerc known as Descoteaux.
Lussier, Irenee. Dictionnaire National des Canadiens Francais (1608-1760). Montreal: Institut Genalogique Drouin, 1965. 3 volumes [CSL call number HistRef CS 88 .Q4 D5 1965]. The first two volumes record marriages in Quebec from 1608 to 1760. The format is similar to the above-mentioned Respertoire Alphabetique des Mariages de 1760 a 1935. The only difference is that often a page number is printed below the name of the bride's parents. This page number aids the researcher in quickly finding information about the the bride's parents' marriage. The third volume of this set, written in French, deals with emigrant/family histories, maps, lithograph plates, and signatures of famous individuals.
Tanguay, Cyprien, ed. Dictionnaire Genealogique Des Familles Canadiennes. Montreal: Editions Elysee, 1975. 7 volumes [CSL call number HistRef CS 81 .T3 1975]. This seven-volume encyclopedia set is a rich resource which traces hundreds of early French-Canadian families, from the immigrant ancestor through the early 19th century. A major benefit of the Dictionnaire Genealogique des Familles Canadiennes is that it lists births, marriages, and offspring of individuals. The encyclopedia lists individuals alphabetically by surname, from the earliest point in time onward. The larger, bold year found at the head of each entry signifies the year of marriage of the parents of the following family.
An added feature of this encyclopedic set is the interesting and informative tables at the end of each volume. These tables are significant research aids. Some examples are provided below:
Jette, Rene. Dictionnaire Genealogique des Familles du Quebec des orines a 1730. Montreal: Les Presses de l'Universite de Montreal, 1983 [CSL call number HistRef F 1051.8 .J47 1983]. This one-volume work is very similar to Tanguey's Dictionnaire Genealogique des Familles Canadiennes in that it lists families by surname, and includes birth and marriage information. The scope of this work is limited, as it only pertains to families in Canada up to about 1730.
Elliot, Noel Montgomery, ed. The French Canadians 1600-1900. Toronto: Genealogical Research Library, 1992. 3 volumes [CSL call number HistRef CS 83 .F74 1992]. While the preceding works in this list are based on parish or church records, this three-volume set is based on hundreds of Canadian primary and secondary source materials, and lists thousands of names, including first names and dates. These materials include: church records, federal census records, city directories, commissioner reports, Canadian genealogical & biographical almanacs, and dictionaries of various types, along with many other Canadian records.
These records are abstracted alphabetically first by surname and secondly by first name or initial. Included are descriptions of an event or occupation, the year the event occurred, and the location of the event, along with a source code giving the record from which the information was taken.
Label, Gerald and M. Jean-Jacques Saintonage. Nos Ancetres [CSL call number CS 89 .L4 1981]. A series of biographies of some of the the oldest of the French Canadian families. Published in French.
Laforest, Thomas J. Our French-Canadian Ancestors [CSL call number CS 89 .L413 1983]. The English version of Nos Ancetres. Published as a set of twenty volumes, the Connecticut State Library has volumes 1-17.Loyalists
385 Notre Dame Ave., Box 668
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Society of Connecticut, Inc.
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Tolland, CT 06084-0928
Huguenot Society of Connecticut, Inc.
Charles A. Strange, President
2 Rock Rd., Morningside
Milford, CT 06460
National Huguenot Society
9033 Lyndale Ave. South, Suite 108
Bloomington, MN 55420-3535
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PO Box 1026
Pointe Claire, Quebec H9S 4H9
Prepared by the History and Genealogy Unit, Connecticut State Library.