Sunday, March 18, 2007

archive of French-Canadian family histories

Franco-American News & Events, 7: Partners With Universite De Montreal: "A deal between family history website and the Universite de Montreal will see a giant archive of French-Canadian family histories indexed and made available on the Internet.

'In the past, family history was for people who liked to go to the library and scan through microfilm,' says Mike Ward, a spokesman for, the Canadian off-shoot of Utah-based

'Now, at the click of a mouse, you can find those stories about where you came from and what your family was doing a hundred years ago,' Ward said Wednesday in an interview.

However, until recently little information about French-Canadian families was available online. aims to plug that gap by putting the Drouin Collection on its website.

Created in the 1930s by Quebec entrepreneur Gabriel Drouin, the collection contains nearly 12 million records from 1621 to the 1940s tracking French-Canadians from Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and various New England states.
" - Quebec Vital Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967: "Until the late 1900s, church registers in Quebec served as civil and vital records in that province. Throughout the years a second copy of church records, from all denominations, was sent annually to the appropriate courthouse. During the 1940s the vital record collections in courthouses throughout Quebec were filmed by the Institut Généalogique Drouin.* Consequently, this filmed set of records became known as the Drouin Collection.

The filming of vital records continued for some areas up through the 1960s. Because only some areas were filmed for these latter years (1940s-60s), few records from these latter years are found in this database."

The majority of the records in this database come from Catholic parishes. However, since all denominations were to send copies of their records to the courthouses, other churches whose records are contained in this database include:

  • Adventist
  • Congregational
  • Pentecostal
  • Anglican
  • Episcopal
  • Presbyterian
  • Apostolic
  • Evangelical
  • Protestant
  • Baptist
  • Free Church
  • Russian Orthodox
  • Christ Church
  • Greek Orthodox
  • Salvation Army
  • Christian Brethren
  • Holiness Movement
  • Unitarian
  • Christian Missionary Alliance
  • Jewish
  • United Church
  • Church of Christ
  • Lutheran
  • Universalist
  • Church of England
  • Methodist

  • Church of Scotland
  • Orthodox Roumanian

  • The following databases contain the other records from the Drouin Collection.

    Ontario French Catholic Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1747-1967

    Early U.S. French Catholic Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1695-1954

    Acadia French Catholic Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1670-1946

    Quebec Notarial Records (Drouin Collection), 1647-1942

    Miscellaneous French Records (Drouin Collection), 1651-1941


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