Episode 013-June 3, 2014
Today we’re going to take apart a French-Canadian baptism record phrase by phrase. The first step is learning to read French numbers because the records begin with the date written out. Then we cover other common words found in these documents.
Language Tip #13- French Dates
Since you’ll need to be able to read French numbers in order to understand dates, I recommend you practice using the following websites:
The French Language Blog- http:// blogs.transparent.com/french/french-numbers-1-100
A list of numbers from 1-100 and a video with the audio pronunciation
Practice the numbers with help from the following sections: flashcards, learn, speller, test, scatter, and space race. Practice or play games.
About.com’s French Language-http://french.about.com/library/begin/bl-numbers34.htm
Number practice includes a random number generator.
French numbers can be more easily learned when they are grouped by commonalities.
Lesson 1-numbers 1-10
Lesson 2- numbers 11-16
Lesson 3-numbers 17-19
Add 7, 8, and 9 to the number 10.
Lesson 4- the decades (20, 30, 40, 50, 60)
Lesson 5-the funky decades (70, 80, 90)
- 70 is 60 plus 10
- 80 is 4 groups of 20
- 90 is 4 groups of 20 plus 10
Lesson 7-decades plus singles
Lesson 8-funky decades plus 1
- 71 is 60 plus 11
- 81 is 4 groups of 20 plus 1
- 91 is 4 groups of 20 plus 11
Lesson 9-funky decades plus singles
- 77 is 60 plus 17
- 88 is 4 groups of 20 plus 8
- 99 is 4 groups of 20 plus 19
Lesson 10-numbers 100 and 1,000
Lesson 11-ordinal numbers
Date example- the 17 April 1874:
le dix-sept avril mil huit cent soixante-quatorze
the seventeenth April one thousand eight hundred seventy-four
Click here to practice reading dates in actual parish records.
Dissecting a French-Canadian Baptism Record
The priests followed a basic format for all baptism, marriage, and burial records. Once you are familiar with the format for one, it is easy to read the others.
However, the further back in time you go, the more difficult it is to read the handwriting. Click here for a link to a PDF chart that lists the alphabet by capital and lowercase letters. When you have a document with handwriting that is difficult to read, copy letters from words you are sure of into the chart exactly the way the priest wrote them. It makes it easier to decipher the words you’re having trouble with. This is especially useful for capital letters.
- Le dix huit septembre – the 18th of September
- Ce dix huit septembre – this 18th of September
- Aujourd’hui le dix-huit septembre – today the 18th of September
- L’an mil sept cent treize le dix huit septembre – the year 1713 the 18th of September
- par nous prêtre curé soussigné – by we the undersigned priest’
- a été baptizé[e] – was baptised
Day of birth (né or née):
- Aujourd’hui – today
- Le même jour – the same day
- Hier – yesterday
- La veille – the day before
- Avant hier – the day before yesterday
- Après veille – two days ago
du légitime marriage de – of the legitimate marriage of [followed by father’s name and occupation)
- Cultivateur – cultivator or husbandman
- Journalier – day laborer
Et de (d’) –and of [followed by name of mother]
- Du lieu – of this place
- De cette paroisse – of this parish
- De or du [name of parish] – of [name of parish]
- Parrain –godfather
- Marrain – godmother
N’ont su signé – not able to sign
Baptism Record Line by Line
B Lucile Langlois
Baptism Lucile Langlois
Line 1 :
Aujourdhui le trois février mil huit cent vingt six par
Today the third of February 1826 by
Nous pretre soussigné a été baptizé Lucile née de ce jour
We the undersigned priest was baptised Lucile born this day
fille de Jean Baptiste Langlois dit Lachapelle, cultivateur
daughter of Jean Baptiste Langlois dit Lachapelle, husbandman
de cette paroisse et de Marguerite Froment son epouse
of this parish and of Marguerite Froment his wife
Parrain Louis Froment, marraine Marie Anne Pa-
Godfather Louis Froment, godmother Marie Anne Pa-
rent qui n’ont su signer aussi que le père present
rent who could not sign the father being present
Jos M Bellenger, ptr
Jos M Bellenger, priest
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