Episode 017-August 5, 2014 Today we learn how to use repertoires. Their ease of use makes them a perfect finding aid for locating the original record. We also look at the pronunciation of and multiple spellings for an initial OU found in some given and surnames.
Language Tip #17- Oui, oui, the sound of /ou/
Yes, the French word oui sounds (to English speakers) like it begins with a W. That is why French names like Ouellette and Ouimette can sometimes be found as Willette and Wimette, or variations thereof. Working in reverse, if you have a French-Canadian ancestor outside of Québec with a last name such as Willette, and you work your way back into Québec, you may find the name beginning with OU. But, you may also find it beginning with a mute H – Houellette. Many English captives carried to Canada whose names begin with a W can be found in French records under OU or HOU. Webber → Ouabard, Ouabart, Houabard, or Houarbart Waddens → Ouadens William → Ouilem So if you’ve been having trouble finding given names or surnames beginning with the W, be sure to check out that same name with an OU or an HOU.
Repertoires can be a fast and easy way to locate and to piece together a family, as long as you use them as a finding aid to the original. Repertoires are indexes to the Québec and American parish records for baptisms, marriages, and burials. They are most often created by people, uually members of a genealogy or historical society, who abstracted the important information from these records and arranged it alphabetically or chronologically before publishing it.
- Includes one parish, or several combined
- May include a census
- May include marginal annotations
- May include a history of the parish
- List of abbreviations (COPY!!!)
- Source citation and copyright information
- Method used to record dates
- Is year on every page?
- Names of bride and groom
- Date and place of marriage
- Names of parents
- Residence of spouse or parents
- Previous spouse
- Had bride or groom reached age of majority?
If you run your finger down the Parents column, you can find other children born to that couple who married. If records are in chronological order, an index is needed to locate bride and groom. If records are in alphabetical order, they may be alphabetized by groom’s surname with a bride’s index in the back.
- Name of baptized child
- Parents of child
- Date and place of baptism
- Date of birth
- Names of godparents
- Relationship of godparents
- If child was a twin or triplet
- Name of deceased
- Date and place of burial
- If child, name of parents
- If adult, name of living or deceased spouse
- Date of death
- Age at death
- Household members
- Marital status
- Cause of death (if died in past year)
Where to Find French-Canadian Repertoires
Major French-Canadian genealogy libraries list many repertoires in their holdings. Below are only a few:
- ACGS Library Holdings: http://acgs.org/library/Holdings_Repertories_Vital_Records.pdf?download
- AFGS Library Holdings: http://www.afgs.org/AFGS_Library_Holdings_2009-part_1_of_7.pdf
- FamilySearch: https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/results?count=20&query=%2Bkeywords%3AQuebec%20%2Bkeywords%3Arepertoire