MSS-024-Fichier Origine

Episode 024-November 18, 2014

Today’s episode of Maple Stars & Stripes takes an in-depth look at a valuable database called the Fichier Origine. A listener wrote in wanting to know if the information provided in this database was reliable. This episode will hopefully put Lucille’s mind and your mind at rest.

Then in Language Tip #24 we’re going to take a look at French words for family relations that are found in Québec records. But first, what’s coming up in the French-Canadian world?

French-Canadian News


Language Tip #24-Family Relations

If you’re like me, you get very excited when you find a document that not only gives you the names of friends and relatives of your subject, but also gives you the precise relationship. So let’s take a look at some French words for people in your family, or la famille.

The charts below are grouped for ease of use by type of family relationship: parents, siblings, grandparents and beyond, the younger generation, couples, other relatives, and god-relatives (I think I just made up a new word).

La Famille (The Family)














Extended family








































Please comment on any others I might have missed.

Fichier Origine

The Fichier Origine at is a database of information about our earliest pioneer Québec ancestors. We learn the origins of immigrants to Québec from 1621 to 1865.

This project is a cooperative venture between the Québec Federation of Genealogical Societies (la Fédération québécoise des sociétés de généalogie)and the French Federation of Genealogy (la Fédération Française de Généalogie).

Québec Federation of Genealogical Societies

The Québec Federation of Genealogical Societies is a non-profit group representing several local and regional genealogy societies. Its goal is to promote genealogy in Québec and abroad. It coordinates activities, such as conferences, publications, and certification among its seventy-one member societies. They publish a quarterly newsletter in French which is free to view on their website. Also on their website is a map showing which societies cover which areas of Québec province.

French Federation of Genealogy

The French Federation of Genealogy consists of more than 150 member associations and has similar goals to that of the Québec Federation of Genealogical Societies. The French Federation of Genealogy also produces a monthly newsletter in French. Also on their website you can find a list of which societies are part of their organization arranged by region, department, other area, or specific type.

In 1998, these two organizations forged an agreement to make available to researchers free of charge on the internet credible, verifiable information on the origins of the pioneers of old Québec from 1621 to 1865. More than 100 researchers have contributed records found in France, Québec, Canada, or the United States. Anyone who finds a baptism record for any of these pioneers is encouraged to submit it to the project. The project is funded by the Québec Federation of Genealogical Societies with financial support from the Québec Ministry of Culture and Communications and is sponsored by the Library and National Archives of Québec; the Éditions du Septentrion, a publishing house specializing in historical publications; the PRDH; and the Drouin Genealogical Institute.

Marcel Fournier

The Fichier Origine was the brainchild of historian Yves Landry, and the coordinator of the project is Marcel Fournier. Monsieur Fournier has a long list of credentials, including working at the National Library of Québec in Montreal from 1992 to 2002. He has published dozens of papers, articles, lectures, and books and is currently also working on ‘French Emigrants to Canada during the French Revolution and the Consulate, 1789 -1804.’ Between 1789 and 1800 about 140,000 Frenchmen left France to escape the political turmoil there. Some came to Canada, and after 1802 many returned back to France. But this project takes a look at the 140 or so emigrants who stayed in Canada after immigrating there to escape the horrors of the Revolution. Monsieur Fournier will be publishing a book on that topic next spring.

Check out Monsieur Fournier’s site for these other valuable finds:

Marcel Fournier emailed me about the Fichier Origine. He said, “The Fichier Origine is updated with new pioneer files twice a year in October and in April. If necessary, corrections [to] the existing files are made on a weekly bas[is]and the date of the last update is written on each file…we now have around 6000 pioneer files in it, and we are putting around 100 new files each year in the Fichier.”

Version 45

Version 45 was released on October 15, 2014. It included 120 new records including sixty-four acts of baptism. More than eighty records were modified, which means they may have added such items as the dates of birth or marriage of the pioneer’s family members. In this release, fifty-one baptisms were scanned and added to the existing records, with more being added this month. This version also includes more than twenty baptismal records of officers and soldiers from the Carignan-Salière Regiment and from Tracy’s company in celebration of the 350th anniversary of the arrival of that regiment in Canada.

A statistical chart enumerates the total number of pioneers in the database, the number of baptisms and acts, and how many new ones were added, subtracted, or modified in the latest version. Extremely interesting is the fact that this database includes 4951 male pioneers and 974 female pioneers. 5020 were married, 233 were single, and 672 were part of a religious order. As of version 45, there are 249 King’s Daughters identified and 1370 military personnel.

The home page (’accueil’ in French) of the Fichier Origine contains a search box. You can enter just a surname or narrow it down by town or parish of origin; department, state, or country; or place of marriage.

Fichier search screen




If you’re not sure how the name would be spelled, you can click instead on the alphabetical list page (or liste alphabétique), choose a letter, and scroll down searching for the correct surname. See chart below for translation of Home Page selections:

Home page translations







Click on your person of interest in the search results to bring up his or her information. Provided information includes:

  • his or her status (in other words whether they were married, single, or a Religious)
  • their date of birth and/or baptism
  • place of origin
  • names of parents
  • occupation of the father if it was given in the baptism record
  • date of arrival or when they were first mentioned in the country
  • occupation on arrival
  • date and place of marriage
  • name of first spouse
  • death and burial date and place
  • remarks which often include information about siblings, parents and grandparents
  • source for identifying the migrant
  • the name of the researcher(s)
  • a reference to the first publication of information regarding that pioneer
  • copy of the act if it was digitized
  • the last date when changes were made to that record

The identification and reference are given in abbreviations, so you need to refer to the list of acronyms and abbreviations found in the Reference section. The following chart translates the row headings for you:

Translation-row headings












Sample record for Benjamin Anceau/Berry

Here is a sample card for Benjamin Anceau/Berry:

Fichier Origine: Benjamin Anceau/Berry

with permission of Marcel Fournier;


From this card we learn that Benjamin was married. He was born the 12th of May 1635 in the parish of Ste-Marguerite, La Rochelle, Charente-Maritime, France. His parents were Jean Anceau and Marie Mocquet, and Jean was a master tailor at the time of his son’s baptism.

Benjamin was first mentioned in Québec in 1648. He had been hired to work for the Ursulines. On the 25th of May in 1659, he married Louise Poisson in Trois-Rivières. He died and/or was buried at Cap-de-la Madeleine, Québec, on the 6th of January 1678.

Benjamin was a merchant in Cap-de-la-Madeleine. After his first wife died, he married Louise Nepple.

Back in the parish of Ste-Marguerite in La Rochelle, his sister Marie Anceau was baptised on January 1, 1634, and was buried the following February 6th. His widowed mother married for the second time to Pierre Prebais, a master dyer, the marriage contract being signed on November 14th, 1665, in front of Jean Drouineau, the royal notary of La Rochelle. Marie Mocquet was buried at the age of 64 on June 2, 1676, at St-Jean-de-Liversay.

Benjamin was identified on p. 15 of Jetté’s Genealogical Dictionary of Québec Families. Archange Godbout and Lise Dandonneau both contributed the information on Benjamin. He was first referred to in the literature on p. 4 of ‘Rochelle emigration to New France’ by Archange Godbout. There is a digitized copy of his baptism record from La Rochelle available with a click, and this record was last updated January 9, 2011.

Details of the Fichier Origine


Many pioneers’ last names consists of two or more variations. The names are alphabetically ordered according to the way they were alphabetized in Jetté’s Dictionnaire généalogique des familles du Québec or in Tanguay’s Dictionnaire généalogique des familles canadiennes. The second name is a variation of the pioneer’s name found in the baptism record. The last name would be more of a nickname or a dit name.

INSEE Number

After the place of origin you’ll see a number, called an INSEE number, which is a geographical code given to each town by the National Institute of Statistics and Economical Studies of France. It is not a postal code, although the first two digits DO identify the department. It helps to distinguish between two towns in different parts of the country with the same name.


The parents listed are those found on the baptism record; they do not always match with the parents named in the marriage contract in Québec.

Arrival Date

The arrival date indicates when the pioneer was first mentioned in the country, and this information was drawn from the French and Canadian archives.

Digitized Copy

If there is a digitized image of the baptism record in France for your ancestor, there will be an extra row on the information page called ‘copy of act,’ or ‘copie d’acte,’with a link in French that says ‘numérisé.’ Click on it to bring up that image. All without having to travel to France to retrieve it!!

New or Modified Profiles

If you’ve been using the database for a while and you just want to see the new profiles or the modified ones, then you can click on ‘new files’ (nouveaux dossiers) or ‘modified files’ (dossiers modifiés)

Downloadable PDF

Les origines familiales des pionniers du Québec ancien (1621-1865), or the ‘Family Origins of the Pioneers of Old Québec:’

  • Part 1: by Robert Larin-discusses the early European immigration to Canada.
  • Part 2: by Marcel Fournier-gives the history of the Fichier Origine, and discusses naming practices, discoveries pertaining to birth dates and places found in the Québec records, the topic of inherited diseases, and changes in religious affiliation.
  • Part 3: by Denis Beauregard- stipulates the criteria used for including information in the Fichier.

The information in this database is considered to be the most up-to-date and definitive source for these ancestors. As researchers, the information from the Fichier Origine can be used for our personal research, and publication is permitted provided that the source of the information is cited.

Call to Action

Which of YOUR ancestors migrated to Québec between 1621 and 1865? Are they in the Fichier Origine?

Especially if you’re planning a trip to France, be sure to locate this information on your ancestors first. Visiting their ancestral homes will definitely enrich your trip.

Happy Birthday to Maple Stars and Stripes!!

This episode marks the end of the first year of production for the Maple Stars and Stripes podcast. Thanks to everyone for being part of the journey.

The next episode on December 2nd will be the last episode for Season 1. When we come back after the holidays, we’ll begin Season 2. I am asking for YOUR help for Season 2.

More Calls to Action

If you are not a French speaker, what problems do you have when you try to use French language records? What is it you don’t understand? With this information, I can plan future Language Tips that will be most beneficial to YOU. And today’s episode was a result of a listener’s question. What topics would YOU like to see me cover? Let me know, and I’ll work them into the plan for next year’s episodes.

During this Thanksgiving season, many thanks got out to:

  • Those who have taken the time to post comments, leave reviews in iTunes, and support the podcast by shopping through affiliate links
  • MyHeritage who sponsors this podcast
  • The helpers who have volunteered their services

You’re all the BEST!!

How to Contact Maple Stars and Stripes

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