MSS-045-The French-Canadian Heritage Society of California

Episode 045-March 15, 2016

Episode 45 header

Within about an hour’s drive my from home, I can visit three different libraries that specialize in French-Canadian resources. Several hours’ drive takes me to two others. Plus there are all the French-Canadian materials at the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston. I’m about a six-hours’ drive from Montreal and eight from Québec. I am surrounded by fellow genealogists of Franco descent. I am LUCKY!

Friends on the west coast find it more difficult to locate other French-Canadian researchers. If you’re one of those lonely genealogists, know that there IS a place for you in southern California, a place with French-Canadian resources and researchers who can give advice and help you move forward in your hunt.

The French-Canadian Heritage Society of California

Suzy Goulet joins us for an in-depth look at the French-Canadian Heritage Society of California (FCHSC). Suzy and I Suzy Gouletdiscussed the following:

The FCHSC’s role as a special interest group affiliated with the Southern California Genealogical Society (SCGS). Being a member of SCGS automatically makes you a member of FCHSC.

Programs such as the upcoming Spring Meeting on April 3, 2016 (usually in March), with speaker Pam Wiedenbeck. She “will highlight the lives and contributions of influential French-Canadians who settled and/or pioneered lands surrounding Detroit (Fort Pontchartrain) and other areas of Michigan and the Midwest.” There is also an October meeting, and the FCHSC particpates in the SCGS Jamboree every June.

The French-Canadian resource collection housed at the library of the SCGS at 417 Irving Dr, Burbank, CA. If you’re looking for help, the FCHSC staffs the library on Wednesdays from 10-4.

Resources at the library (sample)

  • The PRDH
  • The LaFrance database
  • Blue and Red Drouin
  • The Loiselle Marriage Index
  • Parish repertoires from Québec
  • Tanguay
  • Jetté
  • Acadian records
  • State resources


  • A database at the library of over 45,000 people with family connections built by members of and visitors to the library
  • Index to Le Forum, a French-Canadian newspaper from Maine (approx. 1970s to 2000)
  • Articles for The Searcher, the publication of the SCGS
  • French Heritage DNA Project: collects DNA results from French-Canadian families. The project website is in English and French.

Membership Info (from the FCHSC website)

“The French-Canadian Heritage Society of California (FCHSC) is a Special Interest Group of the Southern California Genealogical Society (SCGS). As such, FCHSC participation is open to the general public. We encourage FCHSC members to join SCGS. SCGS membership dues support Library operating expenses.”

SCGS Member benefits
  • Substantial discounts (Jamboree, DNA testing, SCGS Library Store)
  • Offsite access to Members-only databases including
  • Onsite access to subscription online resources (e.g. Ancestry Library Edition, ProQuest Obituaries,…)
  • The Searcher, the award-winning journal of the Southern California Genealogical Society
  • Educational Opportunities (e.g., field trips to Salt Lake City, Fort Wayne)

Refer to the SCGS web site for a complete list of Member benefits.

For more information about FCHSC participation or SCGS membership, email fchsc [at] scgsgenealogy [dot] com or telephone 818-843-7247.

Benefits of membership in SCGS include access to archived webinars, including some on French-Canadian genealogy.

Volunteers needed

  • Library staffing
  • Translating
  • Presenting
  • Indexing projects
  • Promoting DNA project

Online presence

French-Canadian News

Whats Happening Header

The Franco-American Centre, Manchester, New Hampshire

March 18th at 2 PM: Help celebrate Francophonie month at the State House in Concord, NH. Governor Maggie Hassan will issue a special proclamation recognizing the ongoing importance of French in New Hampshire.

April 2nd, 1 to 3 PM: Celebrate Earth Day with another French Adventure. Learn vocabulary relating to Earth Day and make biodegradable planters.

The Quebec Family History Society

April 2, 1-3 PM: Enjoy a presentation explaining how to “Self-Publish Your Books on Amazon.” Classes are held at the QFHS Heritage Centre and Library in Pointe-Claire, Quebec.

The Vermont French-Canadian Genealogical Society

  • April 2, 1-3 PM: DNA Tests: Finding Cousins with Autosomal DNA (Part 1)
  • April 9, 1-3 PM: DNA Tests: Finding Cousins with Autosomal DNA (Part 2)

Classes run from 10:30 AM to noon and are held at the Vermont Genealogy Library in Colchester, Vermont.

The American-Canadian Genealogical Society of Manchester, NH

April 23, 8 AM to 4 PM at the Library at 4 Elm St. in Manchester: ACGS Spring Conference. Registration begins at 8 AM. The day consists of three presentations: Resources Available at the Manchester Historic Association Research Center with Jeffrey Barraclough; the New Hampshire Archives with Brian Burford and New Hampshire Vital Records with Deborah Moore; and Lineage Societies for French-Canadians with Janine Penfield.

The French-Canadian Heritage Society of California

April 3, 10 AM to 4 PM at the Southern California Genealogical Society and Family Research Library in Burbank, CA: The FCHSC Spring Meeting with guest Pam Wiedenbeck presenting “Why Detroit?” Pam will highlight the lives and contributions of influential French-Canadians who settled and/or pioneered lands surrounding Detroit (earlier known as Fort Pontchartrain) and other areas of Michigan and the Midwest.


Survey #44 Results

It was already decided in episode 43’s survey that the French-Canadian News segment would move to the end of the podcast. But in the last episode I asked you to pinpoint the type of announcements. Did you prefer that I move the complete announcements to the end of the podcast, or should I put shortened versions of the announcements at the end with complete details in the show notes?

The results were: 70%-keep them long; 30% shorten them.

Survey #45

This month’s survey is:

If you could choose the ideal frequency, would you prefer this podcast to be published:

  • every week?
  • every two weeks?
  • every three weeks (as it is now)?
  • every month?
  • It doesn’t matter.
  • Other

I’ll have the results for you in episode #46.


Listener Email

I received an email from Tina which read, “I love your website, it has taught me so much. I printed out your Dissecting a French Marriage, Baptism and Burial record and use them all the time. I can’t read or speak any French. However, I have been struggling to translate this marriage record for several days and many hours now and filled in most of it but I need help.” Tina then went on to type out the record line by line along with her translationt. For someone who never learned French, she transcribed about 85-90% of it correctly.

There were a couple of unknown words that threw her off, and one of the reasons was because it was a hyphenated word without the hyphen. The word ‘domicilié’ was broken up on two lines with no hyphen indicating that the word parts belonged together, something that the priests did quite often. So someone unfamiliar with the language would have a much harder time deciphering the meaning.

Then, in a followup email, she said, “I am definitely able to see words and figure out their meaning more quickly the more of these documents I look at, just like you said I would.” So kudos to Tina for having the perseverance to keep at it until these words became recognizable. So if you think you could never learn enough French to decipher these records, have faith. If Tina can do it, chances are you can also.

Acadian Ancestral Tour 2016

There’s only about 1-1/2 months left to sign up for the Acadian Ancestral Tour 2016. If you have Acadian ancestors, you won’t want to miss this trip designed by genealogists for genealogists.

Sponsors/Affiliates Check out their course offerings, then try out a 10-day free trial by clicking the banner below.
Get new skills -

Get Maple Stars and Stripes

How to Contact Maple Stars and Stripes

Leave a Reply

WordPress spam blocked by CleanTalk.