Episode 055-November 1, 2016
Occasionally, one of your lines may end with the immigrant ancestor’s life in American. No matter what you do, you can’t seem to extend that line back to Quebec. In this episode, I’m going to give you some strategies and some sources that might help you break through that brick wall.
Strategies for finding a Quebec birthplace
- Follow good genealogical practices–
- Educate yourself: read, take courses, attend webinars and conferences, learn what records are available
- Complete a thorough search in all American records before moving back to Canadian records.
- Cite your sources every step of the way so you can evaluate your research, your theories, and your results.
- Conduct collateral research-Record all siblings of all generations, including step-siblings.
- Conduct research on your ancestor’s FAN club (friends, associates, and neighbors)-Include the witnesses found on marriage records, sponsors for baptisms, naturalization sponsors, business partners, fellow members of fraternal or social organizations, people living in the same town who share the same surname, and neighbors. Use census records, town or ethnic histories, and vital records to track the FAN club. Do your ancestors show up in the same place?
- Consider immigrant’s circumstances-Keep in mind your ancestor’s age and marital status at the time of immigration and adjust strategies accordingly. Research collaterals and the FAN club to reconstruct the pre-emigration family. Strategies will differ slightly based on whether he/she immigrated as:
- a child with parents?
- a single adult?
- a married adult with spouse and/or family?
Records that might list birthplace
- Loiselle Marriage Index
- One million cards which were microfilmed, microfiched, and digitized
- Found at many research libraries both in America and in Québec and at genealogiequebec.com (see Maple Stars and Stripes episode #1)
- Covers French-Canadian marriages from the 1600s to the 1950s
- Includes marriages in Québec as well as a few from American French-Canadian parishes.
- Conduct a literature search in journals/books
- Compiled genealogies
- Local and Franco histories, like the Histoire des Franco-Americains de Southbridge, Mass.
- PERSI, the Periodical Source Index- indexes the titles of genealogical and historical journal articles. The older version of PERSI covers journals up to 2009 and can be found on HeritageQuest Online, accessible through many libraries; the newer version is found at findmypast.com. You can do a search for surnames, locations, or record type.
- Check online trees, online websites, and online mailing lists
- Census records-Collect every census record for every ancestor, every collateral, and every member of the FAN club
- Vital records-Collect all birth, baptism, marriage, and death records for all of the above. Don’t forget marriage applications and church records.
- Printed repertoires-Many have a section called “Marginal Annotations” which may give the parish where the bride and groom were baptized.
- The local newspaper, especially small weeklies
- Marriage announcements
- 25th or 50th wedding anniversary announcements
- Travel or visiting notices
- Google.ca–For a rare surname, Google it to see where the name shows up most today
- Wills and probate-Your immigrant ancestor who died here in America may have left property back in Québec or wealth gained here in America to sibling, parents, or other children who remained in Québec.
- Deeds-With whom did your ancestor exchange property here in America? Research that person.
- Military records
WWII Draft Registration Card
From the Drouin Genealogical Institute
- New records: over 20,000 records to the LaFrance database from 1850-1861
- Corrected records: many LaFrance and PRDH files
- Adjusted records: PRDH and LaFrance name standardization dictionary
Download your copy of the PRDH Family Reconstructions.
Sale of many Drouin Institute Collections
Results of Survey #54 will be posted in the next episode. To participate, go here.
The American-French Genealogical Society
November 5: Rob Gumlaw will present Acadia to America. Classes are held at the AFGS Library, 78 Earle Street, Woonsocket, RI, and begin at 9:00 AM.
The Franco-American Centre, NH
November 19: 7th annual Beaujolais nouveau wine pairing dinner from 6-10 pm, at Drumlin’s Restaurant, Stonebridge Country Club in Goffstown. Black tie is optional, and this year’s theme is “Parlez-moi d’amour.” There will be French music as well as a French carol sing-along to usher in the holiday season.
The French Canadian Heritage Society of Michigan
November 12, 11 AM, at the Mount Clemens Public Library, the French Canadian Heritage Society of Michigan will present Cultural Métissage in New France, with a special emphasis on Detroit and the Great Lakes by Diane Wolford Sheppard.
The Quebec Family History Society
November 12, 10:30 AM at the Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Beaconsfield- Deborah Robertson will present Home Children, a look at the creation of the Montreal-based British Immigration and Colonization Association.
The French-Canadian Genealogical Society in Tolland, CT
November 11, at Maneeley’’s in South Windsor, CT- the French-Canadian Genealogical Society’s 35th anniversary Gala Dinner. Join them for a delicious buffet, French Canadian music, and more.
The Vermont French-Canadian Genealogical Society
November 5: Lynn Johnson will present Using City Directories to Solve Genealogical Mysteries
November 12: Oral History as Discovery Research with Greg Sharrow
November 19: John Fisher will present A Timeline of Quebec Research.
Classes run from 10:30 AM until noon and are held at the Vermont Genealogy Library in Colchester, Vermont.
Worcester Public Library, Worcester, MA
November 13, 2 PM-Jeanne Douillard, guest on the Silent Presence episodes #51 and 53, will be speaking on that very topic at the Worcester Public Library. Jeanne will conduct a book signing after the presentation, and she will have books for you to purchase if you so choose.
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