MSS-070-The French-Canadian Genealogical Society of Connecticut

Episode 070-February 1, 2018

For those of you within driving distance of north central Connecticut, a valuable resource awaits you in the quaint New England town of Tolland. President Claudine Purdue introduces us to the offerings of the French-Canadian Genealogical Society of Connecticut.

Then we dive a bit deeper into the subject of OCR and translation apps and software, followed by an uncomfortable topic, and a listener email.

The French-Canadian Genealogical Society of Connecticut

Claudine Purdue, president of the French-Canadian Genealogical Society of Connecticut, and I discussed the following:

Claudine has Acadian and Mi’kmaq ancestry. Early on she began using Lucie LeBlanc Consentino’s Acadian website.


The FCGSC was founded in 1981. They moved from a very small space in East Hartford to their current location in Tolland in 1985. Their library is housed in an old courthouse which they share with the Connecticut Historical Society.

The FCGSC has gone through a slight rebirth in present times. They modernized their website and increased their presence in social media. They also began connecting with other societies. In the future they hope to increase the number of social events and classes.

The society offers its visitors assistance with reading original documents, proper research methods, and proper sourcing.


Check the website for upcoming classes. The society plans to offer a Genealogy 101 class, a how-to-do French-Canadian genealogy class, and an Acadian research class.

Speakers present interesting topics at the semi-annual meeting in the spring and the annual meeting in the fall.

The group sponsors an annual trip to Quebec City, usually in August.


The Hebert collection: tens of thousands of cards giving vital records of Acadians. The society is in the process of scanning these materials which also include notebooks, family data sheets, personal correspondence between Quebec and the States, history books,and periodicals. Eventually these will appear in the members’ section of the website.

Hebert card


The CML (Connecticut Maple Leaf)-the society’s journal published twice a year

The CML Index to CML issues. You can purchase a print copy. There is also a digital copy in the members’ section of the website. If you see an article you’d like to purchase, contact the library and they will get a copy to you.

The Maple Leaflet-published twice a year; includes current events and news.

The FCGSC Library

Library collections/materials

Stephen White’s Acadian books

Arsenault’s Acadian books

The Drouin collection

Tanguay’s volumes


Repertoires for Quebec parishes as well as those in the states

Books on New England and Connecticut history, such as the Brown Collection (over 500 volumes of English, Scottish, Irish, and American reference and research aids for history and genealogy)

Incomplete runs of city directories for Connecticut, Vermont and Massachusetts

Town histories


Connecticut Vital Records Card File of all the French surnames from 1850-1993. It includes Connecticut births, marriages, and deaths of descendants of French-Canadians and Acadians that were extracted from local newspapers and town and parish records by society members.

PRDH volumes

Loiselle marriage index on microfiche, 1642-1963

Computers with PRDH and

Library info

53 Tolland Green, Tolland, CT
Parking in the back
Open M & W, 1-5; Sat 9-4, Sun 1-4
Free for members; $5.00 for others (which will be applied to membership if you so choose)
Volunteers are needed for various positions, including on site and remote. Contact the library.



Includes listing of resources available at the library, current events, and information on research services
The members-only section includes all the Maple Leaflets from 2008-2016, all of the Connecticut Maple Leaf issues, the CML Index, research forms, and eventually the Hebert collection.

Social media

Facebook page: search for French-Canadian Genealogical Society of Connecticut
Twitter: fcgsct


Library: 860-872-2597
Email: info [at] fcgsc [dot] org


OCR/Translation software

Our search for decent OCR and translation software continues. Mike’s plan (see episode #69) is to purchase a commercial type book scanner with built-in OCR software. For translating the French, he tried both Google Translate and Systran and found Google Translate to be far superior.

Mike also downloaded a free Android app called CamScanner and a trial version of Abbyy FineReader for OCR. He sent along a page that he scanned and translated from La Population du Canada en 1663 by Marcel Trudel. In the Abbyy FineReader pic, you can see that the OCR engine lacked confidence in some of the letters, but was nearly always correct. It gives you the ability to review the highlighted text, and either skip it if correct, or make manual corrections on the fly as necessary.

And then, the translation from Google received his approval!

Mike also pointed out the small print under the left-hand box in Google Translate which allows you to translate an entire multi-page document located on your computer.

If anyone has access to Microsoft Office 365 and has a chance to try out Word Translator, let us know how it worked. I’ll post your review on the Reviews of OCR/Translation Apps page.

Podcast support

For the first time, I am offering a way for any listener who finds value in the podcast to financially support it. Several listeners have asked if there was a way to do so, and I have resisted until now. I will check out possibilities like Patreon. But for now, anyone who wishes to do so can sign up to make a monthly contribution for whatever amount you feel comfortable with through your online banking. Or you might instead choose to send a one-time check. The address is: Maple Stars and Stripes c/o Sandra Goodwin, PO Box 124, Leicester, Massachusetts 01524. This is the address at the bottom of each monthly newsletter.

We’ll give it a trial run. If it looks like people are interested, I’ll add additional methods for your convenience.

And to those who have received value from the information I’ve been sending your way and choose to offer your support, I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Listener email

Kathleen and her sister will be taking a genealogy road trip this summer in search of ancestors. She will pay a visit to the American French Genealogical Society in search of her g-g-grandmother, Sophia St. George, born in Woonsocket, RI. Sophia’s parents are Joseph St. George (possibly dit Laporte) and Bridget (possibly Brigitte Moreau). Do those names sound familiar to anyone? Send me an email, and I’ll pass it on to Kathleen.

French-Canadian News

What's Happening Header
The Franco-American Centre

February 13, 6-10 PM at the Red Blazer Restaurant & Pub in Concord, NH- Mardi Gras time again! Check their website for a list of activities. Keep in mind that pre-registration closes at 5 PM on Monday, February 5.

The French Canadian Heritage Society of Michigan

February 10, 11 AM, at the Mount Clemens Public Library- Research Day. Experienced FCHSM members will be available to provide personalized French-Canadian research help for members who bring their charts and would like some help. Weather permitting.

The Quebec Family History Society

May 18, 19, and 20- A reminder that the Roots 2018 International Conference on Family History will take place at McGill University, Montreal. All presentations at this conference are in English.

The French-Canadian Genealogical Society of Connecticut

February 4, 3 PM, at the Alliance Française de Hartford, CT- Chantons avec Joe-La Musique Québécoise. Join them for instrumentals and fun sing-alongs.

The Vermont French-Canadian Genealogical Society

February 10-Beginning Genealogy with Sheila Morris
February 17- Introduction to DNA Testing with Ed McGuire
February 24- a panel of experienced researchers will introduce you to Our Library’s Hidden Gems

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

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