Question

Where can I find early New France census records?

Answer

The 1666 census of New France was the first census conducted in Canada (and also North America). It was organized by Jean Talon, the first Intendant of New France, between 1665 and 1666. Jean-Talon conducted the census largely by himself, travelling door-to-door among the settlements of New France. He did not include Native American inhabitants of the colony, or the religious orders such as the Jesuits or Recollets. According to Talon's census there were 3,215 people in New France, with the most populated areas being Montreal, Quebec City area, and Trois-Rivières.

Below are some early census records you can find on our Resource Links page in addition to the 1851 to 1911 censuses for most regions:

Capitale-Nationale (Quebec City Region)
• 1666 - The first census of New France (transcriptions) – Beauport, Beaupré, Côte de Lauzon, Île d’Orleans, Notre Dame des Anges, La Rivière St. Charles, Charlesbourg, Quebec City, and Sillery
• 1744 - Quebec City Census (Index only)
• 1792, 1795, 1798, 1805, 1806, and 1818 - Notre-Dame-de-Québec parish censuses (Original documents with search index)
• 1842 - Bourg Louis (St. Raymond) census (transcription)
• 1831 and 1841 - Graves Settlement censuses (original documents)
• 1825, 1831, 1842 - Halesborough/Cap-Santé censuses (original and transcriptions)
• 1824, 1825, 1831 - Ste-Catherine-de-Fossambault (Ste-Catherine-de-Portneuf) censuses (original documents)
• 1825, 1831 - Stoneham censuses (original documents and transcriptions)
• 1824, 1825, 1831 - Valcartier censuses (original documents and transcriptions)


Montreal Region (transcriptions and original documents)
• 1666 - Montreal Census
• 1764 - A list of Protestant house keepers in Montreal
• 1765 - Return of Protestant inhabitants in the district of Montreal
• 1766 - List of merchants and inhabitants of Montreal
• 1766 to 1787 - Annual alphabetical lists of persons married, baptized and buried in the parish of Montreal
• 1815 - Census of the City of Montreal


Montérégie Region
1666 - Censuses for Saint Jean, Saint François and Saint Michel (transcription)


Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine Region
• 1699 and 1700 - Mont-Louis census (transcription)
• 1842 - Survey of the population of the Gaspé Basin (transcription)


General Resource Links section (original documents)
• 1666 to 1741- Censuses from the Canadiana website
• 1666, 1667, and 1681 - Censuses of New France
• 1825, 1831, and 1842 - Censuses of Lower Canada and Canada East
• 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911, and 1921 - Censuses of Canada

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Question

Where could I find information on my Acadian ancestors?

Answer

Acadians are the descendants of the French who settled in Acadia during the 17th and 18th centuries. Acadia was located in what is now Eastern Canada's Maritime provinces (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island), as well as parts of Quebec, and present-day Maine to the Kennebec River. Acadia, a distinctly separate colony of New France, was ethnically, geographically and administratively different from the other French colonies and the French colony of Canada (modern-day Quebec). As a result, the Acadians developed a distinct history and culture. The settlers whose descendants became Acadians primarily came from the southwestern region of France, such as the rural areas of Poitou-Charentes and Aquitaine.

Below are some interesting links to help with your Acadian research. You can find these links on the Resource Links page of our website under the heading General Resource Links:

Acadian Research
• Genealogy of Acadian Families - Book by Gaudet, Placide, 1850-1930
• Acadia - Table of the Registers of the former Parishes and missions of Acadia
• Acadian Genealogy
• Acadian & French Canadian Ancestral Home
• Acadian GenWeb
• Acadian Historical Museum in Bonaventure
• Acadian-Cajun Genealogy and History
• Acadian.org - The number one source for Acadian genealogy information
• Acadians of the 19th and Early 20th Centuries
• Francogene: Acadian Genealogy
• Acadian research centre of Prince Edward Island
• Association Acadienne de la Région de Québec
• Centre d’Études Acadiennes Anselme-Chiasson
• Centre Acadian - Primarily Nova Scotia
• Fédération acadienne du Québec
• The Acadian Recorder Newspaper (18 Nov. 1854 - 28 Dec. 1861)
• The Coalition of Acadian Organizations of Quebec
• La Société historique acadienne
• Pioneer Families of Caraquet, New Brunswick
• Pioneer Families of Shippegan, New Brunswick

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Question

Where could I find information on the Voyageurs?

Answer

The Voyageurs were largely French Canadians who engaged in the transporting of furs by canoe during the fur trade years. The emblematic meaning of the term applies to places (New France, including the Pays d'en Haut and the Pays des Illinois) and times (primarily in the 18th and early 19th centuries) where transportation of materials was mainly over long distances. The voyageurs were regarded as legendary, especially in French Canada. They were heroes celebrated in folklore and music. For reasons of promised celebrity status and wealth, this position was very coveted.

Below are some of the links available to you under the Voyageurs and the Fur Trade heading on the General Resource Links page of our website:

Voyageur Contracts Database
• This database includes data from approximately 35,900 fur trade contracts signed in front of Montreal notaries between 1714 and 1830.


Coppenrath Collection of Voyageur Contracts
• This collection contains 52 contracts for the period from approximately 1800 to 1821 with printed forms from before 1800 being used in some cases. A significant number of outfitters are included namely the firm of McTavish, McGillivrays & Co. with various partners including John Ogilvy and Thomas Thain, Pierre de Rocheblave and earlier partnership – McTavish, Frobisher & Co. As well, there are contracts with lesser known outfitters. These contracts provide not only the names of the "engagés" but usually their place of residence and the conditions and terms of their employment.

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Question

Where could I find information on Quebec Métis?

Answer

Historically, the word Métis, meaning "mixed blood", refers to the children of European explorers, settlers, and fur traders and their First Nation wives. In English Métis is pronounced May-tea and in French May-tisse.
Please note that the word Métis in Quebec may have a different meaning than the word Métis in the western provinces of Canada.
Researching First Nations ancestors can be challenging although most church records in Quebec identify if a spouse was First Nations. From the 1600s to the 1800s acts of baptism, marriage, and burials often include the First Nations names. In French, the corresponding terms to identify First Nations on these acts are: Sauvage, Indien, Indien nord-américain, Autochtone and Amérindien.

We have a few links available to help with your research in Quebec under the heading Métis on the General Resource Links page of our website. These are:

Francogene website - Genealogy of the French in North America
• Includes a list of ancestral Métis couples sorted by a First Nations husband and by a First Nations wife


A Canadian Family - First Nations, French Canadians & Acadians website
• Includes a good index of Canadian marriage extracts for First Nations and Métis

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