Where can I find early New France census records?
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
1666 - Censuses for Saint Jean, Saint François and Saint Michel (transcription)
• 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
Where could I find information on my Acadian ancestors?
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:
• 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
Where could I find information on the Voyageurs?
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
Coppenrath Collection of Voyageur Contracts
Where could I find information on Quebec Métis?
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:
Genealogy of the French in North America
First Nations, French Canadians & Acadians website
Where could I find information on researching my ancestors in France?
As in Quebec, researching your ancestors in France can be done by searching for birth, marriage, and death vital records. These records in France are divided into two categories: civil registers (état-civil) and parish registers (registres paroissiaux).
Civil registration of births, marriages and deaths (naissances, mariages and décès/sépultures) in France began in 1792. Records less than 100 years old are typically found in registries at the local town hall; privacy regulations require proof of direct descent from the named individual for access to these recent birth and marriage records. Death records aren’t confidential and access is open.
Copies of civil registers older than 100 years are generally available from departmental archives. These records are open to the public and some are accessible online.
Below are some website names to help with your genealogical research in France. Their respective hyperlinks are on the Resource Links page of our website. Click on the General Resource Links tab at the bottom of the page then scroll down to the heading France Research:
• European Genealogy Information
• France Archives
• France GenWeb
• National archives in France
• Paris Cemetery Records
• The Founding Families of New France in the Paris Archives
Where could I find passenger lists to Quebec prior to 1865?
Passenger lists were one of the official records of immigration in Canada from 1865 onwards. In 1865, the Canadian government began the systematic retention of passenger lists to serve as immigration records. Unfortunately, very few passenger lists before 1865 have survived.
In Quebec, there are two major ports where your immigrant ancestors may have arrived, Quebec City and Montreal. The following passenger lists prior to 1865 are located on our Resource Links page of our website. Click on the Capitale-Nationale (Québec City) region or the Montreal region to access them.
1834 – Passenger lists for ship arrivals at Quebec and Montreal
1835 – Passenger lists for ship arrivals at the Port of Quebec
1847 - Orphan children arriving at Quebec and Montreal
Passenger Lists from England to Québec City
1817 - Hull, England to Saint John, N.B and Quebec
1831 - Bridgwater, England to Quebec
1834 - London, England to Quebec & Montreal
1836 - Downton, Wiltshire, England to Quebec and Lynn, Norfolk, England to Quebec
1863 - Liverpool, England and Londonderry, Northern Ireland to Quebec
Passenger lists from France to Québec City
1535-1759 Ships Leaving from St. Malo
1714-1783 Ships Leaving from Bordeaux
1664-1671 Ships leaving from Dieppe
1535-1740 Ships Leaving from La Rochelle
1632-1758 Ships Leaving From Du Havre
Passenger lists from Germany to Québec City
1852 - Bremen, Germany to Quebec
Passenger lists from Ireland to Québec City
1828 - Derry, Ireland to Quebec
1832 - Donegal, Ireland to Quebec
1834 - Belfast, Ireland to Quebec
1836 - Ireland to Quebec
1840, 1847, 1856 - Cork, Ireland to Quebec
1841- Limerick, Ireland to Quebec
1841 - Westport, Ireland to Quebec
1842 - Waterford, Ireland to Quebec
1847 - Londonderry, Northern Ireland to Grosse Ile
1847-1863 J & J Cooke Shipping Agents Records
1849 - Warrenpoint, Ireland to Quebec
1856, 1857, 1861, 1862, 1863 - Londonderry, Northern Ireland to Quebec
Passenger lists from Scotland to Québec City
1790 - Arisaig, Scotland to Quebec
1815 - Greenock, Scotland to Quebec
1818 - Greenock, Scotland to Quebec and Montreal
1831 - Isle of Arran, Scotland, to Lower Canada
1843, 1844 - Glasgow, Scotland to Quebec
Additional passenger lists for vessels arriving in Montreal prior to 1865
1653 - Saint-Nicolas-de Nantes passenger list
1659 - Passenger List of the "Saint-André"
1819 -1835 St. Lawrence Steamboat Co. Passenger Records (Quebec to Montreal)
1834 - Liverpool, England to Montreal
1835 - Ship Arrivals at the Port of Montreal