Translating French Records: Catholic Marriage Records

Of the three types of Roman Catholic records most commonly used for genealogical purposes (baptismal, marriage, and burial), marriage records are often the most useful, and potentially the most complex. Most useful because of the sheer amount of genealogical information that can often be gleaned from a Catholic marriage record. While a baptismal record will … Continue reading Translating French Records: Catholic Marriage Records

A 9-year-old boy who died “of the disease of Irish emigrants”

This was posted on Facebook, by the Institut généalogique Drouin (but the screencap below is from ancestry.ca: Quebec, Vital and Church Records [Drouin Collection], 1621-1967). It is the burial record for a nine-year-old boy named Henry Gill, "décédé de la maladie des émigrés irlandais" ([who] died of the disease of Irish emigrants): "La maladie des émigrés … Continue reading A 9-year-old boy who died “of the disease of Irish emigrants”

Surname Confusion: Lavallee, Lavelle, Vallely

Returning to the French-Irish theme (see Strange Surname Spellings: Hohanlan for O'Hanlon) with respect to surname spellings, here are three surnames which sound somewhat similar, and which are often misspelled in the 19th-century records in ways that make them look even more alike: LAVALLEE is a French, and French-Canadian, surname. And just to complicate matters, … Continue reading Surname Confusion: Lavallee, Lavelle, Vallely

Strange Surname Spellings: Hohanlan for O’Hanlon

As I've mentioned before (e.g., in Spelling Doesn't Count! [in Genealogy]), it’s extremely unlikely that an ancestor had a strong attachment to a certain spelling of his surname, if that ancestor never had occasion to personally spell his own name. If my ancestor James Moran, for example, was not literate (and I'm pretty sure he was … Continue reading Strange Surname Spellings: Hohanlan for O’Hanlon

Protestant records for Pontiac Co., Québec, 1894-1909: online at BAnQ, free of charge

Actually, Catholic records for Pontiac County are also online at BAnQ, free of charge, and for the same time period (roughly 1894-1909, though it varies by church/parish). But the Catholic parish registers for Pontiac Co., Quebec are available online at three other sites that I know of, and for a much broader time period: by … Continue reading Protestant records for Pontiac Co., Québec, 1894-1909: online at BAnQ, free of charge

Translating French Records: Canadian Census Returns

Canadian census records might be recorded in English, in French, or in a combination of both languages. Here's an example of a French-English combination, from the 1901 census of Ottawa (see right; click thumbnail preview to enlarge). This is the household of Alexander Michael Moran, with his wife Anna Maria Benton; his sons Allan Jerome … Continue reading Translating French Records: Canadian Census Returns

Translating French Records: Catholic Burial Records

As with baptismal and marriage records, RC burial records adhered to the same formula, whether written in English or French. If you know the English-language formula, you can easily figure out the French. (And often the hardest part, as I've mentioned before, is to decipher the priest's handwriting). The formula, more or less: The [day … Continue reading Translating French Records: Catholic Burial Records