Getting Started with Quebec Research
Links to articles on getting started with Quebec research.
Quebec Research Tools
Links to articles and websites that assist in Quebec research.
Extinct or Renamed Counties: Jacques Cartier · Laval
Library and Archives Canada · Salle Gagnon · Eastern Townships Research Centre · Centre d'archives de Québec et de Chaudière-Appalaches · American-Canadian Genealogical Society ·
Lake Champlain · St. Lawrence River · Chambly Canal · Champlain Canal · Halifax Road or Grand Communication Route · Lake Champlain Trail
In common with much of New France (La Nouvelle-France), the territory known today as the province of Quebec (Le Québec) was first organized politically along feudal lines. Beginning in 1604, scores of concessions of land, known as seigneuries, were granted by the government to proprietors known as seigneurs. The potential for the creation of new seigneuries effectively ended in Quebec in 1763, with the English conquest, but the system remained intact, with modifications, for decades afterward.
A list of all of the seigneuries of New France, with the dates of their foundation is found at Wikipedia.fr. A list of the seigneuries of Quebec is found at memoireduquebec.com. A map of the seigneuries of Quebec, made by A. E. B. Courchesne in 1923, accompanies the list. Most seigneuries had a frontage of several miles along the Saint Lawrence river and estuary (Le fleuve Saint Laurent), or along a major river, although some seigneuries surrounded large lakes.
Eventually the county system introduced by the English supplanted the seigneuries for most purposes of interest to the family history researcher, but the seigneuries figure importantly in early records. Early baptismal records often refer to a newborn child's residence using the name of a seigneurie rather than a city or town.