Quebec History

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Canada  Gotoarrow.png  Quebec  Gotoarrow.png  History

The following important events affected political boundaries, record keeping, and family movements.

1534: Jacques Cartier landed on the Gaspé Peninsula and claimed the region for France. In 1535 he visited the Indian villages of Stadacona (now the city of Québec) and Hochelaga (now Montréal).

1608: Samuel de Champlain founded the city of Québec. Louis Hébert and Marie Rollet were the parents of the first European family to settle there. They arrived in 1617.

1663: King Louis XIV made New France a royal colony. In 1686, struggles over the control of North America intensified between France and Great Britain.

1713: The Treaty of Utrecht separated New France from the former French colonies of Acadia (Nova Scotia) and Newfoundland. Nova Scotia and Newfoundland were ceded to the British.

1759: The British captured the city of Québec.

1763: New France was turned over to Great Britain by the Treaty of Paris.

1774: The Québec Act created the early Province of Québec, which included most of the territories in New France. This act also guaranteed civil and religious rights to French Canadians in the province.

1791: The Constitutional Act divided the Province of Québec into Upper Canada (now Ontario) and Lower Canada (now Québec).

1837: The two-year Patriot Rebellion began.

1841: Upper Canada became Canada West. Lower Canada became Canada East. The Act of Union joined Canada East and Canada West under one government called the Province of Canada.

1867: Canada East was renamed Québec and became one of the four original provinces of the Dominion of Canada.

1912: Provincial boundaries were extended to the Hudson Bay and Hudson Strait.

1927: The Labrador region (from the Atlantic Ocean to the watershed line) was given to Newfoundland.

Canada History includes chapters on Québec history. Articles on Québec history are included in many encyclopedias. A good overview of the history of French Canadians is:

  • Wade, Mason Hugh. The French Canadians, 1760–1967. Revised Edition. Two Volumes. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Macmillan, 1968. (Family History Library book 971 H2wa.) A French translation of an earlier edition of the book is:
  • Wade, Mason Hugh. Les Canadiens français de 1760 à nos jours (The French Canadians, 1760 to the Present), L'Encyclopedie du Canada français, Volumes 3–4 [Montréal, Québec, Canada]: Le Cercle du Livre de France, 1963. (Family History Library book 971 H2w.)

Local Histories

Local histories are some of the most valuable sources for family history research. They describe the settlement of the area and the founding of churches, schools, and businesses. You can also find lists of early settlers, soldiers, and civil officials. Even if your ancestor is not listed, information on other relatives may provide important clues for locating your ancestor. A local history may also suggest other records to search.

Histories of provinces, towns, counties, districts, or other municipalities often have accounts of families. Many of the district, county, and town histories written in English include sections or volumes of biographical information. These may give information on half of the families in the area. A county history is also the best source of information about a county's origin.

Bibliographies of histories for the province of Québec are in the Locality Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:

Web Sites Eastern Townships Research Centre - Archives - For photos and genealogical research