Quebec Notarial Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Access the records: Quebec Notarial Records, 1800-1920 .

Record Description

This collection contains records dating from 1800 to 1920.

The Quebec notarial records in this collection are images of bound documents. Most of the records are handwritten in French. Generally, the records begin with a title page that gives the date and time the record was made, the name of the notary, and the parties involved.

In Quebec, "notaires" (notaries) have registered contracts since 1626. These include deeds, wills, marriage contracts, and other records. The persons involved in the contracts received the originals. The notaries kept copies. The copies are called "minutes." 

Each document in a notary's minutes gives at least the name of the notary, the date and place the document was prepared, the names and addresses of the persons involved, and the names and addresses of the witnesses. The ages and relationships of the witnesses and the persons involved are sometimes included. 

Notarial records are usually listed by the name of the notary and the dates he functioned. They are not normally indexed by the names of the persons involved in the contract. 

Notarial records are first sent to the judicial archives, but they are eventually deposited in the branches of the Archives Nationales du Québec.

Most legal contracts in Quebec had to be notarized by a notary. So the majority of such documents can be found in collections of notarial records. However, marriages were often preformed by the Catholic church and were sometimes not notarized, so when looking for marriage contracts, it is advisable to check church records as well.

These documents are generally reliable depending on the information provided by those who participated in the creation of the documents.

For a list of records by localities and dates currently published in this collection, select the Browse.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the data and images published on Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.

District notaries. Quèbec notarial records. Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Quèbec, Canada.

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Record Content

Notarial records contain a variety of acts. This collection may have the following:

  • Marriage contracts
  • Wills
  • Deeds
  • Inventories
  • Agreements and settlements
  • Transfers of property
  • Donations (pre-wills)
  • Legal documents
  • Guardian records
  • Indenture records

The various acts contain a variety of information important to family history. The names of siblings, wives, and children and other information about family relationships can be found in notarial records. The type and quality of this information depends on the type of act and the items it covered.

How to Use the Record

Beginning Your Search

Before you begin your search, it is helpful to know the following information:

  • Ancestor's name
  • Place of residence

Notarial records for each notary are usually arranged chronologically, so records with the most value to the family historian are mixed with other written agreements such as conveyances of land and other property, bonds for the payment of money, and deeds of partnership. Some early marriage contracts were prepared by priests and may not be in the notarial records.

Searching the Images

To search the collection by image, select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page ⇒Select the “Judicial District” ⇒Select the “Notary, Record Type, Years and File Numbers” which will take you to the images.

Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.

To make your search easier, try to narrow down the time period and the possible location for the records you are looking for. This collection is set up for browsing (you cannot use the search feature to find a specific individual), and you may have to browse through several records before finding the records you need.

Related Websites

Bibliotètque et Archives Nationale Du Québec

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections

Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection

"Quebec Notarial Records, 1800-1900." images, FamilySearch ( https : accessed 14 June 2012). Louis Falardeau, Actes de notaire, 1856-1857, 601-800 > Image 1 of 934l; Robert Buthaman, agreement to lease, dated 10 March 1856; Quebec norarial records. Bibliotheque et Archives nationales du Quebec, Canada.