Quebec Notarial Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at
Access the records: Quebec Notarial Records .

Collection Time Period

This collection contains records dating from 1800 to 1900.

Record Description

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.

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

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.

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. 

Record History

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.

Why This Collection Was Created

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.

Record Reliability

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

Related Web Sites

Bibliotètque et Archives Nationale Du Québec

Related Wiki Articles

Quebec Notarial Records

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 the record, you should also 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 do 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 in found in the Wiki Article: How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections

Please add sample citations to this article following the format guidelines in the wiki article listed above.

Example of a Citation for a Record in This Collection

"Quebec Notarial Records, 1800-1900." index and images, FamilySearch ( accessed 2 June 2011). entry for Anna Frierson Bauchauau and Patrick Macquisteu, property transfered, 12 June 1877; citing Notary Records, Montreal, Alfred G. Isaacson, Actes de noraire, 1877, 4001-4191, Image 7; Quebec norarial records, la Bibliotheque et Archives nationales du Quebec, Canada.

Sources of Information for This Collection

"Quebec notarial records, 1800-1900" index and images, FamilySearch ( notarial records, la Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (divers endroits).