Quebec Wanderings: The Quebec Family History Society

October 2, 2014

The Comfort Inn in Pointe-Claire or maybe it is Lake Heights, is right on a busy street called Blvd. St. Jean and there are many shops like Target and I think I see an IGA.  My window on the 2nd floor looked out on the street so I could watch the cars stream by and the night come on.  I was surprised it was as busy as it was for a Sunday.

My goal on Monday, September 22 was the Quebec Family History Society:  http://www.qfhs.ca/   I hope that the barricade is not going to cause me problems in getting to this society which opens at 10 am.

I headed south on Blvd. St. Jean till I got to Lakeview Blvd. and turned right.  I then turned right onto Waverly Rd. and left onto Salisbury Rd. and it brought me to Avenue Cartier.  It was a great relief to see that I had options for parking in the area.  It was limited by 2 hours but that was okay with me.  I could move the car to another part of the street if I needed.  I found a place on the street going north so I was on the same side of the road as the Society.

My preference is for the streets and country roads but you can take Hwy 40 and or Hwy 20 to Pointe-Claire and the QFHS.  It is closer to Hwy 20.  QFHS  is located on the western side of the Montreal Airport.

I have known about the Quebec Family History Society for years because I purchased from them two cemetery books for Pontiac County years ago.  They also had a table at the Ontario Genealogical Society Conference in Kingston which I had stopped by to visit.

I entered the building and found the door to the archive open so I went on in and a man was seated at a table.  I inquired if they were open because I was about 25 minutes early.  He said yes.  So I went back out to retrieve my computer bag and research.  It was within minutes another volunteer arrived. I signed in and paid my $10.00 research fee as a non-member.

Quebec Family History Society entrance

Quebec Family History Society entrance

Out front of the QFHS

Out front of the QFHS

QFHS Treasures

QFHS Treasures only one room of several…

I was greeted by Jacques and Barbara.  Jacques gave me some tips on the Drouin Collection and made copies of some possible church registers I could study for more clues from a big thick Drouin Book he had.

Source:  Inventaire des 2365 microfilms du Fonds Drouin, tome II, (Inventaire des registres d’estat civil catholiques et autres denomiations) Province de Quebec, partie descriptive (A-M) par Jean-Pierre-Yves Pepin, Les Editions historiques et genealogiques Pepin/Drouin collection Notre Patrimonie national no. 2.  (I did not add the accents). 

Barbara help orient me and I asked her about how the settlers came into Canada.  The St. Lawrence was open from Quebec City to Montreal so they could disembark at both locations. However, after Montreal there were rapids.  She mentioned Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue and that there were locks there. I had just driven through there the day before, darn!  The immigrants would have to take a smaller boat to use these locks to go up the Ottawa River.

http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/qc/annedebellevue/index.aspx

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue_Canal

To go further up the St. Lawrence River here is a link that talks about the system today:

http://www.greatlakes-seaway.com/en/seaway/locks/

I can see that this has opened up a whole new world of interesting research for me.  This PDF looks promising.  I need to get back further and into time periods to understand how they used the St. Lawrence to get to other parts of Canada.

http://www.lre.usace.army.mil/Portals/69/docs/GreatLakesInfo/docs/DischargeMeasurement/BlueBook/BlueBook-AppendixB/AppendixB-Part6-StLawrenceRiver.pdf

The reason I am interested in how the immigrants/settlers traveled in from 1780 to 1860 into Canada is because my ancestors must have taken these routes at some time or other.  I will investigate this topic and probably write about it for it is of great interest to me.

Meanwhile I had to focus and get some research done.  I asked Barbara about land records and she encouraged me to go to the Archives of Quebec (ANQ) in Montreal and that they would help. Her encouragement made me feel a whole lot better about visiting that archive.

Their Cemetery Stack

Their Cemetery Stack

The next was to search their cemetery records for Pontiac County, Quebec.  I wanted to look at Starks Corner’s cemeteries. They had two big large binders to go through.  I studied the Starks Corner Community Cemetery in Clarendon Twp., Pontiac Co., Quebec and I did not find any McD’s at all. Barbara was looking through another binder of Pontiac Cemeteries and found a lone monument article.

Source:  St.-Alexandre Des Cheanux Roman Catholic Cemetery (also known as Ste-Melanie de Clarendon Roman Catholic Cemetery) Lot 24 Range 1, Clarendon Twp. recorded 1992.

In 1840 Alexander McDonell donated an eight acre plot of land for a Roman Catholic Chapel and Cemetery to be built, the nearest being…. Calumet Island.  It became the burial place of Alexander McDonell 1842 and his wife Janet 1847.  Their son Ranald drowned and is buried there with them 1854 at age 68 yrs.”

There will be more on this burial in a future post.  I can’t believe I drove right by there at least four times on my trip to the area in 2012.  I was going into Shawville from Renfrew (town) to the Pontiac Archives for several days.  I have no memory of this memorial or cemetery, however, I was targeting the upper areas of the Pontiac and Renfrew County and not really taking a serious look at the lower townships like Clarendon.  Hmmm….I think I need to rethink that strategy.  This is very important news, of course at that time I probably would not have recognized who these people were. This has everything to do with Mr. MacDonald’s Charts in his Part IV book, the charts #13.

They are oriented towards the English-speaking settlers in Quebec but they are expanding their holdings to include the French Canadian research. They go beyond this to the British Isles as well.  You can read their About page for more information.

Barbara pulled as much of the Pontiac County items they had and I did a quick review. Again there holdings were heavy in cemeteries of the county with two big binders to study. I encourage anyone who has Pontiac County, Quebec roots to donate your family tree and your books to them. Here is their website link again, and I have found it to be easy to get around and find things:

http://www.qfhs.ca/about.php

I was having too much fun at the Quebec Family History Society but it was time to make the journey into Montreal.  I am very glad I visited this society.  I gave them a McDonald Booklet based on this blog.  Jacques saw it and mentioned that he had been to my website several times.  I was flattered.

A big thanks to Barbara and Jacques.  They were both very kind and it is a great place to do research. My four hours was not enough time. Sigh!


Calumet Island, Pontiac County, Quebec

June 14, 2012

My original plan was to drive through Bryson but I didn’t do that.  This was my tour of the Quebec side of the Outaouais River.  I discovered another route, Chemin Wilson, that took be directly to the bridge that crosses to Calumet Island. 

What is it about a place that captures your imagination or charms you? 

Welcome sign to Grand Calumet

I had obsessed about getting around on this island but it turned out it was a no brainer. Silly me! 

From the bridge to Calumet Island

Another view from the bridge to Calumet Island

The Ottawa River on a beautiful day, from the bridge to Calumet Island

Anyway you just follow the highway, Chemin des Outaouais from the bridge and it curves around and comes very quickly to the little village of L’îlle-du-Calumet.  From the main land side at Campbell’s Bay, I had noticed that Calumet Island’s eastern side sloped upward to the crest of the island.  Again if I had more time and energy I would have explored more.  I contented myself with exploring just the southeastern part.

From the village on Calumet Island looking east to the Ottawa River

There was a lovely park with parking that faced the Outaouais River.  This is the eastern branch of the river that surrounds Calumet Island and is the gentler lazy side of the river.  I did not investigate the western side which I believe is where the rapids are and all the whitewater rafting takes place. 

I continued passed the village,L’îlle-du-Calumet,  for a good kilometre and I came upon the St. Anne Roman Catholic Cemetery.  Here I provide one photograph.  Sorry, it was getting late and I had more touring to do.

St. Anne’s Roman Catholic Cemetery, Calumet Island

There was another church with black stone in between the beige and white stones.  It was beautiful.  It was right in the village and behind it up on the hill was another cemetery and I am assuming that is the Grand Calumet Roman Catholic Cemetery.  Neither one of these cemeteries listed McDonald’s. 

The church with black stone, Calumet Island

I did park along the river’s edge in the park I mentioned and enjoyed the Outaouais river views.  In the distance was a church spire.  Ah…Campbell’s Bay.

Campbell’s Bay in the Distance

It almost seems like times stands still on Grand Calumet Island. 

I was curious about the Jean Cadieux legend and memorial.  I am always drawn to these types of stories.  Apparently the monument had been in a different location and got vandalized so it was moved closer to the village on the east side and just south of it.  I blazed right by on my way to the village my focus on the river, but found it on my way out.  There was a little half circle driveway that you could pull off the road to read the information board and view the memorial. I will let this website tell about his legend in both English and French: 

http://www.leveillee.net/ancestry/jeancadieux.htm

The Monument to Cadieux, Calumet Island

Looking east to the Ottawa River.

One last item, someone’s video of a tour of the island:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zu5ckcfi7u4

Even though my visit was short, I was glad I came…yes I was charmed.

Au Revoir!


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