New York Wanderings: Montreal to Plattsburgh, NY

October 5, 2014

Unfortunately I was hyper-ventilating about getting out of Montreal so my time at the BAnQ in Montreal was short.  However, now that I have visited Montreal, seen the Grand Bibliotheque and the Archives of Quebec, I am feeling a whole lot more confident.  I don’t know if I have figured out how to do Quebec genealogical research but I am getting smarter. HA!

It was time to move on and head for New York state and the USA.  Early in the morning I had loaded as much of my luggage into the car parked in the garage down the street as I could.  So I had only my computer case to worry about and as usual I stuff my pockets.  I went back to the Hotel St. Denis to check out.

The area in front of the Hotel St. Denis was filled with construction workers in the morning and by the time I had returned they had cut a hole in the sidewalk right in front of the hotel and taken up the parking space out front. The hotel staff were not happy they didn’t know about this till it happened.  The receptionist was very kind and we figured out that I could mail back the garage card to them rather than have to try to negotiate the mess out in front of the hotel.  She prepared an envelope and put some stamps on it.  I mailed it at my next stop.  I hope they got it safely?

My business done, I headed to my rental car and proceeded to get all my maps and stuff ready for getting me out of Montreal.  I was going over the Champlain Bridge.  See the photo below, yup the very one I drove over.

Champlain Bridge, from Montreal Insites

Yes I did this bridge…Champlain Bridge, from Montreal Insites

I took Rue Rene-Leverseque to Atwater and then turned left.  I continued on Atwater till it went under an underpass and just on the other side was the turn off to Hwy 20/15.  So far so good.

As I entered the Hwy 20/15 to get on the Champlain Bridge I discovered I had a big semi right behind me and he was not nice, he rode my bumper almost the whole of the bridge.  This bridge is very long and it crosses the St. Lawrence River.  Just on the other side I turned off to get on Hwy 15 to go south to the NY border, and fortunately, the signs said just that and I was able to follow easily.

Hwy 15 south to the USA border follows the St. Lawrence for a while and then it is inland and pretty straight with exits that are very far apart.  The signage is not very helpful for food and other needs. It is about 45 minutes to the border but before I arrived there, I stopped at a huge Souvenir shop and bought myself another T-Shirt which had Canada on it and then smaller letters for Montreal.  It is one of those that is very long so it is almost a dress but it was not expensive so it was a good thing.

The border came up very quickly and I was ready.  This time I had a nice young man who asked me just a few questions and then wanted to know more about my genealogy quest.  So we chatted a little and then I had to move on. I think he was bored. I had read this was a very busy border crossing and I had been prepared to wait but I was through it in not time.  There was a lot of construction in the area and the route back onto the highway was a little obscured with cones and things but I managed to find it.  I was now on I-87 going south.

I was home, back in the USA.  I really like Canada it is a beautiful country – Ontario and Quebec – but there is something about the USA…

There was a McDonald’s at the next exit and I decided to stop and take a break.  Plattsburgh was not that far and I was not in any hurry.  It was about 12 noon and so I had plenty of time.

It was nice to hear English and use dollars and I reflected that in Montreal they don’t smile.  I have to mention however that at the cafe down the street while eating my scone and having coffee one morning in Montreal the proprietor burst into song and all of us were smiling.  However, other than that, I did not see any smiling faces or hear laughter in Montreal. The conversations at the restaurants were very serious but animated in French. The hotel staff was friendly and I liked hearing “Bonjour Madame,” or “Pardon Madame” or just a simple “Bonjour.”

A Cafe on St. Denis, one of many

A Cafe on St. Denis, one of many

Finding the Econo Lodge in Plattsburg was not to difficult and I was soon in my room.  They had the Keurig Single Coffee maker but if I wanted coffee I was to buy it in the lobby.  What? Don’t worry I was prepared.

I wanted to see Lake Champlain so I had sought out the Naked Turtle Restaurant as a place to go for dinner but when I got there it was gone!  So I took my pics of the lake and marina and went in search of the Applebees that I had noted earlier.

I saw signs for ferry boats to Vermont on the highway I-81.  Here is some info about the city of Plattsburgh:,_New_York

Lake Champlain Marina

Lake Champlain Marina

Again, Lake Champlain Marina

Again, Lake Champlain Marina

Lake Champlain itself, a portion of this huge lake

Lake Champlain itself, a portion of this huge lake

Well, it was not that hard to go back and forth across the border even with a rental car so in retrospect I could have done my trip a bit different. Living 2.5 hours from the border in Seattle I just don’t go back and forth and when I do we usually have trouble getting from Canada back into the US. So I was concerned.  I have had the car/van inspected and other things happen.  I have to admit that it went a whole lot better going in and out of Ontario and Quebec than I thought.  Rental Car companies do not want you to leave the car in another country so I was obligated to bring it back to New York State.  Make sure that they will allow you to take the car into Canada before you rent.  Budget in Buffalo at the airport assured me they were bonded to do just that and go into Canada.  I did have the rental agreement with me so if I was asked I could hand it to the border guard.

Quebec Wanderings: A last look at Montreal…

October 4, 2014

Here are some of my photos that I took of Montreal.  It is in the form of a slideshow…enjoy! Just click on the first photo. The X to close may be on your left on the page.

There is a park in Montreal called Mont Royal and from there you can view the whole city and look out on Montreal.  I had considered going up there to enjoy the view.  Just use Google Images to see wonderful pictures of the view from this park.


Quebec Wanderings: Montreal and the BAnQ…

October 4, 2014

It was fun to watch the day turn to night and the morning dawn in Montreal even though my window was a bit small in my hotel room.

Morning comes to Montreal

Morning comes to Montreal or was this night-time? Giggle!

Today I was going over to Viger Street to explore the BAnQ or if you prefer the Bibliotheque et Archives Nationales Du Quebec.  (I don’t do the accents).

I headed down St. Denis (south-east) and stopped at one of the cafes to buy a sandwich.  I crossed Avenue Rene-Levesque and had to decide which direction to go because they had Rue St. Denis barricaded from this point on. So I turned left (northeast) and headed to Rue Berri which was also barricaded, with one lane left for cars, but I was able to get across it to the other side and I turned right (southeast) and headed down that street to Viger Street.

I was expecting the BAnQ to be on the right side of Viger (south-east) but it was not.  It was on the left side (northeast) and as I was walking I noticed this building seemed very familiar.  It is actually on the corner of Rue Labelle and Avenue Viger.

The Archives of Quebec - BAnQ

The Archives of Quebec – BAnQ


Looking toward the river

Looking toward the river across the street – Place Viger?

I was very early so I sat on the side area up the steps and waited and was just getting comfortable when a lady came up the steps and went inside.  It was cool outside and maybe about to sprinkle so I followed her through the door and it opened up into a large foyer.  I spotted the security guard on the left and walked over to him.  He had me sign in, took my $2.00 coin and gave me a locker key.  He gave me directions to the locker room which was around the corner through the two big doors.  He told me I could wear my jacket but not take my computer bag inside.

The entrance sign

The entrance sign

Archives of Quebec

Archives of Quebec

It took me a while to find my locker and it was very generous in size, not all are.  I prepared myself for my time at this archive and in the locker room area there is a little kitchenette with tables, machines with food and bathrooms.  I headed out to the stairs which were silver metal (yes you make noise when you walk on them) and walked up them to the next level which was filled with tables. It was very wide open with a high ceiling. I turned up some more metal stairs to the lobby area where there were these enormous statues guarding the lovely door to the archives.

Entrance - Archives of Quebec

Entrance – Archives of Quebec

Greeted by one of several statues

Greeted by one of several huge statues…made me think of Rome…

They had nice comfy chairs to sit in while the researches gathered at the door waiting for it to open at 9 am.  One man was standing with his laptop in tucked under his arm and he was apparently impatiently waiting.  Most of the researchers talked quietly in French.

They have done extensive remodeling so the interior is very modern yet you feel comfortable.

Once the door was open the other researchers disappeared quickly…probably to upper floors.  I turned right into the main room.  I found a table and proceeded to explore the area and the stacks.  It was where the genealogy stacks were housed and they had various Drouin collections, church records and more.  It was beautiful in this room for they had retained the old style of it.  It had a high ceiling and you could see the upper levels.  Their was lovely scroll work and columns.  It was all in white.

The librarian was very kind and friendly. He spoke good English.  He answered my questions readily. I told him about my bad experience at the Gatineau branch and he explained that they had the original records but most was on microfilm. So I could do notarial research there at this main branch. I was very happy to hear this.

He would have to prepare a researcher card for me because the microfilm was housed elsewhere in the building.  I was not going to be there that long so I declined.

I then asked him about land records and he referred me to the Registre foncier website. We chatted about this site and that I could sign up to obtain land records.  I knew about this site. I had been to the Palais de Justice in Campbell’s Bay for Pontiac County and she only was able to go back to late 1800’s on the land records.  He mentioned that there had been fires and other things which I cannot remember now.  This is the site:

We talked about notaries and he said the online version is still being added too.  I showed him my copies of the list of notaries and he said that it was a good thing I had that because it was from the book that lists all the notaries throughout Quebec.  I was on the right track.  Quebec does things by French law and a notary is like a lawyer and they do all the legal things like deeds, mortgages, estates, wills, and even marriages and a whole lot more. Anyway, they are organized by notary name and years not by the subject or instrument.  Some day they may be to this point of being able to research by keyword.  So you have to know the name of the notary and where he was located and his time frame.

Online at the BAnQ:

Source that I had copies from:

Notaries listed

Notaries listed

I was starting to feel a whole lot better about my Quebec research.  He said that he was there during the week and if I had questions I could call.  They only speak French in Gatineau at least the man behind the counter but I figured he could read it and he did.

Unfortunately, my time was short and I had to head back to the Hotel St. Denis to check out by 12 noon.  I think I just might have to come back to Montreal and now that I know a little more about this city, the archives there, I just might do that.  I wonder if I could stop there on my way to New Brunswick??? Giggle…

The security guard wanted to check all my stuff at the door before he would let me leave.  This was before the locker room.

The BAnQ takes up the whole block

The BAnQ takes up the whole block – along  Rue Labelle


The Back door?

The Back door?


Hotel Viger is across the street

The sign!

Hotel Viger

Hotel Viger right across the street!

My time was very short but I was okay with that.  I had really just wanted to see these two archives and get a feel for what they were about.  I am a very visual person so this has helped greatly.  I also feel that I have plenty of research to do which I can do online so I am not too concerned; however, I am considering going back to Montreal.

This looks interesting, perhaps a tour of the harbour?

Quebec Wanderings: Historic City Center – Old Montreal (Vieux-Montreal)

October 4, 2014

Old Montreal the historic center of the city is not far from my hotel and I could walk to the area. The weather had improved yet it was a little cool and windy.  I had found a website that gave presented a historic walking tour of the area so armed with my maps I headed out to Rene Levesque Street and then turned to head to the Ave L’Hotel de Ville.  As I was walking along I discovered that there were several other hotels not to far down the street.  I spotted a Days Inn, a Holiday Inn Express not to far from where I was on St. Denis.  I think it was the way they looked that intrigued me, because normally these hotels are more spread out.

Other hotels

Other hotels Days Inn, Holiday Inn….


Holiday Inn Express on the left and another hotel on the right.

I walked along L’Hotel de Ville to a park and then a very large an old building with big wide stairs to climb and it opened out onto the Jacque Cartier Square.   I had lunch at the Restaurant des Gouverneurs  off to the right of the square.  It was a nice ravioli.

Here is a brochure in PDF of a walking tour of Old Montreal:

So you could plan out a really nice tour of the area. I ended up wandering around.

Jacques Cartier Square

Jacques Cartier Square, he is on the top of the tall monument!

Jacques Cartier and more

Jacques Cartier and more

More of the square

More of the square

Statues of course

Statues of course

Old Montreal…enjoy!  To get inside some of the shops you had to climb up very steep stairs.  You know me and stairs, HA!







The Musee Pointe-a-Calliere

The Musee Pointe-a-Calliere

Heading back to my hotel…

The church rang its bell

The church rang its bell..bong…

Notre Dame

Notre Dame – behind this was the parish office…hmmm…what treasures would be there!


Wonderful cakes and a Christmas Shoppe!






Below:  A wine shop where I bought a very nice Quebec Wine “Frontenac” 2012 by Vignoble de l’ Orpailleur:

Wine Shop in this hotel

Wine Shop in this hotel

Montreal's Palais de Justice

Montreal a Palais de Justice, seems I saw several?

Chinatown was about 1 block long:




There is so much more to explore in Old Montreal, it could take a good week! Not to mention all the history in this area.  I wanted to know where the immigrants came in to the harbour but apparently they have replaced the area with a marina.  This link walks you through the history of Old Montreal:

Here is a slide show for you to enjoy, just click on the first photo and it will open.  The close button may be in your left corner find the X:

Quebec Wanderings: Montreal & The Grande Bibliotheque

October 3, 2014

When I plan a trip I make an itinerary based on the hours of an archive and then I usually follow it but I decided because of the weather to change things around.  I would go to the Grand Bibliotheque in the morning and then if weather was good go to Old Montreal (Vieux-Montreal) an explore.

The Grande Bibliotheque (GB) is part of the National Archives of Quebec.  This is my understanding of how it works.  Here is the link to their website.  I have it translated into English automatically for me.  To get to the GB I headed north on St. Denis, then right on St. Catherine and over to Rue Berri and up two blocks. and here is a little more information at:

The Grande Bibliotheque

The Grande Bibliotheque in the distance.

Getting closer

Getting closer

The entrance to the GB

The entrance to the GB

Information board

Information board

The main hallway GB

The main hallway GB

It was about this time the security guard told me to not take pictures of the people. I promised so this is the only one and they are of the security guards. HA!

There are several floors to this library and you turn left into the main area.  In the center are the stairs and the elevator in glass.

Elevator shaft

Elevator area

I wandered this main floor and it is very nicely laid out with stacks and areas to study.  Each floor has a reference desk.  I took the elevator to the 3rd floor which housed the history section.  There was a very nice book reference area with some books relevant to genealogy and of course maps. Most libraries spread things out so you do have to hunt for it in the reference areas, stacks and more.

Reference stacks 3rd floor

Reference stacks 3rd floor

I wandered some more among the book stacks and decided to see what would happen if I used the reference desk.  I asked the librarian about the genealogy section. He of course, greeted me in French and I said “English” please. He said they had small selection at 929…but the main one was the Collection Nationale on the first floor and at the Archives of Quebec which is a totally different building on Viger Street.  I knew this but was curious as to his response.  He was very pleasant and I did not have a problem speaking with or understanding him.

Finding 929 in the stacks was not that hard and they did have a small collection under 929…probably 929.107….or 929.207…The more and more I play with the catalogue the more and more I start to get see how they structure things.  I can then determine where they house things and in which repository is it in.   This is GB’s catalogue not Pistard another search tool.

Genealogy section at GB

Genealogy section at GB

My curiosity satisfied I headed to the first floor using the librarian’s directions. The Collection Nationale was on the first floor at the very end of the building from where I had entered earlier.

I took a moment trying to decide if I should go in.  There was a book many years ago titled “Feel the Fear…do it anyway!” I took a deep breath thought about the 2200 miles I had come and walked through the doors.

Please notice the walls and the slat design for it is prevalent throughout the library. There was a various curious structure to the left.  It was like a tiered study area filled with students.

Entrance to the Collection Nationale at GB.

Entrance to the Collection Nationale at GB.

Looking back

Looking back from toward where I came in…

The seated security guard in the Collection was on the right.  He wanted my identification to keep and he gave me a locker key.  I was told that I could not take my computer case in but I could take my computer and research.  I could not take my coat in to the collection so it was a good thing I had my sweater on.  I found my locker in the locker room to his left and gathered my stuff as I usually do for an archive like this.  I also reluctantly put my Sony digital camera away…it was not allowed. So sorry no pictures,

I walked through the scanners and headed into the library area.  I found lots of tables with library lamps on them and faced toward the reference desk and entrance. I then walked around and looked at the stacks,  and saw the microfilm cabinets to the left.  The reference desk was at the front by the entrance door to the right of the security desk.  The room was lovely and nicely laid out.  There was a staircase along the one wall as I faced the reference desk. It was on my left.  There was a rope closing it off.  Exploring some more I found the copiers, the bathrooms and an elevator.

Returning to my desk area, I found a card placed on it about personal property being stolen and it had been put there by the same security guard who had told me about not taking pictures of people.

I sat down.  This was one of the strictest archives I had ever been in.

I sat there looking around an observing the structure of the collection room and began to realize that there were three floors.  If you looked above you the ceiling was very high and there were these slated walls on all four sides but you could see book stacks in between. HA!

The catalog computers were along the side by the big staircase and I consulted them to determine were 929…would be in this collection. I needed to go to the third floor for the genealogy section.  I tried the elevator but no luck.  I asked at the desk if I could go upstairs and was escorted to the elevator by the librarian.  He entered the elevator with me and used his pass to activate it.  Did I mention they are very strict?

At this link that explains the Collection Nationale is a picture of the room.  It is truly beautiful.

Remember the stairs, well on the third floor is the genealogy collection again using 929….and I counted about 4 rows of stacks with Drouin, church record books, and more.

The collection is at the top end of the staircase in the corner.  Now I do not believe this is all they have.  On this top floor they had photocopiers, and microfilm readers and more as well. As i was studying these stacks for their content that same security guard walked by.  He sure gets around.

When I used the catalog online at their website it would bring up my choice and then tell me in which building I could find a copy.  It could be in the GB or another one of the branches of the Archives of Quebec.  or

My curiously somewhat satisfied I asked to go back down and the librarian had to take me to the first floor of the Collection Nationale.  I was planning to visit the Bibliotheque Archives du nationale du Quebec (BAnQ) the next day.

It was now 11 am and I had gotten far more involved with trying to discover the secrets of the Grand Bibliotheque of Quebec.  I needed to head back to my hotel for the next adventure.

I found this article about doing genealogy in Montreal and I am sharing it with you at this time.  It is a little old but it is a good starting place:

Another possibility is “Planning a Genealogical Trip to Montreal,” by Paul Leclerc, BA, BSc.  It was helpful in identifying the sources to use but not real helpful in explaining where to find them and how to access them but it was done in 2003 so it is old. It was through Heritage Productions.

The Quebec Family History Society also has helpful articles about the records at their website:

It is my understanding that since the GB was built Quebec has done a lot of consolidating of their holdings.  So the articles I have listed above might not reflect that change.

Quebec Wanderings: A Visit to Montreal

October 2, 2014

It was about 1 pm and I headed out to drive into Montreal.  I had studied my maps and Google Earth to make sure I knew what I was doing.  Don’t want to scare the locals.  HA!

I decided to go the city streets rather than the freeways.  I went up Blvd. St. Jean to Hymus and turned right.  I ran into another barricade which took me close to Hwy 40 and fortunately it ended at an exit.  I had to move over quick to get back on Hymus.  I drove on Hymus till it got came to #40 and it crossed over and became Blvd. Henri-Bourassa.   About 8 miles later I turned onto Blvd. de L’Acadie.  It was very tricky to keep going on this street for there is a little round about over #40 and I had to get over to the right or I might have been on my way to Quebec City.  Fortunately, I managed to get over and to stay on L’Acadie just fine.  I found Rue Jean Talon and turned left and followed it out.

My goal was the Jean Talon Market, recommended by a friend who lives in Gatineau. I turned right onto Ave. Henri-Julien and there was a big truck blocking the road.  I managed to get around and find the underground garage entrance.  I was surprised to find that it was not full of cars and grateful.  I found my space and reflected on the fact that I had made it into Montreal safely. Breathe girl…I took the stairs up into the market.

I entered at the east side and there was a wonderful kitchen shop in the corner with the items labeled in French.

Jean Talon Market, Montreal

Jean Talon Market, Montreal

A shop area

A shop area


Cheese to choose from…I was tempted

Part of the market is covered.

Part of the market is covered.








 More restaurants to explore

The top of the market

More restaurants beside the market

More restaurants beside the market

As I wandering around I noticed that the people were outside keeping watch on their stalls of produce and I pondered that winter is coming and whether this market is open all year around?  I think they have to be very hearty people because it was cool a slight bite in the wind.

The only thing missing was flying fish?  The Seattle Public Market (Pike Place) is known for the fish throwing.

Google Images has some great photos of the Jean Talon market.  Have fun!

I was getting hungry and decided that I would have something to eat but it was very difficult to decide.  I found a Mexican Restaurant among the buildings along probably the north side of the market.  They were speaking French, Spanish and English in this restaurant.  My lunch was wonderful, the best burrito ever and the waitress was very kind to me.  It was the El Rey Del Taco Restaurant where I had lunch.  The fancy topping is sour cream. They kindly put the hot sauces on the side for me.  In addition to the restaurant they had a grocery area packed with stuff.

Lunch was delicious

Lunch was delicious

The Rue St. Denis is a main street in the middle of Montreal and it is one way going southeast?  I had a list of the cross streets ready and the GPS Garamond sat there on the dash assisting me.  It was about 3 miles into the city from the market and I found the Hotel St. Denis just fine just below Rue St. Catherine W.  I was unable to use the parking area outside the hotel and parked in a no parking zone.  A big van had pretty much taken up the space so it would have been impossible for me to park there with my Corolla and parallel parking is not a strong need in my part of the world.  Fortunately the spot was for a theatre and it was not busy at the time.

Much to my frustration the Hotel St. Denis lost my reservation and I had to go and get my confirmation number to show them.  So it took a good 20-30 minutes to get the mess straightened out.  I went out to the street checking on my car, I did not want another ticket for parking.  I did that in Toronto.  I gathered my stuff and put that on a chair in the lobby.  There were two other guests and the guy gave her a card that didn’t work – debit?

Anyway they finally decided to redo my reservation to a new one and got me a room on the 4th floor. I then got a garage card and went to park the car in the underground parking around the corner on Christian.  They had specific parking stalls for the Hotel St. Denis.

Hotel St. Denis, Montreal

Hotel St. Denis, Montreal

I gathered my things in the lobby and headed to my room and settled in.

I had made it into Montreal.  I DID IT!

The rest of the day I could take it easy and relax.  My window in my room was small and taken up by an air conditioner so I could not get a really good view of the city.  So you see the skyline in the photo below.  At least I could see how the weather was doing.  Across from the hotel is the McGill University buildings which are not that interesting. They have taken up a great deal of that area of the city.  Pacini and another cafe on the other side of the hotel had closed.  Fortunately, there were other cafes down the street. I would manage.

So my car was safely parked for the duration of my stay in Montreal.  I would walk to where I wanted to go which was going to be just fine.

Montreal Skyline

Montreal Skyline from my hotel window…

My room was comfortable and clean.  I had a Keurig Coffee maker with coffee packs, and to my surprise a refrigerator.  The bathroom was very odd.  The sink was in the entry way and the shower and toilet were in a small room with a huge door. The bed was comfy and I had a flat screen TV.

I turned it on and was introduced to Quebec Cartoons.  If anyone knows the name of this carton please contact me.  It was so cute and in French!  I think my grand-daughter should learn French, she is turning 1-year-old.  Her mom knows at least 3 languages…

Quebec Cartoon

Quebec Cartoon

Dinner was at the Restaurant Denis down the street on Blvd. Rene-Leveresque.  It was comfort food and a lot of it.  The waitress didn’t think I had eaten anything but I had two of the three pieces of steak.  They put gravy on my steak….HA!

Denis Restaurant

Restaurant Denis

I settled in at my hotel room and listened to the sounds of Montreal…trucks on the street, traffic and sirens…it got quiet as the night came up.

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:   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.

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

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.

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:

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!


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