Quebec Notaries – Sigh!

The other part of Quebec genealogical research is consulting the notaries. They are considered members of the legal profession in Quebec.

This article was rather helpful in explaining the difference between notaries in Quebec versus a notary public which most of us in the US are more familiar with:

What’s in a Namehttp://www.tradulex.com/Actes2000/StAubin.pdf

The notaries did the day-to-day legal business of the people of Quebec and kept logs of their transactions.  You will find various legal documents or instruments used:

1.  wills (testaments). The Notary can administer and estate without the formality of probate.

2. partage (family who will receive a share of the estate),

3. guardianship papers

4. donations (early wills)

5. engagements (early contracts – indentures)

6. deeds, mortgages, land transactions, transfers, leases

7. contracts

8. inventories

9.  marriages (early Quebec but not as much after 1800) contrats de mariage

10. and more…

Notary records are an important part of Quebec’s Civil law which resembles French Civil law.

The person involved in the transaction with a notary kept the original document while the notary made copies. The copies are called “minutes.”  The individual notaries archives are termed his “greffe.” If he goes out of business he sells his greffe to another notary or it is filed with the Prothonotary of the Judicial District where he served.  As time went on the Quebec government decide to collect them and they are supposed to go to the ANQ (Archives of Quebec/BAnQ) and to be placed in the branch ANQ that serves the appropriate judicial district.

These notarial acts are listed by name of the notary and the dates he functioned and not by the person involved in the contract.  Therefore, you have to identify the notary that was in the area you are researching and the dates he was active.

As you know counties changed and jurisdictions changed so you have to research the history of the area. Pontiac county was under Ottawa County in the early years and then under the Montreal district even earlier based on the Letters Patent that I have collected and studied.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montreal_District

There are several publications that can be of help.

Here is the title page of a copy of an index I obtained of the notaries in the Pontiac area at the BAnQ in Gatineau in 2012.  The librarian at the BAnQ on Viger street in Montreal said it was good I had these pages.

Notaries listed

Notaries listed

Source:  Index des Lieux, et des Notaires 1621 to 1991, Jean-Marie Laliberte fc., Montreal, 1991.  The older version was Index des greffes des notaries decedes, 1645 to 1949 comp. Jean-Marie Laliberte (Qubec. B Pontbriand 1967).

Source:  Quintin, Robert J. The Notaries of French Canada, 1626–1900: Alphabetical, Chronologically, by Area Served. Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA.: R. J. Quintin, 1994. (Family History Library book 971.4 N3n; film 1750788 item 120.)

Here is short summary of other options for finding Notaries:

1. The Online database at the BAnQ in Montreal is not complete.  It is an index with names and some of the documents for all regions of Quebec up to 1933.  For our purposes Hull and Pontiac are featured. You do have to browse.  It most indexes and some actual acts.

Database:  Archives des notaires due Quebec des origines a 1933, under Outaouais has the District of Hull, District de Pontiac and District de Labelle. Here is the link.

http://bibnum2.banq.qc.ca/bna/notaires/index.html

For Pontiac there are two listed:

Mackay, Stephen-Alexandre no dates  CN702,S1 – Index only.

Pellerin, J.-Desire 1907-1924 CN702,S2 – Index only.

Hull had more names (18) and dates and the earliest are listed here:

Barsalou, Charles 1869-1895 CN701,S21 – Index and acts

Beaudin, Jean-Baptiste-Alphonse, 1874 to 1905 CN701,S2

Brayer dit Saint-Pierre, Julien, 1867-1913, CN701,S17, Repertoire chonologique and Index des noms.

Mackay, Francois-Samuel, 1845-1892, CN701,S10

I looked up these notaries in the BAnQ Pistard catalogue under Genealogy on their website and there are some with images of the indexes and more. This Pistard catalogue gives a detailed description of the holdings and where the notary operated.  The CN numer is the Pistard catalogue designation.

http://pistard.banq.qc.ca/unite_chercheurs/recherche_simple

2.  You might have to go to the BAnQ Centre in Gatineau to look at the documents. The librarian at the BAnQ in Montreal that they were all on microfilm but I am not sure about that?

https://www.banq.qc.ca/archives/entrez_archives/centres_archives/ca_outaouais.html

It has its own website:  Centre regional d’archives de L’Outaouais.

http://www.craoutaouais.ca/

I visited this archive in 2012 in Gatineau and if I was to go again this is what I suggest.  You can find my comments in my post about my visit there, just remember I was not happy.  I was also not as prepared as I am now.  I know a lot more.

My visit:  Ottawa and Gatineau, June 7, 2012

1.  Find a researcher who speaks French and go with them to this archive. This is an option.

2.  The person behind the counter did not speak English only French and he panicked when I visited.  I realized that he could read English so I wrote down what I wanted.  It worked.

3.  When you first enter you will be greeted by a volunteer who probably is with the genealogical society of the area.  Their focus is French Canadian genealogical research not English Quebec research.  If you have an English Quebec ancestor who married a French Canadian you could trace them and see what comes up?  The man who was there said he did all his research online and when I told him my ancestor was English he didn’t have a clue.  About 2 hours later another man came and he gave me a tour. So in all fairness they can be helpful.

http://genealogieoutaouais.com/

4.  I suggest that you take the control and ask them to show you where the lockers are, get you set up for parking permit and then show you the holdings by taking you around the research area and pointing out where things are and what is there.  It consists of their societies holdings and the BAnQ’s holdings.  Books are out in the research area.

5. Before you go study the BAnQ Pistard catalogue.  It has the holdings listed online by location and give you more details.

http://pistard.banq.qc.ca/unite_chercheurs/recherche_simple

6.  This archive is over along Hwy 148 off in Gatineau between Blvd. Greber and Blvd. de L’Hopital.  So make you look at the BAnQ website before you and get the correct address and do not Google it or you will get very confused and get the old Hull address.

7.  Ancestry.com has a searchable database: Quebec Notarial Records (Drouin Collection) 1647-1942 but I am have not figured out how to use it and it is browse only.

8.  Family history library as a how to but be careful I believe some of the links are out of date.

https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Quebec_Notarial_Records

9.  Library and Archives has some in their collection: Fonds des greffes de notaires due Quebec you will have to decide if they are what you need.

http://thediscoverblog.com/2014/08/21/notarial-records/

10.  For the oldest notarial records 1635 to 1784 consult the Parchemin database available at BAnQ and some public libraries. The focus for indexes has been on the earlier years in Quebec covering the 1635 to about 1784.  The area of Pontiac was probably not settled till about 1830 per the newspaper article I shared in the post about the Ottawa Lumber kings.

Here are some books but they are getting old and so far I have not found an up-to-date guide on genealogy in Quebec, why is that?

 1.  The book French Canadian Sources, A Guide for Genealogists, Ancestry 2001 has a chapter on Notaries on page 167 which is more of an overview.  This book is helpful but focuses on the Quebecois and you need to know about this because a lot of our English (British Isles) married French Canadian. There is a nice list of French legal terms and definitions in the Notary chapter.  I found a copy at the Ottawa Public Library in 2012.  I now have my own copy.
2.  Finding Your Ancestors in English Quebec by Althea Douglas, MA, CG (C), Heritage Productions Book HC02, 2001.
This book is geared to the search for English in Quebec.  It is not very expensive and should be easy to get copies. I have seen these for sale at conferences. The Heritage Quest Research Library in Sumner, WA has these books and maybe they will sell you one?  http://www.hqrl.com/contactus.html

As I learn more about Quebec genealogical research I will continue to share my discoveries on this blog. There are a couple of websites I want to explore that I have learned about on my last trip there in 2012, see the Quebec Links on the right side of this blog.

There are other ways to learn about this subject and one is to go to the genealogical societies in the area and see if they can help.

UPDATE:  I have fixed the numbering system of the different suggestions sorry for the inconvenience.

Posted in Centre Régional D'Archives De L'Outaouais (CRAO), Gatineau, Montreal, Quebec Genealogical research tips, Société de généalogie de l'Outaouais (SGO), Trip to Ontario & Quebec 2012 | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Letters of Patent: John McDonald – Grand Calumet Island

When I was in Quebec in 2012, I visited the Grand Island of Calumet and it was lovely and I wish I had time to dally and explore.  I drove along the eastern road to the little town where a cemetery was located.

My post on this blog:  Calumet Island, Pontiac County, Quebec, June 14, 2012.

Here is an abstract of the Letters Patent for a John McDonald on Calumet Island:

Whereas it has been judged

John McDonell Letters Patent 1847

John McDonald Letters Patent 1847

expedient that for the price and consideration hereinafter mentioned, we should grant and convey to our loving subject John McDonald of the Township of Grand Calumet Island in our County of Ottawa.

Fiat: Enrolled in the Office of Enrollment at Montreal on Monday the Eighteeth day of January 1847 D. Daly Secy. 

Lot number Twelve in the First Range of the said township of Grand Calumet Island being an irregular lot bounded in front on the East by the Grand or Ottawa River and measuring ten Chains thirty four links more or less in perpendicular breath and containing about seventy nine acres of land more or less….

Witness Our Right Trusty and Right Well Beloved Cousin Lt. General The Right Honorable Charles Murray Earl Cathcart, of Cathcart in the County of Renfrew, K.C.B. Governor General of British North America and Captain General and Governor in and over Our Provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Island of Prince Edward and Vice Admiral of the same and Commander of our Forces in British North America…in our City of Montreal the sixteenth day of January in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty seven and the tenth year of our Reign. D. Daly, Secy. 

Fiat Recorded in the Registrar’s Office of the Records, at Montreal the thirteeth day of January 1847 in the Fifth Register of Letters Patent of Land Sold, Letter E, Page. 396.

I have not studied the people who have settled on Grand Calumet Island so I don’t know who this particular John McDonald would be. There is no census for Grand Calumet in the 1851 Canadian Census that I can find.  He is probably a part of one of the families that I have posted about like the Lundie MacDonells and maybe The Ottawa Lumber Kings.  If anyone recognizes who this might be please comment.

Note:  If you read these Letters Patent you see that the area of Pontiac as we know it was first under the District of Montreal and sometime around 1845 it was referred to Ottawa County, Province of Canada. I find it very interesting the reference to the “Government House of Montreal.” Anyone know what this means?

Posted in Grand Calumet Island, Janet McDonell's Family - The Lundie Connection, John Mor MacDonell & Flora McLellan, MCDONALD/MACDONALD etc., Ottawa River MacDonells, Quebec, Trip to Ontario & Quebec 2012 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Letters Patent: Alexander McDonell – Bristol Township, Pontiac Co., Quebec

Land was given to Alexander McDonnell who is buried in the St. Alexandre Dex Chenaux Cemetery in Clarendon. He was married to Janet MacDonell of Barrisdale. Could this be the grant that was given to him. Bristol and Clarendon are right next to each other.

Pontiac County Townships

Renfrew and Pontiac County Townships

Province of Lower Canada, Fiat Enrolled in the Register’s Office of Enrollment at Quebec on Monday, the Second day of November 1840.

Whereas it has been judged expedient by our Governor in Chief of our Province of Lower Canada…We should grant and convey to our loving subject Alexander McDonnell of the Township of Bristol in our District of Montreal. ..in consideration of the sum of nine hundred and ninety six pounds…

Lot number fifteen  in the Seventh range containing about two hundred acres, the South East half of the lot number six, in the eighth range of one hundred acres, the lots from number seven to number sixteen inclusion of two hundred acres each and Lot number Seventeen in the said eighth range containing on hundred and eighty-four acres, tho Lots from number three to number nine inclusion in the ninth range of two hundred acres each and the South West half of Lot number thirteen i the said ninth range of one hundred acres said Lots of half Lots 2 being in the Said Township of Bristol and containing together about three thousand nine hundred and eighty four acres of land. 

Entered in the Auditor’s Office, the Sixth day of November ____in Docket Book, R, pages 249, Signed T. [Bouthilice], Auditor. 

In Testimony whereof, we have caused these our Letters to be made Patent, and the Great Seal of our Province of Lower Canada to be hereunto affixed.

Witness our Trusty and well Beloved, The Right Honorable Charles Baron Sydenham of Sydenham in the County of Kent and Toronto in Canada, Governor General of a British North American, Captain General and Governor in Chief in and over our Province of Lower Canada and Upper Canada and Vice Admiral of the Same. 

At our Government House in our City of Montreal in our Said Province of Lower Canada the thirty first day of October in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and forty and in the Fourth year of our Reign. Signed D. Daly, Secy. C Sales, Folio 297.

A portion of the 1840 Patent for Alexander McDonnell in Bristol

A portion of the 1840 Patent for Alexander McDonnell in Bristol

Here is another Letters Patent for Alexander McDonell in Bristol in 1845.

Whereas it has been judged…Alexander McDonell of the Township of Bristol in the County of Ottawa….consideration of the sum of Fifty pounds…North East halves of Lots number sixteen and seventeen in the second range of the said Township of Bristol containing each about one hundred acres of land more of less. 

Witness our Right Trusty and well Beloved, The Right Honorable Charles Theophilus Baron Metcalfe of Fernhill in the County of Berks Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honorable Order of the Bath one of Our Most Honorable Privy Council Governor General of British North America and Captain General and Governor in Chief in and over Our Province of Canada Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Island of Prince Edward and Vice General of the same..At our Government House in our city of Montreal…on the eleventh day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-five and in the ninth year of our reign. D. Daly Secy. E Sales Folio 189.

See my post on this blog dated 21 November, 2014 “St-Alexandre Des Chenaux RC Cemetery…Clarendon Twp.” 

Posted in Bristol Township, Clarendon Twp. Pontiac County, Janet McDonell's Family - The Lundie Connection, Ottawa River MacDonells, Ronald & Janet McDonell, St-Alexandre Des Cheanux Roman Catholic Cemetery Clarendon Twp., Trip to Ontario & Canada 2014 | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Letters Patent: Alexander John McDonald in 1883

I was also targeting Alexander John McDonnell in Chichester, he is a 2nd great-grandfather of mine.   The file number for this was 31-254_LP_001

Alexander J. McDonell Patent 1883

Alexander J. McDonell Patent 1883

Whereas Alexander J. McDonnell of the Township of Chichester, yeoman..for forty eight dollars and sixty cents….eighty one acres.

The Lot number Eleven in the First Range of the said Township of Chichester. That this grant is subject to the provisions of the Act 43 & 44, Citoria, Chapr, 12, entitled: The Quebec General Mining Act of 1880.” Recorded 4th May 1883, Signed by John Langelle Dep. Prov’l Regr.

Under the Great Seal Theodore Robitaille Lt-Gov. of Our Province of Quebec.

AT QUEBEC this Sixteenth day of April in the year of lord, one thousand eight hundred and eighty-three and in the forty-sixth year of Our Reign. By Commend Th. J. Jolicoeur Asst Secretary and E.E. Tachi Asst, Commission of Crown Lands.

This is not that early for Alexander John McDonnell.  He had earlier land patents dated 1862 and 1869. This is the only one I have at this time. See my spreadsheet in the post about Archibald’s Letters Patent.

Posted in Alexander John McDonell and wife Ellen McPherson - Mary's family, Chichester, Pontiac County | Tagged , | Leave a comment