Rules for Québec Research List Members



Rules from Uncle Fred



*Rule #1: Always say “Thank You,” just like Mom always said.  But don't post it to the list.  ONLY send it to whoever responded to your query.  If several members responded, then it is fine to respond to those members, mentioning their names, in one message.

*Regle#1: Noublie pas de dire MERCI, comme maman te l'a toujours dit:) Ne le met past sur la liste, envoie-le direct au membre qui t'a aide, A moins que tu remercies plusieurs membres a la fois...
*Rule #2:  It is possible on this list to make a mistake and not get in trouble!  Consider others’ feelings when posting.  If your heart is pure, life goes on.  If I get the idea you mean harm, you're gone.  Life is like that sometimes.. :-(

*Regle #2: Il est possible, sur notre liste de faire une erreur sans etre dans le jus!    Si ton esprit est calme, la vie continue Si j'ai l'idee que tu voulais faire de la peine, tu es parti. La vie est comme ca des fois
*Rule #3: Within the bounds of Rules #1 and #2, have FUN! We are a community, sharing our stories, history, culture, and, yes, French Foods.

*Regle #3: Dans les limites des Regles #1 & #2 ayez  du plasir, Nous sommes une communaute qui partage nos histoires, nos experiences, notre heritage culturel, et oui, nos plats culinaire francais. 

Notes and Thoughts from Bill Fleming


Note #1
Hi, All.
I was asked by our List Manager (Uncle) to provide some details of posting questions to the list and.  It’s pretty basic. 


First, you post a question and someone on the list (hopefully) will post an answer to you.  For my (personal) rules, if I post an answer for you, I would appreciate it if you would send me a simple THANK YOU for each answer.   This also tells me that you received my response to your question.   I know my price is pretty steep but, no THANK YOU may result in receiving no more answers.  Course, there’s always a catch to that.  On top of the THANK YOU if you ever meet me in person, you have to buy me a cup of coffee, or was that a pot of coffee?  J   Preferably TIMS, course Country Time, Dunkin Donuts and a few others, I suppose, will also do.

Also, HELP YOURSELF and those members who will try to help you answer your question(s).  Do this by:

1)      give at least a time period, a century would be nice!

2)      how about a Province?  If someone thinks you’re looking for an ACT that occurred in Québec Province and you really know it happened in Ontario, tell us that.  You will have a  better chance of getting a correct answer.

3)      Another big issue is, if you know it is a non-Catholic act, tell us that.  It’s an entirely different place to look for non-Catholic acts.

4)      If you know there were different spellings of the name you are looking for, include that information.  Same is true for a “DIT” name.


Note #2
Claude Drouin.
  Yes, I do know Claude Drouin.  He has been here, I have been there, and we have met in-between.  We have exchanged numerous phone calls and letters.   So it has given me the opportunity to ask many questions of him on all the Drouin works.


I was asked about purposely misspelling names and places. My own rule for this is, I don’t feel I have the right to change anything I find in order to make it fit better than what is actually found. Even very obvious spellings will remain the way they are found.


For example:  If a name such as Martin is found spelled Martyn, it stays that way when reporting answers, even though obviously it should be Martin.  If a name such as Theophile is found spelled Theophyle, it gets reported that way.


Many times after posting an answer I will get questioned by the receiver of the answer; e.g., if Theophyle should be Theophile, and I will give my honest opinion that obviously it is Theophile.   Many factors come into play here: 1)  how the Priest/Notary wrote the names and words down originally, 2) it may have been to his way of spelling names and places and not necessarily the way it should have been,  3) where the answer is coming from, a source such as Drouin or Jette or Fabien, etc.

The fact remains, It’s been touched by human hands and has room for error no matter how hard people have tried to keep things exact.

Interpretation.   Not a good thing to use all the time.  As far as Drouin and what I have been told, all the people who worked copying parish records and notary records were told to copy as is and not to change from what was there.   So, if there was a misspelling in the original records that’s the way it is seen today in the Drouin works.   In many cases (Drouin) you may see something like Joseph Castongu_ _,  with the last two letters not filled in, as they weren’t readable.  But it is very obvious that it should be Castonguay. I put a lot of stock in any author who goes to these extremes to record material as it is, rather then add or substitute what might be thought to be there.


This also helps with other information on the same family when looking for spellings, which gives other possibilities for spellings.


Hope this at least gives you a good idea (at least as far as Drouin works) and how the information is set up and why things are such as they are.


Note #3

In the past you have never seen me include the source for my answers. Why? Most of you weren’t interested in the source, and for the few who were, they wrote to me directly after I posted an answer and I gave them the source at that time.


Now, it seems more people are interested in sources, which is good.  All entries in your family file should carry sources as to where you found your information.  So, from now on all my answers will include the source information.  If you have noticed the answers so far today, each one had a set of initials directly following the answer, such as B.D.   That is how I will list the source.  So here is the list.

Click here for Bill's Source List!

Note #4

Parish Registers.   As I said previously, if data has been touched by human hands there is room for error.   Now, don't think I dislike parish registers, because that is not the case.  They are a great tool and some very good people and organizations put them together with lots of hard work.  But what did they do when they maybe couldn’t read some, or all, of a listing?  Assume? Maybe fill in what they thought might be what it says? 

I guess we all take for granted that what we see in printed parish registers is what is in the original. Not necessarily so. I will use myself as an example.  Many years ago I strongly believed that part of my family was from the Notre Dame parish is
Québec City.  But this information wasn’t in the printed parish records. Regardless, I went on my strong hunch, and with the help of a member of the list, (who I won’t identify) we went direct to Notre Dame parish and after considerable trouble at the door, but with persistence from this list member, we were allowed in and then got the actual parish register to look at for certain years.   And there was my family. So, there’s one case of the printed parish records not having complete information. I have that parish here and they are not listed on mine either but only in the original. Have you ever seen some of those original parish record books? Some look like a doctor of modern times wrote them.   Meaning they can be very difficult to read and to make out letters and numbers.  But, again, some are very nicely written.  Wish they were all like that!  On the other hand, you may run into parish record books (say from Ontario or Northern N.Y).  They (again me as an example) may have been written by a French Priest in an English speaking parish when it was then Church Latin.   Do you know what French/English/Latin reads like?  Some of these parish registers look like they were made yesterday, but in fact some are hundreds of years old. Why?  Because of the extremely fine linen paper they used back then.

But the text looks, in many cases, like graffiti.  The truth is in the original, if you can read them (and are allowed to get your hands on them).  Parish authorities don’t like making copies directly from the originals as the light source of a copying machine helps to deteriorate the paper. I have been allowed, at times, to use my camera to make a copy but without the flash, so a tripod for a time exposure is necessary. Most don’t like being tied up like that. But on another occasion (with the same list member) we went to Notre Dame Parish in Levis and after considerable help from (name withheld) we were not only allowed in but more or less allowed right into the vault where the record books were and went through them as we wished.

Note #5

Illegitimate Children.  I was asked by a list member about my feelings on illegitimate children in relation to their family history.  First, I do not believe there is such a thing as an illegitimate child. It’s a very old term used for centuries that should have been eliminated years ago or, at the least, redefined.

So that you don't think that I am biased, I am unaware of any “so called” illegitimate children in my immediate family or of my ancestors. But, I'm willing to bet there are many through the years, and I'm willing to bet you have them in your families somewhere at some time.

I don't believe the term “illegitimate child” has any meaning what-so-ever.  The child isn't illegitimate, the parents were. By morals and or values from any religion or civil laws, the child would have come from an illegitimate act by the parents. The result: a child born if the parents had been legally married. There is no less blood of the parents in that child, be they married or not.

Remember, the child didn't have a thing to do with it.  This child is just as legal as anyone else is. So, if a child is found that fits in this category, the child is just as much related to you as any other would be. Blood is blood whether it is called legal or not. In this case, I firmly believe you have to forget about morals, religion and all civil rules. I would make no distinction of the birth circumstances.

Please don't misunderstand my meaning here.  I don't condone rape or anything of that nature. But a child, is a child, is a child.  The conditions that brought it into this world are a different topic altogether and those conditions are no one’s business but the people involved.

If you take a religious view of this, I know somewhere in the bible it says, a child should not be punished for the sins of its father. And that is sufficient on this subject.

Those are my feelings, and I'm sticking to it!