The Alberta Family History Society, of which I am a member, has helpful special interest groups (SIG) to assist the genealogist. The Quebec SIG recently met and discussed how to find one’s female ancestors in Quebec.
I share here brief highlights that may help other genealogists find their female ancestors. A special thanks to Xenia Stanford (who was not able to be present) for sending two full pages of helpful tips to the group and for the members present for their discussion.
1. French Canadian women kept their maiden name for life, therefore look under the maiden name no matter what the children’s or husband’s names are.
2. Women’s professions – check business directories, guilds, unions, city directories, notarial contracts Some of the professions included sage-femmes (midwives), trades, dressmakers, milliners, fashion workers, gambling houses, madams and “other less savoury professions”.
3. Court documents
4. Notarial contracts – can list woman’s standing and assets in the marriage contract
5. Baptism record, marriage and burial records in church records. (Drouin records at ancestry.com; Loiselle, Jette, Tanguay, Rivest at Family History Centres and selected universities – U of Calgary and U of Toronto. Blue Drouin in Montreal and at Salt Lake FHC. Also the PRDH at the U of Montreal).
6. Inventories are the substitute for wills in many cases.
7. Donations to the church
8. Civil Courts; Seignorial courts
9. Census – good source for women’s professions and in most cases maiden names given