Canada’s tennis sweetheart Eugenie “Genie” Bouchard, who is looking to match her incredible run from Wimbledon 2014 at this year’s tournament, is named after Britain’s Princess Eugenie and – as we have found – has real life royal family connections.
Genie’s Bouchard – whose mother is known to be a royal fan who named each of her children after princes and princesses – is a half-cousin of Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall through her father’s Quebec roots. Records can paint a picture of the lives your ancestors lived and they could prove that you are connected to real-life royalty, just like Genie Bouchard.
When you are researching French Canadian ancestors you should definitely look at Reverend Cyprien Tanguay’s monumental and comprehensive genealogy compilation – Genealogical Dictionary of Canadian Families (Tanguay Collection), 1608-1890.
Tanguay devoted much of this life to researching archive and parochial records throughout Quebec, the Maritime Provinces, Ontario, the old French settlements in the United States, and France. Through his original research, he successfully traced the ancestors of many early French-Canadian colonists back to Normandy and other parts of France. Entries detail family pedigrees, with baptism, marriage, and burial dates and places for husbands, wives, and children. Although the dictionary does contain some errors and occasional speculation, it has proven to be a fundamental reference work and one of the most comprehensive resources for French-Canadian genealogy.
Another great resource is the online database from The University of Montreal which expanded on this work to create an online subscription based database “PRDH (Programme de Recherche en Démographie Historique du Québec).” The project relies on exhaustive gathering of data from the parish registers of old Quebec and biographies were established through family reconstructions connecting baptisms, marriage, and burial certificates. Also included is the research on the family origins of emigrants from “Fichier Originer” and the list of the King’s daughters or “Filles du Roi” who were single or widowed female immigrants, that came to Canada between 1663 and 1673.
Use these records with our online databases:
- Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621–1967
- Acadia, Canada, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1670-1946
- U.S., French Catholic Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1695-1954
- Ontario, Canada, Catholic Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1747-1967
Ancestry has used these resources to research other celebrities and politicians and Vezina hockey player.
See example of the Tanguay collection below. Genie Bouchard can trace her French Ancestor’s back to Jean Guyon who was one of the original settlers of Quebec. By 1800 he had 9,674 descendants!
Roman numerals represent the generation distant a person is from the family’s original immigrant ancestor. Names in italics are children. Entries also include the following abbreviations:
- b = baptism or christening date
- m = marriage date
- s = burial date
- III, IV (etc.) = generations away from immigrant ancestor
- superscript numbers = these represent a place within the family record; for example if a superscript 3 follows Quebec at the beginning of the record, whenever a superscript 3 appears in that record, it means the event took place in Quebec. Note that this is only applicable within the particular family record and not throughout the book. In another family record, a superscript 3 might stand for another place.
Let us know what you are able to find about your own French Canadian lines!