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September 2, 2009

Is there Genealogical Life without Drouin?

The recent arbitration between and Drouin Institute over the Drouin Records has caused quite an uproar in the genealogy community. Many researchers feel that their genealogical research into Quebec ancestors is over with the pulling of the Drouin Collection.

Pam Tessier ( posted the following information on a Rootsweb mailing list. With her permisson her original email is being published here. I have added links to the resources Pam suggests, and also added a few of my own suggestions for Quebec and New France genealogy research resources.

I agree with Pam - life is NOT over because the Drouin Collection has been pulled. Yes it's a wonderful resource, but while we wait to see if it can be brought back, let's move on to other valuable resources and find our French-Canadian ancestors.

And now -- Pam's email:

Believe it or not, there are other sources and there was a genealogical research life before the Drouin appeared on Ancestry.

The PRDH is an excellent research source for Quebec records and the BMS2000 is another one. Both are great subscription sites and well worth the relatively cheap costs.

If you are only interested in free sites then try the LDS Pilot Project under Quebec records or visit your local Family History Centre and do it the old fashioned way - microfilm in a film reader and turn a crank or push a button.

Check your local library and see if you can find a copy of Rene Jette's Genealogies of the French Families (Dictionnaire Genealogique des Familles du Quebec) or Cyprien Tanguay's books. Tanguay was on-line but it is not a source I use anymore so you will have to check.

[Also] the Drouin collection of transcribed BMD records is also available in a set of books - albeit a bit of hike for some of us to the Canadian Room of the North York Library.

The so-called Blue and Red Drouin marriage books are available at branches of the Societe Franco//-Ontarienne d'Histoire et de Généalogie. Try contacting them on-line for a lookup. It will probably cost you something but then these organizations don't exist on air. The Library of Canada will also send you every known marriage with your surname, from the landing in Quebec City to the present, for a very, very modest fee. The Red or 'Petit' Drouin is available on CD from many on-line book stores. From originals to transcripts, there are a lot of options.

Be sure to check out Lorine's Olive Tree Genealogy, she's probably got a few listed that I missed.

And of course, you can visit the Penetanguishene Museum and find almost every one of these sources just waiting for you- Quebec repertoires on CD, microfiche, in print or in a computer database.

Lorine's notes:

The following books are available from

Dictionnaire Genealogique Des Familles Canadiennes

Dictionnaire Genealogique des Familles Canadiennes Depuis la Fondation de la Colonie Jusqu'a Nos Jours

Dictionnaire genealogique des familles du Quebec (French Edition)

Dictionnaire Genealogique des Famille Canadiennes by Tanguay is available on CD ROM. A few of the 7 volumes can be found at Google Books The Internet Archives also holds some digitized copies

Also, the Revest (Rivest) Marriage index and the Loiselle Marriage Index are another of the many resources available for French Canadian research. links and details are found at Olive Tree Genealogy Quebec pages.



Greetings Lorine,
Thanks for posting these wonderful French Canadian resources. Researchers did just fine before the Drouin Collection was on, and they will do just fine again.

Lesley Cluff said...

But do those other sources have the original images??? I lost my dad when I was 9, and when I was 59, I was able to look at the original entry of his birth - thanks to the Drouin collection and ancestry. I cried. Its not just about our french Canadian ancestors - Quebec records, the Drouin Collection, harbour information about our British and other European ancestors who landed in Quebec, often stayed there for awhile or permanently, then they or the children moved on across Canada. Those original images hold an energy that just dates and a city name do not. For the price of an ancestry membership, it should include the Drouin collection!!!

Anonymous said...

maybe not everyone knows that it is not just that we cannot research the Drouin collection through Ancestry anymore but that they stripped our trees of any reference we had to a document in the Drouin Collection. If I had a baptism record attached to a person before Sept 1, it is now GONE. It's fine to say "there are other places to research the Drouin Collection", but what about the thousands of hours I have already spent researching and saving documents to my tree? Ancestry has a lot to answer for and removing references/links to documents that I paid to research, found and attached to my tree is just the start of it.

Olive Tree Genealogy said...

Dear Anonymous. I understand how frustrated and disheartened you (and others) must feel at having spent hours (days, weeks, months) researching the Drouin records only to find all your work in vain.

HOWEVER - it is important to understand that Ancestry was ordered by a judge to remove the Drouin database. Once removed, the images were no longer accessible! As you noted, you created LINKS to the online images in the online database. Database removed by court order = no images!

Secondly, it's a very hard lesson learned. Backup, backup, backup. Save all found images on any website to your hard drive. That way you will not lose all your hard work and research hours.

Dawn said...

Fortunately for me, Ihad found most of the ones I wanted on Drouin. However, I just now decided to give the BNS2000 a try using one record that I know was there and that I had downoaded off of Ancestry. Nadda. I entered the info they asked for and nothing was available.

Anonymous said...

You can access the actual text of Tanguay's Dictionnaire Genealogique for free on Canadian Archives at this link - look under "auteurs" for authors, then Tanguay, Cyprian.

Anonymous said...

Just today I found my family tree was missing all of the Drouin records I had saved...disheartening indeed! I had over 300 Drouin records saved to my tree but only saved maybe 20 to my hard drive....the very important ones that verify my generations. Now I wish I would have saved them all but, who knew something like this would happen? The bulk of my research has to do with the Drouin collection and was the reason I joined ancestry...not so sure I'll renew for another year.

Anonymous said...

With some chances when the Collection is back up the links will be "revived"... After all, if the addresses to each image of the collection is exactly the same and if they have kept the links we created and just "rerouted" them to an error page, everything may be back online in a few days (cross fingers)

Anonymous said...

Yes there is life outside, but Ancestry offers many interconnecting data bases. I can’t say I am happy with their search engine, but from my computer chair I can access hundreds of interconnecting records.
Some of the suggested readings and services are very expensive.
From the start of my research, I archived all documents on my computer and kept a log of the records that I found including location, section, and page. (i.e. St Michel, 1811-1822, pg 22 of the Ancestry location). I also use an Ancestry.con FTM program, because with a subscription many times associated records such as census, military, death, birth, and marriage can be found using the search function.
It seems to be a common thread - hundred of hours lost - I can’t get to my documents etc.
I am currently using a PC based FTM program which allows one to imbed graphic records and photos in a file for each person. The files are just a meaningless graphic document as far as the program is concerned that resides at a desired location within the program. So the user has possession of the records within the program. I like storing the records in a separate graphics file where I have access without using the FTM program. But it is nice to see a photo of Aunt Jean with just a click and her 1920 census record with another click.
I personally do not use the on-line genealogy program for a number of reasons - the first being the present dilemma, unavailability of records. All the work can be lost with a court injunction or whatever.
I don’t store images in my FTM program but keep separate folders on my hard drive under the general heading of “genealogy folder”, “folder for a family line”, sub directories of Birth, Death, Marriage, Census, etc. As an example I title a file as follows: Birth 1877 Marie Josette Boudreau d o Pierre & Florence Ricard. I chose to use the date as a sequencer rather than an alphabetical listing. I also keep a back-up of all files on a separate USB hard drive, a flash drive plus a DVD record. Back-up, back-up, back-up.