Archiver > QUEBEC-RESEARCH > 2002-11 > 1038244587

Subject: Re: [Q-R] Question: French Canadian or Quebecois?
Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2002 12:16:27 EST

In a message dated 11/25/02 11:44:33 AM Eastern Standard Time,

<< Please could someone explain to me the difference between French Canadian
and Quebecois? I am not sure I am using the terms correctly.

Merriam Webster says:
***French Canadian: one of the descendants of French settlers in Lower
***Quebecois: a native or inhabitant of Quebec; specifically : a
French-speaking native or inhabitant of Quebec

My dad was Norwegian (Olsen) and Irish (McGreevy) and he grew up speaking
both French and English. He was raised in St. Anne's Ward in Montreal. He had
no French blood at all in his background.
My husband is English/Welsh (and maybe a bit of French because Pearsall
*may* have come from Percivale) and English (Camden). He, too, grew up
speaking both French and English. He was raised in Ste. Hyacinthe. He had a
gggrandmother who was a Huron Indian.

Both men were actually "French-speaking natives or inhabitants of Quebec".
So what are they? I am confused!

Thank you for any help you may have for me!
Kay >>

Now, there's a good question to start with after my recent holiday. ;- )

According to the dictionary, both your father and your husband are
"Québecois". Since they grew up in Montréal and Ste-Hyacinthe, respectively,
and speak both French and English, they are "French speaking natives of
Québec". But, neither of them is a "French Canadian", since they are not
"descendants of the French settlers in Québec".

My father's family came from County Kerry, and settled in Massachusetts
during the second half of the 19th century. They are not a part of this
picture. My mother's family came here from Québec, her father's family from
Saint Isidore de Laprairie, her mother's from Saint Pie de Bagot, both on
your husband's side of The River. But my ancestry includes the names
Rodrigues from Portugal, Van den Dyk from Flanders, De Guise from Flanders,
Miville, from Switzerland, Haynes from Newburyport, (Massachusetts Bay Colony
- captured in an Indian raid), and Phelps from Connecticut (Loyalist emigre).
All four of my mother's grandparents were "French speaking natives of
Québec", but their ancestry -- and most everyone else's -- is ethnically
quite complex.

There are other possible connotations, of course, besides the dictionary
definitions. I know that some of my family members who live north of the
Connecticut Lakes take offense if they are called "Canadien" rather then

This entire subject is fraught with "thin ice", and it is still very early in
the winter season.

Tusen Tak! God Yul (when it comes).

Fr Owen Taggart

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