QUEBEC-RESEARCH-L ArchivesArchiver > QUEBEC-RESEARCH > 2011-01 > 1294096529
From: Joan <>
Subject: Re: [Q-R] Quebec Parish Registers on Family Search - please explainsomething
Date: Mon, 3 Jan 2011 15:15:29 -0800 (PST)
Thanks Mona! You always give such wonderful explanations. Now I understand
Researching BOND, MEAGHER, and PELLERIN in Port Felix, Nova Scotia.
Researching LAFORET and SAAM in Williamsburg NY and Frankenthal Germany
Researching CONNOLLY and McLAUGHLIN in Cty Tryone Ireland and Ontario Canada
From: Mona Andrée Rainville <>
To: Joan <>
Sent: Mon, January 3, 2011 5:14:57 PM
Subject: Re: [Q-R] Quebec Parish Registers on Family Search - please explain
Hum... there is something in your question which first calls for an explanation.
The obligation to keep church ledgers in duplicate did not mean that the
original church record was copied over at the end of the year. It meant that
two original ledgers were kept simultaneously and side by side.
One was meant to remain in the parish, and is referred to as the "minute", or
colloquially the "church copy", while the other, the "grosse", was meant to be
transferred annually to the court of jurisdiction. This second record ledger is
often referred to as the "court copy". Of course, "church copy" and "court
copy" are misnomers as neither ledger is a copy, really. They were meant to be
In many parishes, both ledgers were kept side by side as should be. In some
parishes, the parties were only asked to sign the church ledger. And in some
parishes, the procedure was not properly followed so that only one ledger was
kept and then copied over, hopefully once a year.
That said, it sometimes became necessary to take conservation measures when
either the minute or the grosse of a ledger became damaged or fragile. Whenever
necessary, the registers of a parish, often spanning several years, were copied
over and the copy was then certified true to the original. The resulting ledger
is truly a copy, a "true copy" to be precise.
What you found for Château-Richer is precisely that. The ledgers were entirely
recopied by hand, and if you look at image 14:727, you'll find a notice signed
by the patient man who tackled the task in 1926, Amédée Gosselin, priest and
archivist at the Seminary of Quebec. In it, he explains that the originals were
"très détériorés", meaning they were in an advanced state of decay. They had
been left on deposit with the seminary of Quebec as "ne pereant" which is latin
for "lest they perish", or more to the point, for measures to be taken for their
Sometimes, only the passing of years and adverse storage conditions were to
blame. Sometimes, the damage resulted from fire or flood.
And sometimes, still, these precious copies are all that remains of the parish
records otherwise lost.
I hope this answers your question,
> I wonder if someone can explain a certain parish register to me. It is Chateau
>Richer, La Visitation-de-Notre-Dame, 1661-1690.
> It's obvious to me that this book is not the original register as all the
>records are written in the same (very neat!) hand. I was under the impression
>that the registers were copied over every year and one book was kept at the
>church while one book went to the courthouse.
> Can you explain the book above? How could a book spanning 30 years be written
>by the same person? Someone must have copied over 30 years worth of records into
>this one register right?
> I am assuming that even though this book is obviously not the one maintained by
>the parish priest, it is nonetheless to be considered a primary source. Correct?
> Researching BOND, MEAGHER, and PELLERIN in Port Felix, Nova Scotia.
> Researching LAFORET and SAAM in Williamsburg NY and Frankenthal Germany
>Researching CONNOLLY and McLAUGHLIN in Cty Tryone Ireland and Ontario Canada
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