QUEBEC-RESEARCH-L ArchivesArchiver > QUEBEC-RESEARCH > 2011-01 > 1294097601
From: John Sullivan <>
Subject: Re: [Q-R] Quebec Parish Registers on Family Search - please explainsomething
Date: Mon, 3 Jan 2011 18:33:21 -0500
I, undersigned, priest and canon lawyer, was in the process of writing an
explanation of the "church copy" and "court copy" of parish registers in
colonial Quebec. Then I saw Mona's post, and while I was reading it, I saw a
message at the bottom margin that there was a new message from Joan.
At this point, all I can say is, «merci, cousine Mona» and wonder if my
version would have been very different -- It certainly wouldn't have been
Fr John L
On Mon, Jan 3, 2011 at 6:15 PM, Joan <> wrote:
> 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
> 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
> Hello Joan,
> Hum... there is something in your question which first calls for an
> 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
> 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",
> colloquially the "church copy", while the other, the "grosse", was meant to
> 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
> interchangeable originals.
> In many parishes, both ledgers were kept side by side as should be. In
> parishes, the parties were only asked to sign the church ledger. And in
> parishes, the procedure was not properly followed so that only one ledger
> 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.
> necessary, the registers of a parish, often spanning several years, were
> over and the copy was then certified true to the original. The resulting
> is truly a copy, a "true copy" to be precise.
> What you found for Château-Richer is precisely that. The ledgers were
> recopied by hand, and if you look at image 14:727, you'll find a notice
> by the patient man who tackled the task in 1926, Amédée Gosselin, priest
> archivist at the Seminary of Quebec. In it, he explains that the originals
> "très détériorés", meaning they were in an advanced state of decay. They
> been left on deposit with the seminary of Quebec as "ne pereant" which is
> for "lest they perish", or more to the point, for measures to be taken for
> 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
> records otherwise lost.
> I hope this answers your question,
> Joan wrote:
> > I wonder if someone can explain a certain parish register to me. It is
> >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
> >that the registers were copied over every year and one book was kept at
> >church while one book went to the courthouse.
> > Can you explain the book above? How could a book spanning 30 years be
> >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.
> > Thanks!
> > Joan
> > 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
> > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~For the list web page,
> > http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~unclefred/main.htm
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