Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Research Goldmines

Greetings!  For those researching their French Canadian or Acadian ancestry, I'd like to make you aware of five excellent resources.

1. Genealogy of French in North America is the main database available as a link from Francogene.  French-Canadian ancestors up to 1721 are indexed alphabetically by marriage.  Here is an example of a lookup of our pioneer Poulin ancestor, Claude Poulin.

(This specific page is located at http://www.francogene.com/quebec--genealogy/000/000218.php)  Names in color are links to direct ancestor's or children's database entries.  I have found this resource to be an invaluable asset to researching my own genealogy.

2. The main Francogene page links to many free resources for tracing your Western European family origins.  

Above is a screen shot of the main page in English.  It is also available in French.

3. A thorough list of free resources is found at Canadian Genealogy Records Online.

Below is a small example in a screenshot from "All of Canada".

4. Genforum.

Genforum has forums for surnames, U.S. states, and countries.

"Since the site connects users to one another, oftentimes, they can share information that would be impossible to find otherwise. Think of GenForum as the Internet's version of asking your grandmother what it was like growing up; the information you can find goes well beyond what census data could tell you. And while GenForum will never replace the hard work of digging through records, digital or otherwise, it represents yet another way the Internet has added a new dynamic to a very old pastime."  (excerpt from How Stuff Works).
Here is an example of a surname post regarding my ancestor Henri-Jean Poulin/John Pooler and his Onalaska, Wisconsin relatives.  With Genforum, one can find a conversation between two or more researchers who can ask questions or contribute additional information.  If the person who posts has given permission to be contacted by email, the email address is available by clicking on their name.

5. For ancestors who were most prominent in the history of Canada, there are biographies available in Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online.  Easily searched from Google by "Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online + surname".  This is an excerpt of the biography of my ancestor, apothecary Louis Hebert:

I hope you will find some of these resources valuable to your research.  Have a nice day!

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