Place:Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada

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NameSherbrooke
Alt namesSaint-Françoissource: Family History Library Catalog
TypeHistorical county
Located inQuébec, Canada     (1802 - )
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


Contents

Lovell's Gazetteer (1895)

  • "SHERBROOKE, a county of Quebec, comprises an area of 140,300 acres. It is traversed by four railways- the G. T. R., B. & M. R., Quebec Central Ry. and C. P. R., and watered by the Rivers St. Francis and Magog. Capital, Sherbrooke. Pop. in 1871, 8516; in 1891, 16088."

Research Tips

Maps and Gazetteers

French names for places

Because French is the one official language of Québec, WeRelate employs the French names for places within the province. Many placenames will be similar to their counterparts in English, with the addition of accents and hyphens between the words. The words "Saint" and "Sainte" should be spelled out in full. Placenames should be made up of four parts: the community (or parish, or township, or canton), the historic county, Québec, Canada. You may find placenames red-linked unless you follow these conventions.

Local government structure

The Province of Québec was made up of counties and territories. Counties in Québec were established gradually as the land was settled by Europeans. Each county had some form of local governement (sometimes church-based in the early days). Territories referred to the undeveloped sections under the control of the government in charge of the whole province at the time. The counties included "townships" and/or "parishes", depending on the English/French makeup of the county concerned.

The system of regional county municipalities (abbreviated as RCM in English and MRC in French) was introduced beginning in 1979 to replace the historic counties of Quebec. Regional county municipalities are a supra-local type of regional municipality, and act as the local municipality in unorganized territories within their borders. (An unorganized area or unorganized territory is any geographic region in Canada that does not form part of a municipality or Indian reserve. There is a list in Wikipedia) There are also 18 equivalent territories (TEs) which are not considered to be RCMs. These are mostly large cities with their suburbs, but include 4 very large geographical areas where the population is sparse.

Above the RCMs in the hierarchy are 17 administrative regions (illustrated on a map in Wikipedia. The regions are used to organize the delivery of provincial government services and there are conferences of elected officers in each region. The regions existed before the change from historic counties to regional county municipalities.

The above description is based on various articles in Wikipedia.

NOTE: WeRelate refers to Québec communities as being within their historic counties because this is the description which will be found in historical documents. FamilySearch and Quebec GenWeb follow the same procedure. However, it is always wise to know the current RCM as well in order to track these documents down in local repositories and also to describe events which have taken place since 1980.

Historic counties (which were taken out of use in about 1982) were made up of townships or cantons. The two words are equivalent in English and French. Eventually all the cantons in WeRelate will be described as townships. Many townships disappeared before 1980 with the growth of urbanization.

If the word parish is used, this is the local ecclesiastical parish of the Roman Catholic Church. Parish boundaries and township or canton boundaries were not always the same.

Because the former or historical counties and the modern regional county municipalities can have the same names but may cover a slightly different geographical area, the placenames for Regional County Municipalities or "Territories Equivalent to regional county municipalities" are distinguished by including the abbreviation "RCM" or "TE" following the name.

Censuses

Censuses were taken throughout the 19th century in Quebec (or in Lower Canada or Canada West before 1867). Surprisingly most of them have been archived and have been placed online free of charge by the Government of Canada (both microfilmed images and transcriptions). All can be searched by name or browsed by electoral district. The contents vary. Those of 1825, 1831 and 1841 record only the householders by name, but remaining members of each household were counted by sex and by age range. From 1851 through 1911 each individual was named and described separately. The amount of information increased throughout the century, and in 1891 people were asked for their birthdate and the year of immigration to Canada. Unfortunately, enumerators were required only to record the birthplace province or country (if an immigrant). Specific birthplaces have to be discovered elsewhere.

The links below are to the introductory page for the specific census year. It is wise to read through this page first to see what will be provided on a specific census, and what will be lacking. Links to the records follow from these pages.

The 1921 census is available through Ancestry.ca and is also free of charge.

Other Sources

  • The Drouin Collection provided by Ancestry.com and Ancestry.ca (pay websites).
  • Genealogy Quebec in French, the website of the Drouin Institute. (also a pay website) with more databases than are on Ancestry.
  • A FamilySearch Wiki article explaining the history and purpose of the Drouin Collection.
  • FamilySearch Wiki Information for the province and for indivdiual counties.
  • Quebec GenWeb (English version--for the most part)
  • The Quebec Familiy History Society is the largest English-language genealogical society in Quebec. Most of their services are members only, but their Bulletin Board has useful tips for everyone. These may change from time to time.
  • La Mémoire du Québec online. Édition 2017. "Le dictionnaire des noms propres du Québec." In other words, an up-to-date gazetteer of places in Québec organized as a wiki.
  • Google "translate French to English" for those words and phrases you can't quite remember from schooldays.
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