Place:Brome, Québec, Canada

TypeHistorical county
Located inQuébec, Canada     ( - 1982)
Also located inMontérégie, Québec, Canada     (1982 - )
See alsoBrome-Missisquoi RCM, Montérégie, Québec, Canadaregional county municipality covering part of Brome since 1982
Memphrémagog RCM, Estrie, Québec, Canadaregional county municipality covering part of Brome since 1982
La Haute-Yamaska RCM, Montérégie, Québec, Canadaregional county municipality covering part of Brome since 1982
source: Family History Library Catalog
the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Brome County, is an historical county of Québec, Canada. It takes its name from that of a manor in the parish of Barham in Kent, England. "Brome" was an old form of "broom", a wild plant, and the county was named by English surveyors. The earliest settlers to this region were brought from New Hampshire by the Quaker leader, Nicholas Austin in the 1790s. The county was formed in 1855 from parts of Stanstead, Shefford and Missisquoi counties. The county is located in the Eastern Townships, one of the former regions of Quebec. The county lies in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Its eastern half is rolling countryside while its western half is part of the Richelieu River plains.

The county is roughly an upside-down "L" shape, bound on the south by the Canada–US border (along 45° for 17.5 km from 72° 15′ W in Lake Memphremagog to 72° 41.5′ W), in the east by in part Lake Memphremagog and Stanstead County, in the north by Shefford County (45° 20′ N for 48 km from 72° 15′ W to 72° 52′ W) and in the west by Rouville and Missisquoi counties. The county is divided into five townships, three in the north and two in the south. The townships in the north are, from east to west, the Township of Bolton, the Township of Brome and the Township of Farnham. The southern townships are the Township of Potton in the east and the Township of Sutton in the west. The county seat is Knowlton in the Township of Brome. Notable physical features of the county include Mount Brome in the northwestern corner of the Township of Brome and the much larger Mount Sutton in the Township of Sutton, and Brome Lake in the eastern part of the Township of Brome, which flows into the Yamaska River, site of a famous duck farm.

In the early 1980s the county was abolished and the western half was transferred to the new Regional County Municipality (RCM) of Brome-Missisquoi in the Montérégie administrative region and the eastern half was transferred to the Regional County Municipality of Memphrémagog in the Estrie administrative region. A small part in the northwest were transferred to the Regional County Municipality of La Haute-Yamaska in the Montérégie administrative region.


Lovell's Gazetteer (1895)

  • "BROME, a county of Quebec, bounded on the east by Lake Memphremagog, and on the south by the State of Vermont. Area 300,455 acres. This county is drained by a number of streams and traversed by the South Eastern Ry. Capital, Knowlton. Pop. 14,709."

Research Tips

Maps and Gazetteers

Library and Archives Canada Electoral Atlas of the dominion of Canada (1895) for Brome. This shows the electoral sub-districts in 1895 which are closely equivalent to the townships and parishes of the time. This map is a PDF. Over the series the compass-north-point on these maps does not consistently point to the top of the page!

  • Official Transport Quebec Road Map. From a province-wide map showing the administrative regions you can click to an overview of a region. Responding to the "cliquez" on this map brings up a standard road-map of the area which will blow up to readable magnification. The whole website is in French, but the only words you need are "cliquez" and the name of the administrative region.
  • Municipalities and Parishes in the Province of Quebec, County of Bromefrom Subscription required for the Canadiana website.

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 included communities with some form of local governement (often church-based). Territories referred to the undeveloped sections under the control of the government in charge of the whole province at the time. The communities included townships and/or cantons, depending on the English/French makeup of the county concerned, and also included ecclesiastical parishes with somewhat different boundaries which could overlap with local townships or cantons. Ecclesiastical parish registers have been retained and are available to view (online through Ancestry). Since the 1980s many small townships and parishes are merging into larger "municipalities", often with the same name as one of their components.

Beginning in 1979 the historic counties of Québec were replaced by administrative regions and regional county municipalities (abbreviated as RCM in English and MRC in French). 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.

The administrative regions (above the RCMs in the hierarchy) are 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 including one titled Types of municipalities in Quebec

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.

Because the former or historic 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.

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 Québec 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.

The WeRelate standard form for expressing a place in Québec is township/canton/parish, historic county, Québec, Canada,
or local municipality, administrative region, Québec, Canada for places established after the changes of the 1980s.


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 and is also free of charge.

Other Sources

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Brome County. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.