Place:Champlain, Québec, Canada

TypeHistorical county
Located inQuébec, Canada     ( - 1982)
Also located inMauricie–Bois-Francs, Québec, Canada     (1982 - 1997)
Mauricie, Québec, Canada     (1997 - )
See alsoLes Chenaux RCM, Mauricie, Québec, Canadaregional county municipality covering part of Champlain today
Mékinac RCM, Mauricie, Québec, Canadaregional county municipality covering part of Champlain today
Shawinigan TE, Mauricie, Québec, Canadaurban agglommeration covering part of Champlain today
La Tuque TE, Mauricie, Québec, Canadaurban agglommeration covering part of Champlain today
Trois-Rivières TE, Mauricie, Québec, Canadaurban agglommeration covering part of Champlain today
source: Family History Library Catalog
the text in this section is based on an article in the French edition of Wikipedia

Champlain County was an historical county in Québec, Canada which was in existence from 1855 until January 1982. It stretched up from the north shore of the Saint Lawrence River into the hinterland, and was immediately east of Trois-Rivières and adjacent to Portneuf County.

The county covered part of the current administrative region of Mauricie and corresponded most closely to the regional county municipality (RCM) of Les Chenaux, but also included the better part of the regional county municipality (RCM) of Mékinac and parts of the cities of Shawinigan, La Tuque and Trois-Rivières. Its seat was the municipality of Sainte-Geneviève-de-Batiscan.

Mauricie administrative region has only been in existence since 1997. In the interim period between 1982 and 1997, the administrative region was Mauricie–Bois-Francs which was located on both sides of the Saint Lawrence River.

At its formation Champlain County consisted of the parishes of Sainte-Anne, Batiscan, Sainte-Geneviève-de-Batiscan, Champlain, Cap-de-la-Madeleine, Saint-Maurice, Saint-Stanislas, Saint-Justin, Saint-Prosper, Saint-Narcisse as well as the canton de Radnor (Radnor Township).


Lovell's Gazetteer (1895)

  • "CHAMPLAIN, a county in the north-west part of the province ot Quebec, bordering on the River St. Lawrence, has an area of 7,381,- 760 acres. It is traversed by the C. P. R. and St. Maurice River, and contains numerous small rivers and lakes. Capital, Batiscan. Pop. in 1871, 21,643; in 1891, 29,267."

Municipalities in Champlain County

Boucherformed in 1972; renamed Trois-Rives in 1998
Cap-de-la-Madeleineformed in 1855 under the name of Sainte-Marie-Madeleine-du-Cap-de-la-Madeleine; renamed Cap-de-la-Madeleine in 1918; merged with Trois-Rivières in 2002
Champlainseparated from La Visitation-de-Champlain en 1917
Fermontseparated from Saint-Maurice en 1858; merged again with Saint-Maurice in 1939
Grandes-Pilesseparated from Saint-Tite and Sainte-Flore in 1885 under the name of Saint-Jacques-des-Piles; renamed Grandes-Piles in 1966
Grand-Mèreseparated from Sainte-Flore in 1898; after Magnan, only the parish of Saint-Paul, founded in 1900, was made part of the territory of Champlain County, the remainder was in Saint-Maurice county; merged with Shawinigan in 2002
Haute-Mauricieformed in 1972; merged with La Tuque in 1993
Lac-à-la-Tortueseparated from Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Carmel et de Saint-Jacques-des-Piles en 1895 under the name of Saint-Théophile-du-Lac-à-la-Tortue; renamed Lac-à-la-Tortue (Turtle Lake) in 1981; merged with Shawinigan in 2002
Langelierformed in 1921; renamed La Croche in 1999; merged with La Tuque in 2003
La Péradeseparated from Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade in 1912; merged again in 1989
La Tuqueformed in 1909
La Tuque Fallsformed in 1910; merged with La Tuque en 1911
La Visitation-de-Champlainformed in 1855; merged with Champlain in 1982
Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Carmelseparated from Saint-Maurice et Sainte-Marie-Madeleine-du-Cap-de-la-Madeleine in 1859
Parentformed in 1947; merged with La Tuque in 2003
Saint-Adelpheseparated from Saint-Stanislas in 1891
Sainte-Anne-de-la-Péradeformed in 1855
Sainte-Floreformed in 1863; annexé au comté de Saint-Maurice en 1895; merged with Grand-Mère en 1970
Sainte-Geneviève-de-Batiscanformed in 1855
Sainte-Marthe-du-Cap-de-la-Madeleineseparated from Sainte-Marie-Madeleine-du-Cap-de-la-Madeleine in 1915; renamed Sainte-Marthe-du-Cap in 1993; merged with Trois-Rivières in 2002
Saint-François-Xavier-de-Batiscanformed in 1855; renamed Batiscan in 1986
Saint-Georgesseparated from Saint-Théophile in 1915 under the name of Turcotte; renamed Saint-Georges en 1919; merged with Shawinigan in 2002
Saint-Jean-des-Pilesseparated from Saint-Jacques-des-Piles en 1898; merged with Shawinigan in 2002
Saint-Louis-de-Franceseparated from Saint-Maurice en 1904; merged with Trois-Rivières in 2002
Saint-Lucseparated from Saint-Narcisse, La Visitation-de-Champlain and Saint-Tite en 1865; renamed Saint-Luc-de-Vincennes in 1991
Saint-Mauriceformed in 1855
Saint-Narcisseformed in 1855
Saint-Prosperformed in 1855; renamed Saint-Prosper-de-Champlain in 2010
Saint-Roch-de-Mékinacseparated from Saint-Jean-des-Piles et Saint-Jacques-des-Piles in 1905
Saint-Séverinseparated from Saint-Tite and Saint-Stanislas in 1890
Saint-Stanislasformed in 1855 under the name of Saint-Stanislas-de-la-Rivière-des-Envies; renamed Saint-Stanislas in 1957
Saint-Stanislas, village municipalityseparated from Saint-Stanislas in 1915 under the name of Deux-Rivières; renamed Saint-Stanislas in 1964; merged with Saint-Stanislas in 1976
Sainte-Thècleseparated from Saint-Anne-de-la-Pérade and from Saint-Adelphe in 1874; the village municipality of the same name separated in 1909; the two were reunited at the beginning of 1989
Saint-Timothéeseparated from Saint-Tite, Saint-Narcisse and Saint-Jacques-des-Piles in 1904; renamed Hérouxville in 1983
Saint-Titeseparated from Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade and from Saint-Stanislas-de-la-Rivière-des-Envies in 1863; the town of Saint-Tite separated in 1910 and the other two were reunited in the beginning of 1998
Shawinigan-Suda section of Shawinigan-Sud was located in Saint-Maurice county. It was formed in 1912 under the name of Almaville (village municipality); but another municipality separated from Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Carmel under the name of Notre-Dame-de-la-Présentation-d'Almaville in 1914; it took the name of Almaville (parish municipality) in 1946; the village of Almaville was renamed Shawinigan-Sud in 1948; the parish of Almaville was merged with Shawinigan-Sud in 1953 and merged with Shawinigan itself in 2002.

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 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

  • FamilySearch Wiki Information for the province and for indivdiual counties, and places within counties.
  • The Drouin Collection: explaining its history and purpose in a FamilySearch Wiki article
  • The Drouin Collection provided by and (pay websites).
  • Genealogy Quebec in French, the website of the Drouin Institute. (also a pay website) with more databases than are on Ancestry.
  • 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. Each entry is a timeline.
  • Eastern Townships of Quebec Connector. A blogpost with links to many websites dealing with Quebec genealogy, particularly for those who don't speak French well. All parts of Quebec are mentioned.
  • Google "translate French to English" for those words and phrases you can't quite remember from schooldays.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Comté de Champlain. 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.