Place:Gatineau TE, Outaouais, Québec, Canada

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NameGatineau TE
Alt namesGatineausource: from redirect
TypeCity, Territory
Coordinates45.48°N 75.65°W
Located inOutaouais, Québec, Canada
Contained Places
Canton
Hull
Inhabited place
Hull
Unknown
Cantley
Cascades
Gatineau
Pointe-Gatineau
Sainte-Rose-de-Lima
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Gatineau (French pronunciation: ​[ɡatino]), officially Ville de Gatineau, is a city in western Québec, Canada. It is the fourth largest city in the province after Montreal, Québec City, and Laval. It is located on the northern bank of the Ottawa River, immediately across from Ottawa, together with which it forms Canada's National Capital Region. As of the 2016 Canadian census Gatineau had a population of 276,245, and a metropolitan population of 332,057. The Ottawa–Gatineau census metropolitan area had a population of 1,323,783.

Gatineau is coextensive with a territory equivalent to a regional county municipality (TE). It is the seat of the judicial district of Hull.

Contents

History

The current city of Gatineau is centred on the former city of Hull, the oldest non-native settlement in the immediate area surrounding Canada's capital city, Ottawa. It was founded on the north shore of the Ottawa River in 1800 by Philemon Wright at the portage around the Chaudière Falls just upstream (or west) of the mouths of the Gatineau and Rideau Rivers. Wright brought his family, five other families and twenty-five labourers from Massachusetts and a plan to establish an agriculturally based community to what was then a mosquito-infested wilderness. But Wright and his family soon took advantage of the large lumber stands and became involved in the timber trade. Originally the place was named Wright's Town, and the name Wrightville survives as the name of a neighborhood in Hull.

In 1820, before immigrants from Great Britain arrived in great numbers, Hull Township had a population of 707, including 365 men, 113 women, and 229 children. In 1824, there were 106 families and 803 persons. By 1830 the population of Hull had doubled, owing to the arrival of Ulster Protestants. By 1851, the population of the County of Ottawa was 11,104, of which 2,811 lived in Hull Township. By comparison, Bytown (early Ottawa) had a population of 7,760 in 1851. By 1861, Ottawa County had a population of 15,671, of which 3,711 lived in Hull Township. The gradual move to the Township by French Canadians continued over the years, with the French Canadians growing from 10% of the population in 1850, to 50% in 1870, and 90% in 1920.

The Gatineau River, like the Ottawa River, was very much the preserve of the draveurs who would use the river to transport logs from lumber camps to markets downriver. (The Gatineau River flows south into the Ottawa River which flows east to the St Lawrence River near Montreal.) The log-filled Ottawa River, as viewed from Hull, appeared on the back of the Canadian one-dollar bill until it was taken out of circulation in 1987, and the very last of the dwindling activity of the draveurs on these rivers ended a few years later.

The City of Ottawa in Ontario was founded later, as the terminus of the Rideau Canal built under the command of Colonel John By as part of fortifications and defences constructed after the War of 1812. Originally named Bytown, Ottawa did not become the Canadian capital until the mid-19th century after the original parliament in Montreal was torched by a rioting mob of English-speaking citizens on April 25, 1849. Its greater distance from the American border also left the new parliament less vulnerable to foreign attack.

Nothing remains of the original 1800 settlement of Wright's Town; the downtown "Vieux-Hull" sector was destroyed by a terrible fire in 1900 which also destroyed the original (Chaudière Bridge), a road bridge since been rebuilt to join Ottawa to Hull at Victoria Island.

In the 1940s, during World War II, Hull had a prisoner-of-war camp. In this camp, POWs were mostly Italian and German nationals. Following the Conscription Crisis of 1944 the prison included Canadians who had refused conscription.Prisoners were forced into hard labour which included farming and removing timber from the land.

During the 1970s and early 1980s, the decaying old downtown core of Hull was transformed by demolition and replacement with a series of large office complexes. Some 4,000 residents were displaced, and many businesses uprooted along what was once the town's main commercial area.

Image:Outaouais Region 2002.png

Amalgamation

As part of the 2000–06 municipal reorganization in Quebec, the five municipalities that constituted the Communauté urbaine de l'Outaouais were merged on January 1, 2002 to constitute the new city of Gatineau. They were:

Although Hull was the oldest and most central of the merged cities, the name Gatineau was chosen for the new city. The main reasons given were that Gatineau had more inhabitants, it was the name of the former county, the valley, the hills, the park and the main river within the new city limits: thus its name was less restrictive than Hull. Some argued that the French name of Gatineau was more appealing than a name from England to most French-speaking residents. Since the former city of Hull represents a large area distinct from what was formerly known as Gatineau, to be officially correct and specific many people say "vieux secteur Hull" (the former Hull part of town) when speaking of it. It is of note that the name "Hull" was often informally used to refer to the whole urban area on the northern shore of the river facing Ottawa, so much so that the National Capital Region was often referred to as "Ottawa-Hull", especially in Quebec outside the immediate area.

Although referendums were held in 2004 to give citizens the opportunity to overturn the amalgamation, none of the results met the threshold vote conditions for de-merger, and the status quo prevailed.

Research Tips

Maps and Gazetteers

  • Library and Archives Canada Electoral Atlas of the Dominion of Canada (1895) for Wright. 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.
  • Commission de toponymie Quebec--Quebec's data bank of official Québec place names, commonly known as "TOPOS sur le Web". The website is in French and paragraphs can be translated with Google Translate.

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

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

  • 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 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.
  • 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 Gatineau, Quebec. 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.