Place:Missisquoi, Québec, Canada

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NameMissisquoi
TypeHistorical county
Located inQuébec, Canada
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Missisquoi County is a historical county in Quebec. In the early 1980s Quebec abolished its counties. Much of Missisquoi County became the Brome-Missisquoi Regional County Municipality except the southwestern part was transferred to Le Haut-Richelieu Regional County Municipality.

The name of the county is derived from an Algonquin Abenaki word meaning "lots of waterfowl".

Missisquoi County, part of the Eastern Townships (one of roughly 12 regions in Québec), is located on the western fringes of the Appalachian foothills, giving it a rolling landscape on its eastern part. The western part of the county is situated on the Richelieu River plains.

Missisquoi County is bound entirely on the south for 51 km by the Canadian-American border (45° N) from 72°40.5' W to the middle of the Richelieu River (73°20.8' W), to the east by Brome County for 23 km along the meridian defined by 72°40.5' W, to the northeast by Brome County and the northwest by Rouville County, and to the west by Iberville County and the Richelieu River (Saint-Jean County is on the other side of the river). The northernmost point of the county is at 45°21' N and 73° W and is also the junction of the borders of Missisquoi County, Rouville County and Iberville County. The westernmost point of the county is on the Richelieu River on at the Canadian-American border at 45° N and 73°20' W.

The county is divided into four townships, and there are two discontinuous zones along its western fringes without any township designation divided under the pre-1760 French parochial framework. The townships are the Township of Farnham in the north, Township of Dunham in the east and Township of Stanbridge to the west, and Township of Saint Armand along the Canadian-American border. The county seat is the Town of Bedford located at 45°7' N and 72°59' W in the southwestern part of the Township of Stanbridge. Other major towns in the county are Farnham in the township of the same name and Cowansville in the northeastern corner of Dunham Township.

Contents

Lovell's Gazetteer (1895)

  • "MISSISQUOI, a county in the southern part of Quebec, bounded on the south by the State of Vermont and Lake Champlain comprises an area of 229,120 acres. Capital, Frelighsburg. Pop. 18,549."

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

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.
  • The CanGenealogy page for Quebec. An overview of available online sources with links written by Canadian genealogist Dave Obee.
  • 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.
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