Place:Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Île-de-Montréal, Québec, Canada

Alt namesSainte-Anne-de-Bellevuesource: from redirect
Saint-Louis-du-Bout-de-l'Îlesource: original name of parish
Saint-Louis-du-Haut-de-l'Îlesource: former name of parish
Sainte-Anne-du-Bout-de-l'Îlesource: former name of parish
Bout-de-l'Islesource: former name of parish
Sainte-Anne-en-l'Isle-de-Montréalsource: former name of parish
TypeParish, City municipality
Coordinates45.4°N 73.883°W
Located inÎle-de-Montréal, Québec, Canada     (1663 - 2002)
Also located inMontréal TE, Québec, Canada     (2002 - 2006)
See alsoL'Île-Bizard–Sainte-Geneviève–Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Montréal TE, Québec, Canadaarrondissement of which it became part 2002-2006
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

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

Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue is located at the western tip of the Island of Montreal in southwestern Québec, Canada. It is the second oldest community in Montreal's West Island (the independent cities to the west of the City of Montreal. It was founded as a parish in 1703, while the oldest, Dorval, was founded in 1667.



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

Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue was established on a location once known and frequented by both the Algonquin and Iroquois peoples. Situated between two important lakes (Lac des Deux-Montagnes and Lac Saint Louis) and near the confluence of two important rivers (the Saint Lawrence River and the Ottawa River) both nations recognized its natural strategic advantages and had names for the place. The oral records show that it was named “Tiotenactokte” by the Algonquin, which means "place of the last encampments" and that the Iroquois called it “Skanawetsy” meaning "white waters, after the rapids".

In 1663, the Saint-Louis Mission was founded in the west end of Montreal Island at Pointe-Caron (site of the present-day Baie-d'Urfé yacht club), and was led by François-Saturnin Lascaris d'Urfé. At that time, the mission included the entire area form the western tip of Montreal Island to Pointe-Claire, Île Perrot, the counties of Soulanges, and Vaudreuil, and Île aux Tourtes.

In 1672, King Louis XIV of France granted fiefdoms bordering on Lake of Two Mountains and Lake Saint-Louis to Louis de Berthé, Lord of Chailly, and to his brother Gabriel, Lord of La Joubardière. One of these adjacent fiefdoms was called Bellevue, due to its good views to the east and west. In 1677, the Parish of Saint-Louis-du-Bout-de-l'Île, sometimes also called Saint-Louis-du-Haut-de-l'Île, was founded. Jean de Lalonde was the first church warden. One September 30, 1687, Lalonde and four other parishioners were killed in a skirmish with the Iroquois. In 1703, the parish was closed and its registers moved to Lachine because of the constant threat from the Iroquois.

Around 1712, René-Charles de Breslay (1658–1735), local parish priest from 1703 to 1719, got caught in a fierce snowstorm. He fell from his horse, broke his leg on the ice, and lost the horse. Breslay was allegedly saved through the intervention by Saint Anne, after which he built a chapel dedicated to her at the westernmost point of Montreal Island next to Fort Senneville and Tourtes Island (Île aux Tourtes). Two years later, the parish was reestablished and took the name Sainte-Anne-du-Bout-de-l'Île.

In 1835, the local post office opened. In 1843, the Sainte-Anne Canal was completed, resulting in a large amount of travellers and merchants passing through the village. Another impetus to its development came a few years later in 1854, when the Grand Trunk Railway was built through the area, followed by the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1887.

In 1845, the place was first incorporated as the Municipality of Bout-de-l'Isle. This was abolished two years later, but in 1855, it was reestablished as the Parish Municipality of Sainte-Anne-en-l'Isle-de-Montréal. In 1878, the main settlement was incorporated as a separate village municipality, and the parish municipality was renamed to Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue that same year. The village municipality changed its status to town (ville) on January 12, 1895.

In 1911, the parish municipality lost part of its territory when Baie-d'Urfé became a separate municipality. In 1964, the town of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue annexed Sainte-Anne-en-l'Isle-de-Montréal, the parish municipality.

On January 1, 2002, as part of the 2002–2006 municipal reorganization of Montreal, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue was merged into the city of Montreal and became part of the borough of L'Île-Bizard–Sainte-Geneviève–Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue. However, after a change of government and a 2004 referendum, it was re-constituted as an independent city on January 1, 2006.

Research Tips

Maps and Gazetteers

  • The Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) website contains several series of maps of Montreal made at different dates (starting in the 1600s) as well as some of other parts of Quebec. The 1879 series for the Ile de Montreal includes maps of the towns and villages present on the island at that time and includes the ownership of land in the less populated areas. Most of the text in the collection is in French, but the index is a mixture of French and English depending on the language of the original cartographer. The Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) website also has other textual collections of interest to the genealogist.
  • 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 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 Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, 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.