I see a number of my ancestors mentioned here. The following announcement was written by Ancestry.ca:
Website launches free access to 50 million French names and releases new collection of Quebec Land Grants
Toronto, ON - (October 28, 2010) Ancestry.ca, Canada’s leading family history website, today kicks off a massive campaign in celebration of All Saints Day, offering the majority of its historic records from France, roughly 50 million names, free to search from October 30 to November 1, 2010.
For more than seven million Canadians with French heritage, this represents unprecedented access to hundreds of collections of records containing information about their ancestors.
Ancestry.ca also announced the launch of a new collection, Quebec, Canada, Land Grants, 1763-1890, containing almost 35,000 records spanning nearly 130 years of Quebec’s growth.
Karen Peterson, Managing Director for Ancestry.ca comments: “This new collection includes historic records dating back to 1600s Quebec, and includes birth, marriage and death indexes, censuses and parish records, and so much more.
“With the launch of the Quebec Land Grants and the access to millions of records from France, there has never been a better or easier time to start learning about your French ancestry.”
Free Records from France:
Among the hundreds of collections that will be available free during this promotion are the Paris, France Records, featuring more than 200 years of Paris birth, marriage and death (vital or BMD) records, and the popular Marne, France BMD and Saone-et-Loire BMD collections, which feature vital records spanning nearly 400 years of French history in the region through to the beginning of the 20th Century.
Also free are the Upper Brittany, France Records Collection which includes rare immigration and military records as well as vital records dating back to the early 1500s, and the Marseilles, France Marriages, 1810-1915, providing a wealth of information on France’s oldest city and one of the country’s (and the Mediterranean’s) most important ports. In all, there are nearly half a million marriage records available, which will be of great interest to anyone in Canada with an ancestral link to Marseilles.
Newly released Quebec, Land Grants, 1763-1890:This newly launched collection is an index of everyone in Quebec who received a Crown Land Grant between 1763 and 1890. The collection includes information such as name of grantee, county, township, number of acres granted and letter patents, allowing people to discover rich information about the property their ancestors actually owned.To access the free collections from France, learn more about your French-Canadian ancestors in our new records release and our popular Drouin Collection, and for a 14-day free trial, visit www.ancestry.ca/toussaint.
The addition of this new collection is a perfect complement to Ancestry.ca’s Drouin Collection. By combining information from Quebec, Canada, Land Grants, 1763-1890 with the 37 million names spanning 346 years from 1621 to 1967 which the Drouin Collection covers, users can better place a family in an area and point to the land record and letter of patent that may show further genealogical detail.
Largest online French-Canadian resource - the Drouin Collection
Included in The Drouin Collection, the largest collection of French-Canadian family history records anywhere in the world, are the ancestors of some of Canada’s most famous French-Canadians and Quebeckers such as Pierre Trudeau, William Shatner, John Labatt and Henri and Maurice Richard.
Family history enthusiasts can also trace their lineage back to the founding families of Quebec and Acadia, which includes that of Zacharie Cloutier, a common ancestor of distant cousins Celine Dion, Madonna and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
From the early 1600s, the Catholic parishes of Quebec kept meticulous records of their members’ baptisms, marriages and burials. The Quebec Government soon required the Catholic Church to provide it with copies of all its records and in doing so became the central holder for Quebec’s vital records.
In 1899, a lawyer named Joseph Drouin founded The Drouin Genealogical Institute, using Quebec’s vital records to research and sell family genealogies. His son Gabriel assumed stewardship in 1938, dedicating himself to microfilming and indexing Quebec’s vital records; this important work formed what became the Institute’s principal reference collection.
The Drouin Collection can be searched in French or English language by name, date, place, church or institution, and religion, and includes a compilation of church records from Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and various New England states.