The following announcement was written by Ancestry.ca:
MONTREAL (April 12, 2012) Ancestry.ca, Canada’s leading family history website, is giving Francophones a reason to stay close to their computers this weekend with unprecedented access to its vast collection of French historical records.
The collection contains more than 14.5 million historical documents outlining the histories of millions of people in Quebec and France, and will be available free from April 17-22.
Among the free collections is the Drouin database, the pre-eminent collection of French-Canadian historical records available anywhere in the world. The records span 346 years from 1621 to 1967 and include 37 million names in baptism, marriage and burial records, plus a compilation of church records from Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and various New England states.
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.
Also included in this promotion is the Tanguay collection, the premier genealogical dictionary of French-Canadian families. This large, seven-volume collection was published by the French-Canadian priest and genealogist Father Cyprien Tanguay from 1871 to 1890.
Father Tanguay devoted much of his life to researching archives and parochial records throughout Quebec, the Maritimes, Ontario and old French settlements in the United States and France. Through his original research, he successfully traced ancestors of many early French-Canadian colonists back to Normandy and other parts of France.
Entries in this collection detail family pedigrees with baptism, marriage and burial dates and places.
Together the Drouin and Tanguay collections encompass much of the history of French-Canadians. But those interested in their French roots will also be able to discover their ties to France with documents found in France, la Collection de la Haute-Bretagne (1501-1907) which contains 350 years of marine history, and more than 4 million names.
“French-Canadian historical records are some of the oldest and most comprehensive in the world, painting the lives of people in vivid detail and proving a massive resource for those with French-Canadians roots,” said Roger Dunbar, Managing Director, Ancestry.ca. “We’re thrilled to offer these records to all Canadians with Francophone and French heritage and hope it helps them on their way to discovering more about themselves and their past.”
Canada’s leading family history website, Ancestry.ca hosts 129 million Canadian records, including the complete historical Canadian censuses from 1851 to 1916, Ontario and British Columbia vital records from as early as 1813, Quebec vital records (The Drouin Collection), Canadian passenger lists and U.S. / Canada border crossings.
Ancestry.ca was launched in January 2006 and is part of Ancestry.com Inc, the world's largest online family history resource, with more than 1.7 million paying subscribers. More than eight billion records have been added to the site in the past 15 years. Ancestry users have created more than 33 million family trees containing approximately four billion profiles. In addition to its flagship site www.ancestry.com, Ancestry.com Inc. offers several localised web sites designed to empower people to discover, preserve and share their family history.
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