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Parlez-vous Tanguay?

Parlez-vous Tanguay?

August 27, 2020

Ah, French-Canadian genealogy research—a little English here, a little French there. How to begin? You are in luck! If you have French-Canadian ancestors, there is an excellent reference available at the Midwest Genealogy Center. The Dictionnaire généalogique des Familles Canadiennes depuis la fondation de la colonie jusqu'à nos jours (Genealogical Dictionary of Canadian Families from the Founding of the Colony to Our Time) is a seven-volume work by Father Cyprien Tanguay, a French-Canadian priest and genealogist.

During his official appointment to the Dominion Statistics Department (1867), he spent his time compiling parochial and historical records throughout Quebec, the Maritime Provinces, Ontario, and the old French settlements in the United States. The result was the Dictionnaire (published 1871–90) with more than 600 pages covering French-Canadian lineage from 1608 to 1763. Some entries go all the way back to France! Many inaccuracies crept into his solo work, but for the most part, this is a highly reliable secondary source.

Each entry is called an article and lists family pedigrees with baptism, marriage, and burial dates, as well as locations, for husbands, wives, and their children. Entries are in French but are easy to figure out. The volumes are also available online through Ancestry Library Edition and Internet Archive, among other places.

So, if you have French-Canadian ancestors, you are in luck! Explore the Dictionnaire at MGC, a merveilleuse (wonderful) resource!

Sheri V.
Midwest Genealogy Center

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