Log Cabin Chronicles

Some Helpful information for Genealogical Researchers in Stanstead, Quebec

David Lepitre
Stanstead, Quebec

Editor's Note: David Lepitre is a printer in Stanstead, Quebec, and an avid practitioner of genealogical research. He writes the Your Ancestry column for the Log Cabin Chronicls and the weekly Stanstead Journal and can be reached by e-mail at dlepitre@abacom.com

Unlike most of North America, registration of births, marriages and deaths were not done by the town clerks in Quebec. (There are a few exceptions) The clergy have been responsible for this work until recently. Church records are available in two places. All branches of les Archives nationales du Québec or ANQ (Quebec National Archives) have a copy on microfilm and the second is the permanent record kept by the church. Some churches have turned their copy of the older records over to other repositories or special collections. There are some restrictions to your access because of Quebec Privacy Laws but on the whole there is a lot of information to be had. Certified copies for legal purposes must be purchased from the Quebec government. Proper request forms are available and recommended.

The registration of wills, marriage contracts, land transactions and other notarized documents is done at Quebec's regional registration offices called les Bureau de la publicité des droits. The Stanstead branch's address, 674 Dufferin, Stanstead, J0B 3E0.

Other legal documents can be found in the district courthouse at Sherbrooke.

Cemetery offices, with a few exceptions, are in the homes of whoever is secretary or president.

* * *

The best collection of genealogical information in Stanstead County can be found in the Archives of the Stanstead Historical Society, 535 Dufferin, Stanstead, QC J0B 3E0, telephone (819) 876-7322. It is best to telephone as the archive hours are constantly changing.

They have:

  • All local (Stanstead Co., QC and Orleans Co., VT) censuses on microfilm. Some years are indexed.
  • Indexes to Protestant births, marriages and deaths 1815 to 1879 from registered vital records at ANQ.
  • Indexes to the Roman Catholic marriages in Stanstead County (21 parishes from their beginnings to 1992).
  • Cemetery records compiled from the information found on visible headstones in the county's 100 plus cemeteries.
  • All county cemeteries are clearly marked on a large map to help you locate them.
  • The large 1863 Putnam and Gray map of St. Francis District shows the land owners and the location of their holdings.
  • The Stanstead Journals from 1845 to the present and the index to all the vital statistics to be found in the paper.
  • And much, much more.
* * *

Early mention of Stanstead in church records does not always mean the Village of Stanstead. Early on it meant the entire county which included parts of Potton and Bolton. Also early records did not always refer to a "church building" but to the records carried by the clergyman on his rounds. Therefore you may not find a building or records for the "churches" indicated.

The Haskell Free Library has some genealogical information. Copies of the indexes to the vital statistics to be found in the Stanstead Journal, copies of some town and family histories and some how-to books.

* * *

Genealogical queries, related to the area served by the Stanstead Journal, can be inserted free of charge in its Your Ancestry column.

* * *

There are other record repositories within a few minutes drive of Stanstead. Pamphlets describing these holdings are available at the Stanstead Historical Society Archives.

David Lepitre P.O. Box 484, Derby Line, Vermont 05830-0484 or 10 St-Joseph, Stanstead, Quebec JOB 3EO
Tel. 819-876-5755 Fax 819-876-5755 or dlepitre@abacom.com

Genealogy Menu Page | Log Cabin Chronicles | Your Ancestry
Copyright © 2005 John Mahoney/Log Cabin Chronicles/02.05