Sunday, November 17, 2013

Using the Drouin Collection at Ancestry.com

I have been using the Drouin Collection at Ancestry.com a great deal lately.  I am not a native French speaker so this is a not-so-easy set of records for me.  Some records are in English,but the vast majority are in French.

In an ideal world, I would be able to afford a French translator to sit with me all day while I work and translate each record for me.  Since I haven't won the lottery I have to settle for making my way thru the records as best I can.  I do have a limited ability to read French, having taken it in high school and also having lived for a short time in Quebec.

Here is some of what I have learned:

Handwriting

The handwriting is often poor, and when you add the fact that French is not your native language, deciphering what is written can be quite challenging.

Baptism, Marriage or Burial?

The records are mixed together in the church books in order they were recorded,

B is for a Baptism

M is for Marriage

S is for Burial.

The dates are the dates of Baptism, Marriage and Burial, not birth, marriage and burial.  Sometimes the baptisms and burials do include the date of the birth or death.

Usually, the records are numbered so you will have B1, M1, S1, B2 etc, with the numbers beginning at 1 again in the next year.

Consanguinity:

Consanguinity notes are great to help with the genealogy of the families in the Drouin Collection.

"simple" means one relationship at that degree, "double" means two relationships of that degree

3rd degree means they were 2nd cousins (shared one set of great grandparents)

4th degree means they were 3rd cousins.

So for example, double 3rd degree means they were double 2nd cousins and therefore shared two sets of great grandparents.

Translations:

Some common words translated from French to English will help you to translate the document.

"cultivateur" = "farmer"  This appears in many records, as its a common occupation.

"paroisse" = "parish"

troisieme= "third "

du troiseme degre = "third degree"

The Months:

*note in French that the months are not capitalized*

janvier = January

février = February

mars = March

avril = April

mai = May

juin = June

juillet = July

août = Auguest

septembre = September

octobre = October

novembre = November

décember = December