Quebec Emigration and Immigration

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In 1760, Québec had 65,000 inhabitants. Most were of French origin. By 1791, the population had increased to 160,000 because of a high birthrate and the arrival of about 20,000 English-speaking people. American Loyalists were soon joined by Scottish, English, and Irish immigrants. By the mid-1800s, about 25% of the population was of British origin. This has decreased to about 10% today. In 1994, French was the native language of about 81% of Québec's seven million inhabitants. In the early twentieth century, the largest groups of immigrants were the British, eastern Europeans and Italians. Recently immigrants have arrived from Portugal, Haiti, Greece, and various southeast Asian countries. Many have settled in Montréal.

French Immigrants[edit | edit source]

  • See
Online list of emigrants who left Perche in the 17th and 18th centuries
The Museum of French Emigration to Canada
Tourouvre et les Juchereau: a chapter of Percheron emigration to Canada, e-book. ($) In French.
Men and women, alone or with their families, lumberjacks, labourers, Filles du roi (young women sent to New France under royal auspices), monks, nuns, soldiers, mariners… all arrived in the 17th century and were the first to populate Canada. They left France, mainly from the region of Perche, confronted the ocean, defied a difficult winter, cleared the land and built the first houses on the banks of the Saint-Lawrence River.With great courage, they faced the challenges of the New World, and they succeeded. They settled in Quebec, the Coast of Beaupré, the isle of Orleans (from 1634), Montreal (from 1642).

Under the influence of the apothecary Robert Giffard and the Juchereau brothers, rich merchants from Perche, Tourouvre was one of the most active emigration centers. It was not the only one - Mortagne-au-Perche, Saint-Cosme-en-Vairais (now in the département of the Sarthe) and around thirty other parishes of the region (today situated in the département of the Orne for the most part) - were also very active.

Between 1634 and 1666, 246 inhabitants of Perche left their native land to settle in New France, on the banks of the Saint-Lawrence River. Many of them came from the parish of Tourouvre. They were among the first inhabitants to build the houses and clear the immense lands that would soon become Quebec. Thousands of emigrants from all regions of France joined them. Thus developed the country that Jacques Cartier, on his second expedition in 1535, named Canada.[1]
  • There are only scattered immigration records for other groups before 1865. For tracing origins of early immigrants from France see the online database FichierOrigine. This website gives specific places of origin in France as well as other information on early immigrants.
  • A list of the king's Daughters plus a list of men who came to the colony in 1665 as a soldier of the Carignan-Salières Regiment. Some 400 soldiers remained in New France, many of them marrying one of the filles du roi (King's Daughters).
The King's Daughters (French: filles du roi; filles du roy) is a term used to refer to the approximately 800 young French women who immigrated to New France between 1663 and 1673 as part of a program sponsored by King Louis XIV of France. The program was designed to boost New France's population both by encouraging male colonizers to settle there, and by promoting marriage, family formation and the birth of children. [2]

American Loyalists[edit | edit source]

Because of the American Revolution, many Loyalists settled in Canada. About 1,100 settled in Quebec, but mostly in the part of Quebec that became Ontario. An example of a source for American Loyalists who arrived before 1800 is:

British Isles Immigrants[edit | edit source]

Scottish Immigrants[edit | edit source]

Beginning in 1815, immigration from the British Isles was encouraged. One source for Scottish immigrants who settled in the Eastern Townships between 1838 and 1890 is: Lawson, Bill. A Register of Emigrant Families from the Western Isles of Scotland to the Eastern Townships of Québec, Canada. Eaton Corner, Québec Canada: Compton County Historical Museum Society, 1988. Family History Library WorldCat

Irish Immigrants[edit | edit source]

Huguenots[edit | edit source]

  • -1763 - Huguenots in New France/Quebec. This database hold the name of 321 Huguenots who stayed or established in New-France from the beginning of the colony to 1763.

Library and Archives Canada[edit | edit source]

  • Immigration: Finding Aid Gives detailed information and listings of immigrations records at the Archives, finding aids, microform listings, bibliography of published sources, etc.
  • Search the Collection Database, which includes immigration records for Quebec:
    • Citizenship Registration Documents, 1851-1945 - Montreal Circuit Court
    • Registration of ships (1787-1966)
    • Immigrants at the Grosse-Île quarantine station, 1832-1937
    • Immigrants before 1865
    • Immigrants from China, 1885-1949
    • Immigrants from the Russian Empire, 1898-1922
    • Immigrants sponsored by the Montreal Emigrant Society, 1832
    • Immigrants to Canada, Porters and Servants, 1899-1949
    • Ukrainian immigrants, 1891-1930
    • Passenger lists and border entries, 1925-1935 - Nominative directories
    • Passenger Lists for the Port of Quebec and for Other Ports, 1865-1922
    • Passenger lists, 1865-1922
    • Little English immigrants - Boards of Guardians
    • Documents on little English immigrants
    • Naturalization registers, 1915-1951

Passenger Lists[edit | edit source]

Canadian Border Crossing Records[edit | edit source]

  • The United States kept records of people crossing the border from Canada to the United States. These records are called border crossing lists, passenger lists, or manifests. There are two kinds of manifests:
    • Manifests of people sailing from Canada to the United States.
    • Manifests of people traveling by train from Canada to the United States.
  • In 1895, Canadian shipping companies agreed to make manifests of passengers traveling to the United States. The Canadian government allowed U.S. immigration officials to inspect those passengers while they were still in Canada. The U.S. immigration officials also inspected train passengers traveling from Canada to the United States. The U.S. officials worked at Canadian seaports and major cities like Québec and Winnipeg. Many passengers from Québec went to New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, or Maine.
  • Because the manifests were sent to St. Albans, Vermont, they are called, St. Albans District Manifest Records of Aliens Arriving from Foreign Contiguous Territory. Despite the name, the manifests are actually from seaports and railroad stations all over Canada and the northern United States, not just Vermont.

Border Crossing Manifests[edit | edit source]

PRDH[edit | edit source]

An ambitious database covering birth, marriage, and death records but also various immigrant lists (1,279 entries).


  1. "The Museum of French Emigration to Canada", https://www.musealesdetourouvre.fr/mus%C3%A9es/mus%C3%A9e-de-l-emigration-fran%C3%A7aise-au-canada/english-version, accessed 19 October 2020.
  2. "King's Daughters", in Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King's_Daughters, accessed 17 October 2020.