Definitions and abbreviations
Here are some definitions used in this work or in the DGFQ. Areas are defined to specify the content of each volume and correspond to documentation available. Many definitions are given here to help you understand expressions found in DGFQ.
Italics indicates a word in French.
Abbreviations are followed by the same term in French in parenthesis
In French, spelling is different depending on the gender. Usually, female form has a final e (i.e. né applies to a boy while née applies to a girl). Both forms will be given below. Use of a French-English dictionary is very useful, in particular for trades.
Acadia: territory including the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, as well as the French establishments of Maine. During early years, Acadia was sometimes described as a part of Canada, and Newfoundland was not a part of it (there are censuses of Plaisance, now Placentia, and Terre-Neuve or Newfoundland, but they are not said to be a part of Acadia). The eastern part of the Gaspe peninsula was also a part of the old Acadia.
Amérindien: North American Indian or Native
Après: after (a date)
ar. (arrondissement): district, part of a departement
archev. (archevêché): archdiocese
auj. (aujourd'hui): today, now
Autre enfant ou changement de prénom: other child or child already in Jetté, but the name was changed
avant: before (a date)
b (baptisé, baptisée): baptized
b sous condition: baptized under condition
bapt. de (baptême de): baptism of
Canada: the territory called Canada has changed on multiple occasions during the history and this term is not used in this work. In the 16th century, it concerned the area surrounding the town of Quebec; in the 17th century, the St.Lawrence Valley and Acadia; in the 18th century, the St.Lawrence Valley and the Great Lakes area (until 1763, whereas this area took the name of province of Quebec until 1791). In 1791, it concerned the south of Quebec and Ontario, and from 1867, the four Canadian provinces, later ten (and soon eleven with the addition of Nunavut).
Cité: quoted (in a record, publication, as being in a place)
Commune: French name of a municipality (city, town or village). A commune is the local administration.
Confirmed origin: if a record concerning the migrant or his parents was found in the place of origin.
ct (contrat): marriage contract
d (décédé, décédée): deceased
de, d': from (a place: parents de Savarit: parents from a place called Savarit, but could also mean: parents of a person named Savarit), of (a person: soeur de Charlotte: sister of Charlotte).
décès de: death of
Departement: before the French revolution (about 1793), France was divided into provinces of very different sizes. From about 1793, it was divided into departements of similar size (except Paris area where departements are smaller). Today there are 96 such departements (Corse is divided in two). A departement is divided into a few arrondissements (ar: in DGFQ) that are divided into cantons (ca: in DGFQ). Departements correspond to the archives where the records are now located. They did not exist (and thus could not appear) before about 1793, so you will not find them in original records. Usually, older records contained the name of diocese. DGFC (by Tanguay) and DNCF (Drouin) give also provinces.
Dit names (variation of surnames): in certain areas of France, it was customary to use many family names to distinguish between different families with the same name or from branches of the same family. One will then indicate a family name in the form "JARRET dit BEAUREGARD". In general, the first item is the original family name and the second is a nickname. In the documents, one will find, for this example, JARRET, BEAUREGARD, JARRET dit (said) BEAUREGARD or BEAUREGARD dit JARRET. In general, the DGFQ and the DGO do not repeat the nicknames of the women and the family names are standardized. Contrasts with de (of or from).
Documentation insuffisante: no source is given for this information
Documented: based on a reliable document, in general an official and authenticated record dating from the time of the concerned event. Several pieces of information are considered as speculations because the source does not mention an original document making it possible to validate information.
Données insuffisantes pour conclure: not enough data to conclude. There is an error somewhere, but the records are not complete enough to decide what happened.
Enfant naturel: child born out of wedlock
Engagé La Rochelle: hired in La Rochelle to work in New France. It could also another town (the town will be identified).
Engagé ouest: hired to work in the " West ", that is almost any place West of Montréal during 17th and 18th centuries
Engagé ... par, pour: hired ... by (someone, the intermediate), to work for (someone, the owner of the trade)
Error: information that is false, on purpose or not, in a provable way. By publishing the errors presented as such, we expect to limit the propagation of errors.
év. (évêché): diocese
Fils naturel: son born out of wedlock
France: France as it is nowadays, as well as French-speaking European territories. France is generally targeted because 94% of the immigrants of old stock come from there, but when useful information on other migrants is known (like records found in Europe), it is also included.
Gaumine (in Mariage à la gaumine): marriage in the presence of witnesses and of the priest, but this priest is not informed about the marriage, in strict application of the law of the time. In other words, no record exists and there is no place called "Gaumine".
m (marié, mariée, mariés): married
n (né, née): born
New style (date): date according to the Gregorian calendar. See Calendars at the end of this section.
Parenté: relatives (as a note, means that records about relatives were found in Europe)
Peut-être: maybe. There is not enough information to confirm the information. Example: a birth certificate of a homonymous in the same town and the right year, but with a different name of mother or if the name of the parents was omitted in the marriage record.
Prob. (probablement): probably. Sure to approximately 80 or 90% (or, one is wrong once out of five or ten), i.e. it misses an evidence to confirm the information. Examples: two consecutive owners of a same land, almost homonymous couples.
Quebec: current territory of Quebec (since 1927). The records concerning people established in Quebec are included in volumes 1 and 2. For those established in Canada east of Quebec, see volume 3, whereas for those established west (and the south), see volume 4. This cutting is based on the available sources of information; in particular, there is no list of French immigrants established west of Quebec before 1800 and we believe that by making such a distinction, we will incite genealogists to build up such a list.
Rec. (recensement): census
Rehabilitation: when a marriage is declared invalid, new celebration of the marriage. For example, if it is discovered that the spouses are cousins (4th degree or less), an exemption is necessary. When it is obtained, the marriage is celebrated again. There are then two marriage records on different dates. Contrasts with two records of the same event in two different parishes or with an event that happened in one place but is recorded in another place (Jetté will say: Québec, célébré à Beauport to mean the ceremony occured in Beauport, but the record is in Québec.
Rem (remarié): married again
s (sépulture, inhumé): burial, buried
Seigneur: typically the lower level of nobility. Sometimes, indicates a landowner and a few "Seigneurs" were commoner. Contrasts with a "Sieur" who is usually a landowner.
Sieur: typically a landowner. Sometimes, indicates a nobleman, but many "Sieurs" were commoner. Contrasts with a "Seigneur" who is usually a nobleman. Contrasts with "Scieur de long" which is a sawyer.
Source: the following definitions concern the source at the end of each article
Speculation: assumption made to help future search. In general, it is about a coincidence, sometimes disconcerting, but the proof is not sufficient. For example, two different persons may have the same first and last name and may come from the same area. It is a common error to find a noble family coming from a given area and to attach an ancestor to it because he/she is from the same area. In fact, the family name is probably common in that area and ten persons can share the same first and last name. In other cases, one jumps a generation or one assembles a family randomly. By publishing the speculations presented as such, the author expects to favor new searches while limiting the propagation of errors if the assumption is not confirmed.
Spéculation faute de preuve: considered as a speculation because there is no source for this information
Spéculation invraisemblable: very wild guess, like concluding two men with the same family name are brothers.
s.s.p., sous seing privé: private record (at the time of recording)
v. (ville): town
Vers: about (a date). May also mean "toward a place"
vf (veuf): widower
Voir: see (more details under another entry on in another work)
vve (veuve): widow
Abreviations used in France:
The abbreviations used in France are different:
+ (décédé, décédée) deceased
x (marié, mariée) married
Cm (contrat de mariage) marriage contract
° (né, née) born
In the context of this work, three calendars interest us in particular: Julian, Gregorian and Republican.
The Julian calendar (or Old Style) takes its name from Julius Caesar. It was in use from Roman time until a date between 1582 and 1923 depending on the place. It came into usage on various dates depending on the area (Easter, January 1st, March 1st, March 25th, etc.). However, many sources standardizes the dates they show/print/quote so that the year appears as beginning on January 1st. Others sources indicate the dates at the beginning of year with two years: 15-01-1701/2 for January 15, 1701 (standardized year) which is also on January 15, 1702 (on the calendars of the time).
The Gregorian calendar (or New Style) takes its name from the pope Gregory XIII and is in use since 1582 depending on the place. The Gregorian calendar differs from the Julian in that the day varied by 10 to 14 days (i.e. March 1st, 1702 Old Style (or Julian) is March 11th, 1702 New Style (or Gregorian). Also, years 1700, 1800, 1900, 2100, etc. are not leap years (but 1600 and 2000 are leap years).
The Republican calendar was in use in France (and occupied territories) between October 24th, 1793 and January 1st, 1806. The Gregorian date will be always given in this work if a document carries a Republican date.
The change from Old Style to New Style varies depending on the area. Catholics were the first to implement the Gregorian calendar. Here are some dates of change for various countries. When many places are indicated, the date of change applies to all places appearing on the line before that date:
France and its colonies (including New France, French Acadia, French Forts of the West, Louisiana and some Caribbean Islands at the time when these places were French territories): October 4th, 1582 (which was followed by the October 15th, 1582) (in December 1582 according to another source).
Some parts of modern France that were not French in 1582 may have changed from Old Style to New Style at another date. For example, Alsace changed in 1648, but Lorraine changed in 1582, like the rest of France.
Great Britain and its colonies (including the future United States of America and Ireland): 1752. One can suppose that Nova Scotia (name of English Acadia as of 1713) used the Julian calendar.
Many New Englanders were made prisoners by the Amerindians and French during wars and baptized as catholic in New France. We can suppose that if the prisoner said he was born the 15 of the month, the priest repeated that same date, so you will read 15 in the New France record. If the birth record exists in New England, you will likely find the same "15", not the 4th (i.e. after converting from Gregorian to Julian calendar).
From 1600, the year begins on January 1st in Scotland (but continues to begin on March 25th in England). However, the Julian calendar remained in force until 1752.
Belgium (depending on the area): Brabant (1582), Liege, Hainaut (1583).
Switzerland (depending on the canton or the city): Luzern, Uri, Schwyz, Zug, Freiburg, Solothurn (1584); Wallis (1622); Sitten, Siders, Leuk, Raron, Visp, Brieg, Goms (1656); Zürich, Bern, Basel, Schaffhausen, Geneva, Muhlhausen, Biel (1701); Prättigau (1812).
Rome, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Poland: 1582
Germany, Netherlands (depending on the area): between 1582 and 1701.
Greece in 1923.
Note: the year applies to the whole preceding group, not only the last name.