Sunset at Gowanus Bay

Sunset at Gowanus Bay
Sunset at Gowanus Bay, Henry Gritten, 1851

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Quebec, Lower Canada, Canada East, Eastern Townships

Below are some links that may be of help when researching ancestral lines that spent some time in the region that in the past was known variously as Lower Canada and Canada East, and today is the Canadian Province of Quebec.

The St. Lawrence River region was first explored by Jacques Cartier in 1534, and French settlements began to take hold in the area in 1609. This area, claimed by the French and known as New France, reached its peak in the first half of the 1700s. In 1763, the territory was ceded to Spain and Great Britain. It was at this time that the Province of Quebec, as a part of the British Empire, was founded.

In 1791, Lower Canada and Upper Canada were created (see the March 28th post). Lower Canada lived on as a political entity until 1841 when it was combined with Upper Canada to form the Province of Canada. What was formerly Lower Canada was, as of 1841, known as Canada East.

The 1867 act of Confederation divided the Province of Canada into the Provinces of Quebec and Ontario. Land purchases and Acts of the Canadian Parliament in subsequent years added more territory to the Province of Quebec, and today, it is the largest Canadian Province in terms of area. It is the second largest in terms of population.

The majority of the settlements and population during the colonial period and the post American Revolutionary War period was found along the St. Lawrence River and in the areas of close proximity to the American Colonies, later the United States. Many Americans who were Loyalists during the Revolution found new homes in Lower Canada after 1783. In addition, Lower Canada (later Canada East) received immigrants from the British Isles, especially from Ireland. During the 1800s the second largest ethnic population in the province, after the French, were the Irish.

The "Eastern Townships," refers to the area (within present day Quebec) lying south of the St. Lawrence River and north of the border with the U. S. states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York. This area was settled by both Loyalist and non-Loyalist families from the American Colonies in the years following the American Revolution.

Archives of Quebec

Eastern Township Archives

Eastern Township Research

Frampton Irish

Hemmingford Historical Archives

Lower Canada Land Petitions

Missisquoi County Genealogy Research

Missisquoi Museum

Notarial Archives - Quebec

Projet GenWeb du Quebec

Quebec & Eastern Townships Genealogy Research

The links above, along with a few links to some specific cemetery transcriptions, can be found in the column of links to the right.

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