Fichier Origine: To Keep Coming Back Pays Off!

Have French-Canadian Ancestry? If you have climbed up your family tree up to the 17th or early 18th Century in New France, you probably have consulted the Dictionnaire généalogique des familles du Québec – des origines à 1730 by René JETTÉ and found your ancestor with details of where he came from. Others are not so lucky, finding only the name without any clues about his/her parents and place of origin. An example, my 8G great-grandmother, Marguerite Drapeau (abt 1616-1683). Her name is mentioned in the Dictionnaire but the only clue was a marriage contract signed in La Rochelle.

Thanks to the database Fichier Origine, the work initiated by René Jetté was continued by Marcel Fournier, a well-renowned genealogist, as coordinator of the database, who was himself inspired by historian Yves Landry who had the idea in the first place. The project was first proposed to the Fédération québécoise des sociétés de généalogie and later approved by the Fédération française de généalogie.

Who will you find in this database? Your ancestor, if he was born in France and later emigrated to New France. If the baptismal act of your ancestor was not found, you may find the one of a sibling.

Marguerite Drapeau is in the database since November 2013. I have her parents’ names, I have the baptismal date of two of her siblings, I have her mother burial date and place and her village of origin: Mouzeuil-St-Martin, in Vendée.

The database is only in French but this will help you with the search criteria:

Nom de famille = Surname
Localité ou paroisse d'origine = Place or parish of origin
Département, état ou pays = Department, state or country
Lieu du mariage = Place of marriage
Rechercher (button) = Search
Effacer (button) = Reset

If you find your ancestor and there is a big bunch of text in French and you need the translation, just contact me, I will be happy to help! 🙂

As of April 15, 2014, the database had 5,809 entries. Good luck!





What’s in a name?

In the past and more recently, some of you have asked me about the name Hubou-Tourville. When I was a little girl, looking in the dictionary, I was of course convinced that Anne Hilarion de Costentin Tourville, a count from Normandy, in France, was my ancestor. Well, unfortunately, such is not the case.

Anne Hilarion de Costentin, count of Tourville (1642, Coutances – 23 May 1701, Paris)

In 1975, we had the opportunity to ask for our genealogy tree to be made for free from a special program from the ministry of culture (Québec). It took us one year to get a response. I was too young at the time, but looking back, knowing that it would be so easy in our case (it would have taken me 30 minutes), I would have liked to do it myself. When we actually received our genealogy tree, my father said with astonishment: “Hey, I just remembered that my father once told us that our real name was Hubou!” What amazed me is that if my father wouldn’t have seen it that day, he would have probably never told us about it.

In New-France, many people had a “dit” name which I could translate by a.k.a. It was often descriptive. For Americans looking for their French-Canadian ancestry, the task can be a little more difficult, not to mention the anglicization of some names (Boisvert to Greenwood for example).

Mathieu Hubou, our ancestor, came to which is now Québec City around 1642. Later on, he also adopted a “dit” name which was Deslongchamps. His two sons, Jean-Baptiste and Mathieu were also called Hubou dit Deslongchamps. All the descendents of Mathieu kept the name of Deslongchamps, which that means that the Deslongchamps and the Tourvilles do have the same ancestor.

However, the son of Jean-Baptiste, Augustin, was called Hubou dit Tourville. The “dit” name Deslongchamps is easy to figure out. In a contract, Mathieu Hubou is said to be living in the place called “des longs champs” (the place where there are long fields). However, the “dit” name Tourville is not descriptive. The first mention of this surname in the church or notary records is at the time of his marriage in 1712.

Could it be possible that Augustin adopted it because he admired the Count of Tourville? I think this could be an explanation. The count of Tourville died in 1701 in France and by the time Augustin was an adult (he was born in 1691), he had surely heard about the victories of Count Tourville’s battles against the English and Dutch fleets.

Another family in New France adopted the Tourville name as a “dit” name. Some Dutaut-Tourvilles also emigrated to the United States (mainly to Minnesota) but that family is not related at all to the Hubous even we have the same surname. The first mention of the surname of Tourville for the Duteaus is in 1720.

If you want to know more about the count of Tourville:

If you want to know more about the “dit” name custom