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The French-Canadian Genealogist
The French-Canadian Genealogist is a Canadian-based company offering genealogy research services, French-language document translation and transcription services, as well as photo restoration services to preserve your family’s memories. Although we specialize in French-Canadian genealogy, we can also help uncover your roots in the U.S. and most European countries.
With over a dozen years’ of experience, we can help you trace your roots, build your family tree or solve a lifelong family mystery.
What is genealogy?
‘Genealogy’ is the study of family ancestors with documentation of birth, marriage and death dates and locations through parents, grandparents, great grandparents, and so on – as far back as possible. ‘Family history’ is more an in-depth study of the lineage in a family including the life stories of individuals; like their education, occupations, medical conditions, military service, residences and the sociocultural environment they lived in.
How does one “do” genealogy?
For most genealogy research, we work from the known to the unknown. Starting with our parents, we identify important details that we know like dates and places of birth, marriage and death. We then confirm each parent’s parents, either through personal knowledge, or with documentation (for example, a marriage record will normally list the bride and groom’s parents). Genealogists use a variety of sources to find documentation—from personal family documents to websites, books, newspapers, visits to the local archives, and so on. Once we identify an ancestor’s parents with certainty, we can then “move up” to another branch on the family tree, until we reach the elusive top. For most genealogists, research on their own family tree is a lifelong endeavour.
Why do genealogy?
Given the immense popularity of genealogy DNA tests and TV shows like Who Do You Think You Are and Genealogy Roadshow, people are increasingly interested in knowing and understanding where they come from—their personal family history. Undertaking this type of research is a very time-consuming and costly endeavour, which also requires knowledge and experience. Hiring a professional can bridge that gap.
People who are interested in their ancestry are normally interested in history—and their own relatives’ place in history—painting a picture of what their lives were like at a given time and place. It could be mere curiosity, to find out more than “my grandparents were from Ireland” for example. For some, an interest in genealogy can be triggered by a specific event. For example:
Birth Parents – to find the birth parents of an adopted child, or the children given up for adoption by a parent.
Family Lore – to prove or disprove stories about an ancestor.
Historical Event – to better understand how an ancestor was involved in a famous historical event, like a military conflict.
Medical Conditions – to determine whether a specific medical condition “runs in the family”.
Family Inheritance – to prove a family connection for potential heirs.
Family Legacy – to pass on a legacy to future generations. This often happens when a couple has children, or as a person retires and gets older.
At a very fundamental level, genealogy seeks to answer the age-old questions “where do I come from?” and “how did I get here?”. A genealogist can help to answer part of those questions.