Tanguay Says

Information from:

DICTIONNAIRE GÉNÉALOGIQUE des FAMILLES CANADIENNES depuis la fondation de la colonie jusqu'à nos jours par L'Abbé Cyprien Tanguay. Depuis 1608 jusqu'à 1700.
Province de Québec, Eusèbe Senécal, imprimeur - éditeur - MDCCCLXXI

[GENEALOGICAL DICTIONARY of CANADIAN FAMILIES since the founding of the colony until our days by The abbot Cyprien Tanguay. From 1608 through 1700.
Province of Quebec, Eusèbe Senécal, printer - editor - 1871]


The Tanguay

I was on my third pass through The Tanguay (which--for brevity's sake--I'll be calling the DICTIONNAIRE GÉNÉALOGIQUE des FAMILLES CANADIENNES depuis la fondation de la colonie jusqu'a nos jours.) when I decided that the tiome for this page had come. 

It all started with a curiousity about the collateral lines of my 7th great grandparents, Robert Pépin and wife Marie Crête, who married in Québec City in 1670.

My French was all but non-existent when I started.  My spoken French is still atrocious but the written language is slowly but steadily improving as I go.  With the addition of some very patient pronunciation assistance, I have now reached a point where I am quite confidant that I would seriously embarrass myself in any French-speaking crowd. 

OK.  Seriously, I am understanding at least the general meanings of most things.  I easily recognize two of the three most common causes of death in colonial Canada: drowning and Iroquois.  Child birth was Number One, which church records rarely (if ever) kept track of, but is easily identified by the wife's burial date being really close to her last child's baptism date, which was generally followed by her husband's next marriage.

Drowning is noyé for boys and noyée for girls.

Tué par les Iroquois is killed by the Iroquois.  (During the time period this cause of death is most prevalent as the most Iroquois were really annoyed with the new neighbours.)

I can also say with absolute confidence that the little Bs in front of some of the dates stands for baptized not born

In French, born for a boy is and born for a girl is née; there aren't many birth dates, but there are some.

And S is for buried not died; died is mort.

Mary-Joseph is a girl.

Joseph-Marie is a boy.

The original purpose of this page is to act as a gateway for my Monster Database, the behemoth that grew out of my curiousity about my collateral family lines.   However, as time passed I realized there were bits and chunks that might be helpful to other, thus this is now the gateway to both the Monster Database and an assortment of Tanguay Triviatta.  Most of the latter is different list of people according to Nationality.  Why did Tanguay do this...?  Don't know.  Not even gonna try to guess.  I am, however, putting it here on the off-chance they might help someone find his/her missing relatives.  All information is presented as it appears the The Tanguay, spelling included.

The Monster Data Base the collateral family lines of the three PÉPIN families of New France.  25201 individuals as of 14 January 2005.
Sauvages Nègres
Coming next:  Anglais

On 17 July 2004, I made what I think is a pretty cool discovery. 

While looking for places on the Internet to recommend to you folks who can afford the $200 for Father Tanguay's seven-volume genealogy dictionary, I discovered a fellow on eBay selling a book (item number 5508637294) called:


It is the translation of Rev. Cyprien Tanguay's A TRAVERS LES REGISTRES and principally a collection of genealogical and historical details compiled by this same Rev. Tanguay who so patiently worked through almost all of the existing Canadian Registers to come up with his superlative effort, his nation's own Livre d'Or, his Dictionnaire Genealogique des Familles Canadiennes Depuis la Fondation de la Colonie Jusqu'a nos Jours, to gather together all of the genealogical material that he could before that same material was lost forever to wars, fires, lack of care, and the ravages of time.

Many of the details surrounding some of the individuals are furnished here and, collectively, only here.

The book is about the times and the people who lived in New France in the 17th and 18th centuries. It tells of plots against leaders ... of Amantacha, the son of the king of Canada ... of specific dates, names and places of thousands of births, marriages, illnesses and deaths ... of the brutal attacks both against and by the Amerindians ... of quaint old church practices ... of the parents of 27 children ... of a man who chose to live by himself for almost 40 years on a secluded island in search of his salvation ... of an oftentimes bloodthirsty populace cheering their public executioners on ... of Jesuit attempts to protect their Amerindian brothers from the same greed which our society seems to thrive on today ... of the mighty Dubocq who single-handedly sent 8 warriors to their happy hunting grounds and then ‘finished off' his deed in that special way ... of Canada's first known artist ... of the power of an unpaid dowry ... of the mysterious shipboard demise of a returning ex-wife ... of the man who surely must have been wearing red when he wandered off into the forest forever ... of the tragic deaths of many unknowns ... of the blessings of the church bells ... of the possible reason for the strange odors in your great-great grandparents' church ... of the fevers and spreading illnesses ... of a society's doctors who couldn't even set broken bones ... of the need to rebury so many of the dead ... of the brutal cold which "froze one's words and then thawed them out in the following Spring" ... of society's way of dealing with its criminals ... of a nation held together by its parish priests ... of tokens used as a medium of exchange ... of .10 cent per cord wood ... of scalp whoops ... of a-la-Gaumine marriages ... of the family with 3-twins ... of the eau-de-vie ... of the value of cod, corn and furs ... of M. DeChatte's lead coffin ... of Mrs. DeFrontenac's reason for literally returning her husband's heart to its sender ... of instances of superfetation ... of Madeleine de Verchere's bravery ... of the woman who tragically drowned with 6 of her children ... of the brutal executions of prisoners who stood while nuds en chemise ... of a hanging in effigy ... of 12-year olds marrying legally ... of the tragic reason for the death of Louis Hebert ... of the desperate Huguenot ... of children and wives forced to assist at the executions of their fathers and husbands ... and on and on and on.

Excerpt from the book
1726 August 13th
Charles Cauhet married Marie-Charlotte Laroche at Pointe-aux-Trembles de Quebec. He had already signed the marriage contract yet reasonable doubt regarding the death of his first wife arose and so Marie-Charlotte was prohibited from living with him as of the 30th of October 1725 until definite proof of her death could be presented by Cauhet. (Pointe-aux-Trembles" de Quebec Register) September 21st We blessed the bell for the Grondines church. (Grondines Registers) [The second of eight such bell-blessings recorded in this book. Roman Catholics have a great deal of faith in the value of having things blessed They themselves receive special blessings at the time of their baptisms and marriages and illnesses and deaths and ask for blessings for their throats...and their prayer beads..and their fishing boats, and their gifts... etc. etc. . And so it is not surprising that during a period when the Church was so important in the colonists everyday lives, a time when they were too poor to be able to afford individual timepieces, that they had to rely on church or other public bells to keep track of the time of day. Bells signaled the start and close of religious ceremonies and of workdays. They tolled to warn of emergencies or to advise of deaths or of happier events. They summoned citizens to assembly or to prayer or to arms or to fight fires. They indicated when it was time to sleep ...and to awaken. They rang to let merchants know when they could open up their shops... and when they had to close them. The colonists would surely have insisted upon blessing the very bells which guided their duly activities since they were absolutely essential to the life of the community.]

The index, which the vender ever so kindly provides, reads like a who's who of our family.  So once I'm done with the Monster Data Base, I'll be tackling my digital copy of À Travers les Régistres.

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updated 14 January 2005