Sunday, March 23, 2014

Church Record Sunday: Misfiled Sacramental Records

Drouin Collection screenshot from Ancestry
“Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967” (

Great-Uncle Joseph Beauvais

Last week, I wanted to find the baptism record of Joseph Beauvais, a younger brother of my maternal grandmother Juliette (Beauvais) Desgroseilliers.

I was pretty sure that great-uncle Joseph was born and baptised in 1916 in Montpellier, Papineau County, Quebec, so I logged into and went straight to the Montpellier section of the “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, bypassing the database’s search engine.

Missing Records

I was surprised to find that 1916 and 1917 were missing from Montpellier’s range of years spanning 1907 to 1941.

I decided to do a database search and found Joseph’s name. He appears in the index as “Epouse Nille Germaine Gerard Joseph Beauvais”. Whoever transcribed his name for that index put “Epouse Nille Germaine Gerard” in the prefix portion of Joseph’s name. This bit of misspelled info, located in the text’s sidebar, indicates that Joseph married (épousé) miss (Mlle) Germaine Girard.*

* Joseph’s baptism record is on the right hand side of the above image, entry number B.20.

Misfiled Records

The interesting part about finding Joseph’s baptism record, though, is that it’s with Montebello’s records in the “Drouin Collection”, instead of being with those of Montpellier.

If you take a look at the above screenshot, you’ll see Ancestry’s logo in top left corner. Beneath it in the dark strip, you can see M > Montebello > 1916-1917. These words and years indicate that the reader will find records for the town of Montebello for the years 1916 and 1917. However, these are not Montebello records, but Montpellier records.

Montpellier vs Montebello

Just below this dark strip is a piece of paper on the left that is held by paperclips. On that paper, it states:

Co. Papineau

So that’s where Montpellier’s records are – they’re filed with Montebello records.

An Explanation

During the 1940s-1960s, Institut généalogique Drouin microfilmed Catholic parish registers in Quebec and Ontario (and elsewhere). The result became known as the “Drouin Collection”. Ancestry has an indexed version of this collection, but the original collection comes from the Institute. The records can be viewed with a subscription at GénéalogieQuébec.

Thinking that Ancestry misfiled Montpellier’s records, I took advantage of my subscription with GénéalogieQuébec to verify how they were filed at this site. It turns out that Montpellier’s 1916 and 1917 records are misfiled in the same manner – with Montebello’s records.


When searching for baptism, marriage or burial records for Montpellier for 1916 and 1917 in the “Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967” database at Ancestry, be sure to look instead under Montebello.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

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