How often do we get to hit "reset" and start researching our family history all over again?The family that I've been researching for several years is not my blood family. I was adopted as a child. I was fascinated by the family stories my relatives would tell me. And, being curious (ok nosey) I wanted to know more. I've learned a lot about Polish, Ukrainian and Scottish immigration patterns and customs from both sides of my family.

Recently, however, I have uncovered information about my birth mother. Her family is peppered with French names. In the entire time I've researched my family I've never had a French ancestor! I'm starting from scratch; new research avenues, new resources, etc.

This is a completely new family tree. MY family tree. I imagine this will be an emotional journey as well as an educational one. It's difficult to describe how this feels. I've been researching my adopted ancestors for years. They're comfortable and familiar (yes, I know they're still dead). But there was always a sense of detachment from them. Like they're weren't my blood. So anyone who had "questionable" habits was interesting, rather than "gosh, I share the same blood as this person." 

I'd be grateful to anyone for suggestions on where to begin researching French Canadian relations. I'm starting at the grandparent level.



09/27/2012 10:50am

You're so lucky! The French have amazing records - here in Canada and in France. I have been able to trace my French ancestors back to the late 1500s. In comparison, my Polish ancestors I've only been able to trace to the late 1800s. Several World Wars in the 1900s wiped out a hell of a lot of important records.
If you're in Canada, start with the Drouin Collection - it's a collection of births / marriages and deaths in Quebec and Eastern Ontario from 1621 to (in some cases) the 1960s. In a matter of a few hours I was able to trace back about 3 generations, as well as find all the brothers and sisters of my great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather. Contact me if you have questions. Michelle (

09/28/2012 8:55pm

Thanks for the advice Michelle. I just did a quick search but didn't find anything. I'll take a closer look tomorrow with fresher eyes. Besides is there another search engine I can try? I find Ancestry's search capabilities very confusing.


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