Huge update on PRDH — More than one million new files

The Drouin Institute this morning made one of its largest updates to one of the most important databases for Quebec research — the Programme de recherche en démographie historique (PRDH – Research Programme in Historical Demography).

subscription to now provides access to all French Canadian individuals and families who lived in Quebec from the very beginning of the French colony up to 1861. Until today, the collection went as far as 1851.

This update adds a decade of coverage to the database, and represents the addition of 738,696 vital records, 544,537 individuals and 94,264 families.

PRDH is a database of all Catholic baptisms, marriages and burials recorded in Quebec between 1621 and 1861, as well as a genealogical dictionary of families commonly known as “family reconstructions.” It does include some Protestant records.

On PRDH, researchers can find entire families through a series of hyperlinks. Click on the Family link to see the names of the individual’s parents and siblings, along with their dates of baptism, marriage and burial. From there, you can go back even farther.

In 1966, the Programme de recherche en démographie historique at the Université de Montréal undertook the massive task to reconstruct the European population of Quebec from the beginning of New France to the early 1800s.

Once you get back to the late 1700s on PRDH, you can practically leap back in your ancestry.

The information on the site has been proven, although there may still be some errors. As usual, always check more than one source.

Without a subscription, you can do some things for free. Just click on the public access link on the home page to see what’s available. It’s also possible your public library provides full access to the site.

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