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Home: Regional: U.S. States: Michigan: Bay County

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Re: Bay City, 1879, St. Joseph's Church
Posted by: Jan (ID *****4884) Date: August 26, 2005 at 10:52:10
In Reply to: Re: Bay City, 1879, St. Joseph's Church by Mary B of 860

Your quandry with French Canadian names in Bay County is all too common. It took me years to track my Bouthillette line because of the bizarre contortions of the name all over the country.

In your case, one of the surnames you gave actually clicked. Here's the link to the PRDH project through the University of Montreal with all of the records from 1621-1799 on the Quesnel family, inclusive of all contorted spellings. While it doesn't give you your specific ancestor, it does give you records thru his grandparents' generation that will help you identify the area that he probably came from and which parishes might have records on him.

For what it's worth, I've found that a good number of the French Canadians who settled in Bay City came from Trois Rivieres if they were here for the lumber industry. That's because they were recruited out of the forests between Trois Rivieres and Vermont and given fare to come here to deforest central Michigan. Those who came later and were not here for the lumbering seem to have a lot of ties to Goderich (Bay City's sister city), Joliette, Berthierville, and Pointe-aux-Trembles. But of course, that's not inclusive of all the little towns in the area.

If you have the marriage record on him, does it list his parents' names? If so, you can order the film of the Loiselle Marriage Index for the letter Q from the LDS library. There's a decent chance of it being in there. The only disclaimer is that these are films of index cards that were hand transcribed and they're not really alphabatized well. But they fill in a lot of gaps and can help you find parishes and dates for all of the parties and their parents, helping you bridge the gap back to pick up the very inclusive records from PRDH.

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