Fichier Origine — An Overlooked Database


Fichier Origine is a database—only available in French—containing mentions of records from pioneers born outside the St. Lawrence Valley who settled in the territory known today as the province of Québec from the origins up to 1865. Included therein are, of course, immigrants who came from Europe but also those who were born elsewhere on the North American continent.

To find your ancestor in the Fichier Origine, his baptismal act or birth certificate—or even his parents’ marriage act—must have been found and validated. Although a team of dedicated researchers is busy working on tracing your ancestors in the archives, it is possible to collaborate by providing the acts you have found yourself.

You can search this database by entering the proper information in one of the four fields, i.e. Nom de famille (Surname), Département, État ou pays (Department, State, or Country), Localité ou paroisse d’origine (Town or parish of origin), and Lieu du marriage (Marriage Place). You can search the Surname field by entering the "dit" name, the latter having in most cases taken over the original surname.

Furthermore, this database singles out immigrants who shared a common socio-historical background. It is possible to identify all those who were part of the Carignan-Salières Regiment, women known as Filles du Roy [King’s Daughters], or even the Montcalm Soldiers for whom the origin has been found. Should you wish to make a more targeted enquiry, you may then restrict your search exclusively to immigrants for whom a baptismal act or birth certificate has been scanned and can be downloaded.

This database is of great use, but there is still room for improvement. It would be convenient to be able to limit the search by setting up a date range field (between … and …). Finally, place standardization would be desirable for any country other than France. As an example, for Italy, entering the word Toscane (for Tuscany) in the Department, State or country field shows no matches, even though immigrants originated therefrom. Using a province’s name would even be more accurate and would be far more comparable to French departments, the former being the archives’ depository.

Fiche Origine remains the sole genealogy database to properly establish a link between an immigrant who came to Québec and its actual place of origin. This database is generally regarded as reliable.