Strolling Through Quebec’s Cemeteries

I love cemeteries. Is there a genealogist out there who doesn't?

I remember, ages ago, long before I was doing genealogy, whenever we passed a cemetery while driving around, my brother-in-law would tease me and say: Oh! look, a cemetery for Diane!

So it will not come as a surprise to you if I tell here that I most appreciate websites dedicated to cemeteries for genealogists. There is one though, in my opinion, that really stands out as it has much more to offer than burial listings and rather contains many details about the cemetery itself.

I find it very moving to walk through a cemetery, but before I shed a tear, I want to make sure I am in the right place.

For cemeteries located in the province of Quebec, the Website of the Fédération Écomusée de l'Au-Delà (available in English), created by Daniel Labelle, provides information such as the address or location; the foundation and closing date (if any); the parish foundation date; the latitude and longitude (Google Map is shown); its chronology (first, second, third cemetery, etc.); and sources.

Let me give you an example: Lachenaie, where many of my ancestors originate from. When I type the name of the town, I get three results: the old cemetery, the current one and the church crypt.

First, let's take a look at the results obtained for the old cemetery. I am learning that: it was the parish's first cemetery; it was located on the seignorial domain; it was founded in 1679 (1683 for the parish); and it was closed around 1730. Moreover, the notes mention that it was near a chapel. When I click on the Google Map and choose the Satellite view, I can see precisely where it was situated.

Now, let's turn to the results pertaining to the second cemetery (actually still there today) which dates back to about 1730. They provide, besides the above-mentioned information, its position versus the church, the spatial arrangement, the type of cross, the perimeter and other various data.

So, thanks to this unique tool, whenever I visit Lachenaie cemetery, I know for a fact that I am standing exactly where were buried my ancestors who died after 1730, even though there are no remains of ancient headstones.

If you are planning to come to Quebec to walk in your ancestors' footsteps, do not forget to check out this website before you start your journey.