Looking at the BAnQ (Quebec Archives) site and their digital collections has always been a great discovery for me. Last time I had a peak I noticed some new databases I hadn’t yet explored.
So if you have Quebec City ancestors you may be as interested as I in the Inventory of Documents from the Court of General Sessions. It is about 1/2 way down the page under the heading Law Courts.
What an amazing day I have had exploring this record set. The collection covers the years 1706-1927, and some years are not well represented, the main years are 1800-1927.
BUT, and I mean a HUGE but there are so much information contained in this database. Literally for years I have been searching for something, anything to tell me about my sailor ancestor Richard Lee Norton, what ships was he sailing on, where was he going, how long was he away? I have searched all over Canada and England for anything at all about him. I have only a few pieces of evidence; the baptism of his son in 1857 where it states that he is a Captain of the Montmorenci, City Directories and census records, and his headstone. Now I know a little more.
In 1854 he was a Captain of the steamboat Princess Royal. (insert squeal and happy dance)! Ok, ya, he is getting charged with assault, not ideal, but then again if it didn’t happen maybe I wouldn’t have found out he was a Captain of this boat.
Ok, now I have to be honest, not all the records are super great, I have multiple instances where I have family charging people with assault, or getting charged. It is a lot to contend with. But I have decided if my Ancestors were all prim and proper I would know a lot less about them.
I found my great great grandmother Hannah Norton had someone charged for assault and battery (are you seriously kidding me here?) in 1862.
Then this one, Cecilia Ready, twin sister of my great great grandmother Anastasia Ready, charged with stealing perfume in 1877!! (picture my mouth hanging open at each new reveal)
It just keeps going, I found in the index that Richard Norton jr. gave a deposition as he was the caretaker of Young Men’s Christian Association about a fire that happened there in 1892!
Ok, that’s all my examples for now, I have sent an email to BAnQ to figure out how I can get my hands on all these awesome documents. Email (email@example.com)
I have to say a huge thank you to BAnQ, cause this record set is seriously a genealogists dream database. They also have made searching much easier by having multiple variations of spellings covered when you search. The surname Jeffery has so many variations that I often will miss a few of them in my searches, BAnQ have made that headache go away.
I also suggest reading through the record descrition at the bottom of the page which is very helpful to understanding what is available and what records are missing, like many from 1866-73, in 1873 there was a fire at the Quebec City Courthouse and they were mostly destroyed.
I also have Google set to translate pages for me so the page always appears in English. The translation is not always the best but enough for me to navigate. If you struggle with French you may want to try it.
I truly hope you have as much fun as I did finding scandalous Ancestors and their nefarious activities in these records!