Wednesday, December 28, 2011

French-Canadian Societies

Marc-Amable Girard (1822–1892) was the second Premier of the Western Canadian province of Manitoba, and the first Franco-Manitoban to hold that post.

There are lots of French-Canadian societies in Quebec, but did you know that there are French-Canadian societies in other parts of Canada? French-Canadians—as they expanded westward across Canada—settled in villages, towns, and cities in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta.


In the 2006 Canadian census, there were 488,815 French-Canadians in Ontario. They make up 4.1 per cent of the province's total population.

They are mainly concentrated in Eastern Ontario (in the cities of Ottawa, Cornwall, and towns in-between), Northeastern Ontario (in the cities of Sudbury, North Bay, and Timmins), and in Toronto, Windsor, Penetanguishene, and Welland.

There is Le Réseau du patrimoine franco-ontarien (RPFO) at This is a collection of over 30 French-Canadian societies in Ontario. Some sites are bilingual(F/E), while others are strictly in French, but they all have good information.


The majority of Franco-Manitobans (about 90%) live in the Greater Winnipeg area. There are Franco-Manitoban centres in Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes, St. Claude, St. Pierre-Jolys, Ste. Anne, Ste. Rose du Lac, La Broquerie, Lorette, St. Laurent, Somerset, and St-Lazare.

The Manitoba Genealogical Society covers all linguist groups in the province.

There is also The Manitoba Historical Society at, and the Centre du patrimoine, Société historique de Saint-Boniface at in which you can access the library database (in French), and the Voyageur contracts database (in French).


French-Canadians make up about 2 per cent of the population of Saskatchewan, and live in the cities of Regina, Saskatoon, Prince Albert, and Moose Jaw. They also live in small towns such as Gravelbourg, Albertville, Duck Lake, Ponteix, Zenon Park, and Bellegarde.

Saskatchewan Genealogical Society This society has 20 branches throughout the province, and covers the many peoples (including the French-Canadians) who settled there. Also, check La Société historique de la Saskatchewan at They have many published books such as La trace des pionniers, and offer a quarterly journal.


The French-Canadians are centered in the Bonnie Doon area of Edmonton, in the towns of Bonnyville, Plamondon, and St. Paul in the northeast, and in the settlements of St. Isidore and the Municipal District of Smoky River No. 130, including the towns of Falher, Donnelly, McLennan, and Girouxville, as well as in north-central Alberta.

La Société généalogique du Nord-Ouest is located in Edmonton, and they have been a society since 1991. They have a very inclusive research library.

Tomorrow Post: Canadian Archival Societies

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