Notes on the Drouin Collection Online at Ancestry.com

During the past few weeks, I’ve spent quite a bit of time with the Drouin Collection recently available online at Ancestry.com. 

ONE COPY OR TWO 

The records in the Drouin Collection online at Ancestry.com are sometimes provided as a single copy and sometimes as two copies. For example, the records from Coatacook include a single copy of the birth and baptismal records, but the records from St. Valentin include two copies, presumably a civil copy and a church copy.

Two different copies of a record provide a distinct advantage over a single copy: if one copy is difficult to read in whole or in part, the other record may help with the transcription. Further, one can check each copy against the other to determine if the two records differ from each other in any way and to decide if one record includes a transcription error.

Generally, those localities in the Drouin Collection with two copies include one set prefaced with a paragraph stating that the copy was prepared for the locality. In the civil copy, the records for each new year generally starts on a new page, since the parish prepared sets of these records for the civil authorities annually. The folio numbers for the civil copies usually start over each year.

The other set, which I assume is the church copy, does not include the preface, and the records for a new year usually continue on the same page as the records from the previous year. One might assume the church followed this practice to save paper and money. The folio numbers for the church copies are often continuous from year to year.

INDEXES 

While none of the Drouin Collection is electronically index at the present time, many of the record sets include digital images of the hand-written indexes. Unfortunately, some record sets do not include an index of any kind.

For some localities, the digital image of the index is provided through a separate link. For example, the records for St. Antoine sur Richelieu, St. Basile le Grand, St. Sulpice, and St. Valentin may be accessed through one link, and the digital images of the indexes are provided through a second link.

In the case of St. Valentin, the index link provides digital images of the hand-written indexes only for the church copies of the records. The civil copies of the records include digital images of the hand-written indexes at the end of each year.

I’ll be spending a lot more time with the Drouin Collection, since the records of several families I’m researching are included in the collection.

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