MC Working With Notarial Records II: Property and Business Records

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Meets Tuesday evenings: 5 June, 10 July, 7 August, 4 September, and 2 October.

French-Canadians are fortunate to have some of the most extensive surviving records in the world. The uniform membership in the Catholic church and duplicate records make it easy for us to get the bare bones of our history together. But what about the rest of their lives? What kind of property did they own? Who did they trade with? What were their homes like? What about adopted children? Notarial records can answer these, and many more questions.

By the end of the course, students will have the tools necessary to read and interpret a variety of notarial records dealing with property, guardianship, employment, and business. (Guardianship records are included here as the primary reason for a guardian was to safeguard property.)

Led by Michael J. Leclerc, CG, students will get practical experience in reading and translating these valuable materials. By the end of the course, students will learn to transcribe, translate, and abstract these records to obtain the gold nuggets of information contained within them.

This second of two courses lasts for five months. The class gathers once a month for a 2–3 hour online video classroom where students interact with the instructor just like a live class. Everyone can see each other and talk with each other. Each session begins by reviewing the assignment from the previous month, then focuses on a discussion of a new set of records, discussing how and when they were used, information contained within them, etc.

  • Live video classrooms with student participation
  • Limited class size for maximum interaction
  • Homework assignments

Those who complete the entire course, participate in discussions, and complete all assignments will receive a Certificate of Completion.


Course Outline

Month One

Discussion:                            Welcome and Introduction
Records Discussion:             Tutelles and Curatelles

Assignment:                           Transcribe, translate, and abstract tutelles and curatelles.

Month Two

Review:                                   Tutelle/Curatelle work
Records Discussion:             Ventes and Achates

Assignment:                           Transcribe, translate, and abstract ventes and achates.

Month Three

Review:                                   Ventes/Achates work.
Records Discussion:              Engagements

Assignment:                            Transcribe, translate, and abstract Engagements.

Month Four

Review:                                   Engagements.
Records Discussion:             Business Contracts

Assignment:                           Transcribe, translate, and abstract business contracts.

Month Five

Review:                                   Business Contracts work.
Discussion:                            Wrap up and final review of course concepts
Next steps


The Live Classrooms for this session will be held on five Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. Eastern time: 7 June, 12 July, 5 August, 6 September, and 4 October 2018. Live Classrooms will be recorded for later review in the event a student must miss a session. Because of the participatory and interactive nature of this class, those who miss more than one Live Classroom may not be eligible for the Certificate of Completion.

Students should be Intermediate to Advanced researchers. They should already have a basic understanding of what notarial records are and what indexes are available. Preference will be given to those who take Part I of the course. The primary focus of this course will be on reading and interpreting the records, not what they are and how to find them.