My journey on the trail
of my French ancestors

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"I was born in Canada. I am a Quebecer and live in Trois-Rivières. My journey began quite simply: I wanted to know where my great-great-grandparents came from. I looked them up on It took me several days to find anything. The names were very common, or the records didn't list any names or places of birth. Finally, I found a record for one of my great-great grandparents - his birthplace was Verneuil-sur-Avre in France. His name was Etienne Dupuis. I wanted to know more about him, even though he died before I was born! So I looked for ways to trace him. That's how I discovered "Terres de nos ancêtres". I had found a way to go back in history and walk in the footsteps of my ancestors.

How can I make this journey, go back in time and follow the thread of my history and understand where I come from?

It is in the towns and villages of France that your ancestor began his life before leaving. He was baptized there, perhaps married there or married one of his children... The churches have changed little since then, and commemorative plaques bear the traces of their passage.

The toponymy of some places refers to the name of your ancestor. These old villages, sometimes medieval, still have century-old houses, perhaps the one of your ancestor. In or around these towns and villages there are still people with similar roots, who may be distant relatives or even cousins!


The landscape may have changed, but these villages offer the opportunity to get to know each other. A meeting between two strangers of different generations is enough to make them discover that their family histories are very much linked...

Most of the birth, baptism and marriage certificates, engagement contracts and embarkation lists are kept in the Archives Departmentales. They are proofs of the existence and passage of your ancestors in these places.

The Tourouvre Museums will be able to guide you on the geographical origin of your family name, and will help you discover the historical context, the living conditions in France and in New France, the crossing of the Atlantic.... The journey, the adventure of your ancestors' lives is retraced.