Tour de New France
6/1/2006
It's easy to discover your family's French Canadians connection—just cycle through the resources and records in our guide.
 
If you're always humming “Alouette,” and you can't resist swapping family histories with every Brosseau and Gervais you meet, you probably descend from the French citizens and soldiers who settled eastern Canada during the 17th century. French Canadians all seem to be related one way or another, which means you might share ancestry with the likes of songstresses Celine Dion and Madonna, beatnik author Jack Kerouac or hockey player Guy Carbonneau.

But you won't need famous ties or bonne chance to find your French Canadian roots. I started researching mine after spending years pursuing my English and Irish ancestors. In one afternoon, I'd traced my Quebec family back to the province's beginnings in 1608. Excellent record-keeping and tons of published sources make French Canadian research nearly as smooth as the Trans-Canadian highway. Of course, you may encounter a few potholes, such as language barriers and confusing naming practices. But with our advice to steer you around these problem spots, it's sure to be a quick trip back to your French connection.