Drouin Genealogical Institute

Drouin Microfilms - Useful French Terms

This list is limited to words use in the microfilms' catalogue. The list is not complete, but should be enough to understand most entries.
[Index (English)]
[Home Page]
[To learn more or to order microfilms]


French English
année par année year by year
antérieurs  before
après after
autre dénomination(s) other religion(s) than catholic. In Quebec, until 1993, records were maintained by priests. Therefore, records are separated depending on the religion. In this inventory, the order is usually the catholic, then the other religions and not religious records (usually, birthes from town halls)
autres églises other churches
avant before
avec with
brûlé (like in: "Hull a brûlé") burned, i.e. Hull's records have burned
cette paroisse  that parish
comme suit as follows
comté d' county of (used when the first letter is a voyel or a silent H)
comté de county of
contient  is containing
copie endommagée damaged copy
de 1855 à 1861 from 1855 to 1861
dernier last
désignée (as in: est désignée) named (as is: is named)
desservie (like in: "desservie par Sherbrooke") means the parish has no local priest but is using the priest of another parish (Sherbrooke in that example)
du 15 novembre 1903 au 31 décembre 1907 from November 15, 1903 to Decembre 31, 1907
fermée closed
greffe de la ville town hall
inclusivement (like in "1924 à 1926 inclusivement") included, i.e. 1924 to 1926 and 1926 in included in that series
L'année "The year", i.e. that year is separated in the microfilm
Les actes pour cette paroisse sont aux registres: de 1840 à 1844 des Bois-Francs. "The records for that parish are with the acts of (from 1840 to 1848) Bois-Francs", i.e. if you want those records, check the other parish(es) for the given year.
manque(nt) is (are) missing
marqué(e) en marge  this information is found in the margin
on trouve  we find
on trouve des actes de St-Claude we found records of St-Claude
ordre chronologique chrological order
par erreur  by mistake
photographié à la paroisse photographied (microfilmed) at the church, i.e. church copy (usually, the more reliable copy, and the one with marginal notes)
photographié au Greffe photographied (microfilmed) at the court house, i.e. court house copy (often, copied at the end of the year and sent to the court house)
postérieurs after
pour 1906 for 1906
premier first
registre commun (like in: "Waterloo & West Shefford ont un registre commun") shared records book (like in Waterloo & West Shefford are sharing their records)
registres différents (like in: "1930 a deux registres différents") different records books (like in: 1930 has two different records books)
Saint or St Saint (male form). In French, the modern syntax is "St-André" while in English, it is "St.Andre". "St Andre" and "Saint Andre", with or without dash, are also possible.
Sainte or Ste Sainte (female form)
Saints or Sts Saints (male and plural form)
semble être  seems to be
sont avec  are with
sous le titre de  under the title of
suivi de  followed by
Toutes les paroisses de ce microfilm sont mélangées. All the parishes on that microfilm are mixed.
voir see

Grammar notes.

In French, nouns have a gender and a number. So, we say "Un bateau" (a ship) and "Une maison" (a house). Adjectives are usually variable and take the gender and the number of the noun. A final "e" will usually indicate the female gender and a final "s" (sometimes "x"), the plural. For verbs, the plural is usually with the final "nt". So, we say "Le registre de la paroisse" to mean "The acts of the parish", "le registre est perdu, la liste est perdue, les actes sont perdus" to mean "the register is lost, the list is lost, the acts are lost". You can be confused by that.