Using Tanguay as a source.

+7 votes
Is Tanguay considered a good source. Have just discovered it and not sure how much to rely on the information it contains.
in The Tree House by Lynne Sims G2G5 (5.7k points)
I use Tanguay,. No single source is perfect - my father's own birth certificate has the wrong birth date because a doctor transposed the last two digits. There is one element of human error in any record, and another in the transcriptoin for an online source.  Ideally, the information found in Tanguay can be confirmed in Drouin, or a census, or a note in a dairy, but sometimes we have to work with what we have.  I wouldn't limit myself to Tanguay, but I certainly use it.

As Laurie says, no source is perfect, however Tanguay is a good start as it goes up to about 1760. Jette does correct the earlier generations but stops at 1730. The things to be aware of in Tanguay is incomplete dates and no locations. Of course the best sources are the actual records but not being able to read French (and especially the handwriting) are stumbling blocks.  For more info on the parish records see -

2 Answers

+5 votes
Best answer
Tanguay should be used with the caveat that there are errors, particularly in how he writes names, he ''standardized'' them to his own era's usage.  19th century.   But in certain areas his work is the only source available, since he had access to records earlier than most everybody else who undertook similar work.  Many of the records he was able to consult were destroyed/lost before the next guy came along.

Also, Tanguay often will try to make people fit in with existing families, when they were in fact immigrants or were unrelated.  This doesn't happen too much, but it does happen.

So, with that said, yes, use him by all means, but remember his limitations, and whenever possible supply more primary sources for your data.  René Jetté's work in some instances actually just repeats Tanguay, but it is not always apparent that this was what he did.
by Danielle Liard G2G6 Pilot (403k points)
selected by Lynne Sims
+4 votes
I don't like to rely on Tanguay too much. It has too many errors. It can help get you started but I much prefer the Drouin collection of church records (it has errors as well, mind you).
by Benoît Bousquet G2G4 (4.9k points)
edited by Benoît Bousquet

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