How reliable is the website for Québecois sourcing?

+12 votes
I found some of the people with Canadian, specifically Québecois, roots on the site Now is my question, how reliable are the trees that are built over there? Are they good enough to be considered sources here?
in Genealogy Help by Jelena Eckstädt G2G6 Pilot (347k points)
It's a third or fourth source when you start on a new person. As a user site, many errors can occur. Good to start, but many items are unreliable.

You can see both fathers and mothers, relatively accurate.

8 Answers

+9 votes
Best answer
It's a user site - it is not any kind of official govt site at all.

Kind of like ancestry or family search

Useful for hints but not as a source
by Robynne Lozier G2G6 Pilot (704k points)
selected by Danielle Liard

I regularly use this site as a basic secondary source as I find it very useful to analyse some very mixed up profiles that we sometimes find. It is easy to flip from one generation to another.

Having fed a lot of their profiles, all based on church records as their rules require or encourages, I trust fairly the accuracy of their information. However, we have to remember that their FNAB is standardised, like PRDH. 

As far as I am concerned, their site is more reliable than several other sources on the net. 

I think this site is very useful for finding ancestors in New France and families of French Canadians.

Then, with the parish and the date, I go to "Quebec, Catholic parish registers, 1621-1979", database with images, on FamilySearch to see the original document.

And I agree with you Gaston, after hundreds of verifications, this site is more reliable than many other sources on the net.

I tend to find NosOrigines better than François Marchi's site (misleadingly called Genealogiequebec), though that might vary with the families.

I would consider a profile using NosOrigines as its only source as Unsourced (though I would not put the template on it) - but it's the first site I will check if I need quick clues for an incomplete and unsourced profile.
I have had similar experiences with NosOrigines.  In fact, I've been impressed at their willingness to correct mistakes when found.

When I'm adding sources and double checking them on WikiTree, I have a checklist that includes comparing to NosOrigines.  I've found some discrepancies, and emailed the contact of NosOrigines who has been very good about correcting the dates / names (since I provided the correct info, and a link to the FamilySearch version of Quebec Parish registers to justify the correction).  I figure, might as well keep my branch as accurate as possible - doesn't cost me anything but a wee bit of extra time and care.
+14 votes
I am pragmatic about using Nos Origines, by definition a secondary source.

Being a freely-available tree with basic profiles as with WikiTree, I have found Nos Origines to be useful as a secondary source to quickly identify on first-cut basis multiple tree branches. Nos Origines often cites PRDH, which is a reliable higher-grade reconstruction of ancient Québec parish registers.

As with any secondary sources, Nos Origines should be checked with at least one other good secondary source and ideally with corresponding solid primary sources.

Edit, was: '. . . and ideally with a solid primary source.'
by Anonymous Lambert G2G6 Mach 1 (10.6k points)
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+5 votes

In my experience the accuracy of Nos Origins depends rather highly on the particular branch you happen to be looking at. In other words I've found that some families are very accurate (often including links to primary sources, most often non-indexed FamilySearch Quebec Parish records) while other families can have pretty bad mistakes, sometimes obvious ones. I've found one hint at the accuracy of a particular record to be whether or not they state an exact birth date or just a birth year, it's not a perfect indicator by any means but it can give you some idea of the research effort that went into the creation of the profile. For Nos Origins profiles that only have a birth year I always try to verify the year on PRDH and it often works though it can be challenging due to name changes and variations in spellings. Actually these days I try to at least verify most Nos Origins profiles on PRDH which I consider more of a primary source indexing service than a secondary source or, at the very least a highly reliable secondary source. While PRDH itself does not maintain copies of the scanned original documents they do link to the originals on Since it requires a subscription to both sites to access the primary resources I try to include a link to the search that generates the desired result on the public access section of PRDH so anyone who wants to can at least view the record (ex: Honore Cayer dit Biscornet)

Ideally of course, all Wikitree profiles should have primary sources, and I have been trying to add baptism, marriage or burial records from Familysearch lately, but manually searching the parish registers can be incredibly time consuming, especially when your French is as bad as mine!

by Paul Chisarik G2G6 Mach 1 (13.2k points)
Honoré Cadier dit Biscornet - born 26 Aug 1848

"Québec, registres paroissiaux catholiques, 1621-1979," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 16 July 2014), Saint-Jean > Saint-Jean-l'Evangéliste > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1841-1861 > image 275 of 783; Archives Nationales du Quebec (National Archives of Quebec), Montreal.
I must append my previous statement: ...manually searching the parish registers can be incredibly time consuming unless you are E Martin (who I'm convinced has them all committed to memory;). Thanks once again E! It usually takes me longer than that just to find the year in the book. And on this one I couldn't even figure out which of the three parishes under St-Jean was the right one...

I guess that's also another validation point for PRDH which I personally have never found to be in error. I imagine there certainly could be errors given the number of records but I haven't found one yet. It is still nice to see the original document though which provides the additional information of the specific baptism and birth dates as well as the godparents.
You gave good information (PRDH links) ...

The rest is my experience ...
where to go ..
what to look for ...
how to search ...

Personally, I look at all sources, even secondary, if they allow to find the original document.
Personally, I have already found some errors in the PRDH.

I sent a message and the correction was made.
+5 votes
Variable, from totally unsourced to sourced with primaries, it's a family tree site, multiple contributors like Wikitree, has no specific requirements as to sources, and so you get all sorts of things, from extreme accuracy to sloppy work.  Useful for getting hints, but beware those who jumped to conclusions.
by Danielle Liard G2G6 Pilot (259k points)
Please note that for pre-1700 it is considered not a valid source.  In any case, if they cite a source, go to that one and use it instead.  Often they cite their source as ''PRDH'' with no further details.  PRDH is huge, so which records are they referring to?  And often they cite no sources at all.  Nos Origines is at best a tertiary source.

As much as possible, always use primary sources.  Secondary sources would be things like PRDH, Tanguay, Jetté, and very often they are the only sources available, they based themselves on primary sources which were available to them.  Drouin Institute has the Lafrance database (and now also manage PRDH database) which links to original documents in most cases.  FamilySearch also has loads of primary sources, but they are unindexed, so more time consuming to find.
+6 votes
I personally trust user's for being honest in theirs contribution and i'm totally agreable to use it as a source, a weak source but a source. If an other source occur, it's will most probably overcome (Sometime, there is many sources on nosorigines page that justify using it as primary source.).

This is in accordance with the Genealogist Honor Code point III.
by Éric Boucher G2G Crew (630 points)
+4 votes
I have found nosorigines to be a valuable tool for further researching of individuals, and WOULD NOT put in the same class as Ancestry Users who sometimes copy records without sources.  The main difference that I see is that each individual record in nosorigines is "owned" by the individual who submitted the record, and cannot be changed by anyone other than that individual.  If you are a member (free), and log in, you have the ability to send the "owner" of the record an e-mail requesting verification and/or correction if you have found the record to be incorrect via a trusted source such as the PRDH, Le Lafrance, or BMS-2000.

I use nosorigines as another tool for research and on the rare occasion I have found something incorrect, have sent an e-mail to the "owner" showing the source of the correct information.  On each occasion, I have received a response from the "owner" and the record has been corrected.

This is a "Free"site, which sometimes provides information not available from the regular sources.
+2 votes
So if NosOrigines is the only citation should we put an {Unsourced|Quebec}} tag on the profile or not?

I don't put unsourced for PRDH because they link to the original records but I do currently put one for Nosorigines.
by Cindy Cooper G2G6 Mach 6 (64.5k points)
I don't bother with the unsourced tags much, if I am on the profile and have sources, I enter them directly.  Saves someone else having to come around to fix it.
+1 vote
It is a good source of secondary information, but there are many omissions and errors.  They are quick to correct them if you send them in. is a much better source, and you can get copies of original documents from them if they can be located.
hi Paul, Mesaïeux is useful for research to get records, since they do have a lot of them, but they should not be cited as source without much more data added, since they are a pay-site also, and for someone to view their records they have to pay for it.  Operates a bit differently than most places, you can build your tree there for free, but to consult the database and get records you have to pay.  Not very expensive individually I'll grant, but it accumulates after a while.

That said, they do have some errors, used them myself for a while, they had my great-grandfather married to Valérie Brissette and remarrying to my great-grandmother after.  Trouble is, Valérie's husband died before her.  His actual wife was Vitaline Brissette.  After I found the relevant records, I sent them copies, and got the answer that the marriage with Vitaline was in a parish for which they did not have the records.  Hence the tie-in with Valérie.  Which they still have not corrected in their database.

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