Châteauguay County GenWeb

Ellice Family Fonds (Archived Papers)


In 1795, Alexander Ellice (or Ellis), a wealthy English merchant, purchased the Seigniory of Beauharnois, the largest in french Canada. It was this seigniory that became the County of Beauharnois and the largest part of the County of Châteauguay. He and his descendants held possession of this huge tract of land during most of the next 60 or more years. It was during this period when large numbers of the expanding French-Canadian population and immigrants from the British Isles (mostly Scotland) settled the virgin lands. The Ellice family also acquired, through grants and purchases, large tracts of land in the Godmanchester and Hinchinbrooke Townships of neighboring Huntingdon County as well as lands in the "Eastern Townships" of Quebec, east of the Richelieu River.

During the course of their activities, the Seignior of Beauharnois and his agents amassed a massive number of documents, mostly concerning land transactions and financial deals with the settlers. It also included legal documents from the numerous court cases involving delinquent debtors and squatters especially the infamous "Russelltown Dispute". They document the important decisions and movements of the settlers and are a valuable source of historical information about the people who settled the Châteauguay Valley. These documents were purchased from the Ellice family by the Scottish Archives in Edinborough where serious researchers can access them. The National Archives in Ottawa also have microfilms of these documents and there is some evidence that the Ottawa films contain documents not in the ANQ set. More research will clarify this.

The Archives Nationales du Quebec (ANQ) has a collection of 10 rolls of microfilm that record more than 4000 of these documents. Some years ago, they prepared a subject or title index of most of these documents that comprised two books totalling over 200 pages. There are two problems with this index. First, it is indexed in the order that the documents appear on the films. In order to search a particular name, one must search through all 200 pages of the index books. To solve this problem, I have prepared an alphabetic surname index. Secondly, the interpretation of the names on the document titles is full of errors, both in the french and the english or scottish names. In order to improve this situation, I accessed each document and tried to verify the name. The old handwriting and various spellings made this difficult and I am sure that I did not catch all the errors. Nevertheless, the following surname index should be a big improvement over the original title index. Important: Please read the Disclaimer.

This surname index lists all the principal names (other than those mentioned below) shown on the title of the document. However many documents are entitled " John Smith et al" and the body of the document may contain one or more relatives, partners or associates to the transaction documented. In some cases where it was necessary to scan the document itself to verify the title name(s), these additional names were noted and added to the index. They are by no means complete. In addition most all of the titles contained the name of the seignior or one of his agents. These names have generally not been indexed. Also not included are the names of officials (sheriffs, judges, notaries, attorneys, etc) and corporations (municipal and private).

The Surname Index

A B Bo C Ci D E F G H I J K L Le Lf M Mc Md N O P Q R S T U V W X Y

The Types of Documents

The ANQ Title Index

The Microfilms and their Numbers

How to get Copies of the Documents

Types of Documents

For the purpose of simplifying this web page, the types of documents indexed have been grouped together into five classes.

1 - Land Transactions
Sales (both notarial documents and private (Sous Seing Prive) arrangements), Promise of Sales, Concessions, Commutations, Leases, Transfers, Exchanges, etc.
2 - Financial Transactions
Loans, Acquittances, invoices, receipts, etc.
3 - Legal Documents
Complaints, Summons, Subpoenas, Testimony, Petitions, Judgements, Writs, etc.
4 - Correspondence
Letters and other correspondence between the Seignior and his agents, between settlers and the agents, etc.
5 - Misc
Anything not included in the above classes.

Index Book and Document Number

The original ANQ title index was divided into two (2) books. Book I listed Notarial documents, grouped by the notary's name in alphabetic order and within each notary's group, listed in chronological order. Book II listed all other documents, grouped by general class. For your convenience, these groups are listed in the following tables.

Ellice Family Fonds - Index Book I
Doc# Range Notary Name Date Range
1 - 9  ADAMS, Louis  1844-1856
10  BARBEAU, Louis  1819
11 - 14  BASSINET, François Clovis  1859-1870
15  BEAUCHEMIN, Joseph  1872
16  BEAUDOIN, C. Gaspard, père  1856
17 - 145  BEAUDRY, Georges Aimé  1852-1861
146 - 150  BEDARD, Charles  1854-1870
151  BEDOUIN, Joseph   
152 - 154  BELLE, Joseph  1857
155 - 157  BENOIT, Pierre  1852
158 - 182  BISSON, Alexis Raphael  1855-1877
183 - 184  BOURASSA, Ignace Gamelin  1801-1804
185  BRISSET, Joseph  1839
186 - 847  BROSSOIT, Joachin  1859-1879
848  BRUNET, Hyancinthe  1852
849  BUREAU, Jacques Olivier  1853
850  CARDINEL, J. Narcisse  1831
851  CHARLEBOIS, Jean Alfred  1852
1830  COURSELLES, Gédéon  1830
853 - 854  CRAWFORD, William Nicolas  1834
855  DAVID, Joseph  1847
856 - 864  DEMERS, Louis  1806-1863
865 - 867  DEPAROIS, Louis  1848-1858
868 - 871  DOUCET, Théodore  1847 - 1867
872 - 874  DOUCET, Nicolas Benjamin  1831 - 1844
875 - 876  DUBOIS, Antoine Alexis  1807 - 1825
877 - 881  DUMESNIL, G. Hyacinthe  1853-1854
882  DUPERE, Pierre Henry  1833
883  McDONELL, S.S.  1865
884  D'ESCHAMBEAULT, Guillaume F.  1864
885  GAMELIN, Pierre  1825
886  GARAND, Moïse  1857
887 - 934  GERVAIS, Louis  1852 - 1867
935 - 941  GIBB, Isaac Jones  1842-1855
942  GRIFFIN, Henry  1839
943 - 1032  HAINAULT, Louis  1840-1858
1033 - 1041  HARNOIS, François Xavier  1838-1853
1042  HOULE, Jean-Baptiste  1861
1043 - 1045  HUNTER, James Stewart  1867
1046  HUOT, Charles  1853
1047 - 1049  HURTEAU, Isidore  1841-1850
1050  ISAACSON, John Helder  1861
1051 - 1052  JOBIN, André Damasse  1865-1868
1053 - 1054  LABADIE, J. Augustin  1836-1853
1055  LACOSTE, Louis  1830
1056  LAMONTAGNE, C. Hornudas  1855
1057  LANDRY, J. Prosper  1874
1058 - 1062  LANGEVIN, François T.  1842-1849
1063  LAPPARE, Henri  1843
1064 - 1094  LEBLANC, Ovide  1826-1844
1095 - 1413  LEBRUN, Charles Mentor  1832-1867
1414 - 1605  LEONARD, Joseph  1848-1865
1606 - 1607  LEPAILLEUR, François  1836
1608 - 1655  LERICHE-LASSONDE, Jean A.  1844-1867
1656 - 1684  LIGHTHALL, William Francis  1848-1856
1685 - 1824  LONGPRE, Jean Gualbert  1851-1862
1825  LONGTIN, Moise  1859
1826  LUKIN, Peter, Jr.  1826
1827 - 1837  McDONELL, S.A.S.  1866-1867
1838  McPHERSON, Laughlan T.  1828
1839 - 1840  MANTENT, Nicolas  1840
1841  MARTIN, Louis Seraphin  1845
1842 - 1849  MASSE, J. Abraham  1856-1868
1850  MATHIEU, Pierre  1849
1851 - 1872  MAYER, Joseph  1865-1875
1873  MERCILE, Alexis  1845
1874 - 1876  METRAS, François  1839-1845
1877 - 1879  MEUNIER, Cleophas  1874-1875
1880 - 2036  MARTIGNY, Vite Adelard Lemoyne  1848-1871
2037 - 2044  NORMANDEAU, Pierre Etienne  1863-1867
2045  PAGES, Eustache   
2046 - 2047  PAPINEAU, Casimir Fidele  1858-1866
2048 - 2063  PELLETIER, Josime  1843-1859
2064 - 2096  SARAULT, Louis  1822-1848
2097 - 2125  SCOTT, Jean-Baptiste  1840-1862
2126  STUART, Ernest Henry  1867
2127  THOMAS, Daniel  1867
2128  TURGEON, Dominique H.  1799

Ellice Family Fonds - Index Book II
Doc# Range Group
1 - 7  Seigniory Titles
 Titres de la Seigneurie 
8 - 9  Faith and Homage
 Foi et Hommage 
10 - 14  Laws defining the rights of Seigniors
 Lois définissant certains droits aux Seigneurs 
15 - 28  Power of Attorney to the Seignior's agents.
 Procurations accordée par le Seigneur à ses représentants. 
29 - 51  Letters Patent
 Lettres Patentes 
52 - 397  Letters exchanged between the Seignior and the settlers.
 Correspondance échangée entre le Seigneur et les occupants de terres. 
398 - 612  Sales Contracts and Notarial documents.
 Contrats de ventes ou actes notariés. 
613 - 659  Water and Mineral Resources.
 Hydrolique et Mines. 
660 - 677  Certificates of Search.
 Certificats de recherches. 
678 - 709  Maps and Designs
 Cartes et Plans. 
710 - 728  Day to Day Business.
 Affaires courantes. 
729 - 764  Accounting
765  Construction.
766  Census.
767 - 769  Relations with the Municipal Council.
 Relations avec le Conseil Municipal. 
770 - 775  Labor.
 Main d'oeuvre. 
776 - 790  Relations with The North American Colonial Association of Ireland.
 Relations avec "The North American Colonial Association of Ireland". 
791 - 886  Judicial Affairs: Superior Court.
 Judiciaire: Cour Supérieure. 
887 - 976  Judicial Affairs: Sheriff Sales.
 Judiciaire: Ventes par Sherifs. 
977 - 1021  Judicial Affairs: Court of Queen's Bench.
 Judiciaire: Cour du Banc de la Reine. 
1022 - 1024  Judicial Affairs: Circuit Court.
 Judiciaire: Cour de Circuit. 
1025 - 1140  Promises of Sale.
 Actes de promesses de ventes. 
1141 - 1190  Land Sales.
 Ventes de terres. 
1191 - 1808  Private (non notarial) arrangements and sales.
 Actes sous seing privé. 
After #1808
Apres #1808
 Misc documents relating to court cases, especially the "Russelltown Dispute".
  Documents judiciaire varié et pour la cause "Russelltown".


The Microfilms

As mentioned above, the ANQ has 10 rolls of microfilm showing these documents. Each roll begins with the complete two books of title index and then continues with the documents in order. There are at least two or possibly 3 different identification schemes shown in the index and on the rolls. In the ANQ catalogue they are listed as "M-660/x" where x is the roll number. In the Montreal Archives, their local reel numbers are 4129-4138 inclusive corresponding to M-660/1 to M-660/10. There are also "P-137/x" ID numbers on the rolls but no indication as to what that means. The table below links the Film Roll number to the subject index reference and Montreal reel number.

Ellice Family Fonds Microfilm Designations
Film Reel # ANQ
Reel #
Doc # Range
1 M-660/1 4129 I 1 - 467
2 M-660/2 4130 I 468 - 1000
3 M-660/3 4131 I 1001 - 1413
4 M-660/4 4132 I 1414 - 1850
5 M-660/5 4133 I
1851 - 2128
1 - 51
6 M-660/6 4134 II 52 - 648
7 M-660/7 4135 II 649 - 979
8 M-660/8 4136 II 980 - 1472
9 M-660/9 4137 II 1473 - 1808
10 M-660/10 4138 Not indexed

How to get copies of these documents.

The surname index presented in this page is by necessity very vague. Consulting the Title Index will give a little more idea as to the content of the document but will not show the details. (Contact the author for a lookup of the title index if you have any question on a particular entry.) Typical Title Index entries are:

Vente: Edward Ellice à Etienne Ross 3 juin 1855    343

Acquittance and Discharge Edward Ellice à Mr Peter Lynch 16 novembre 1866    449

In order to determine the full details, one must read the actual document. Only then can you determine the who, what and where of the deal. After 1850, many of the land deals were farmers buying lots in the newly opened concessions of Jamestown, Ormstown, South Georgetown and Edwardstown. This could have been a desire to move to more fertile areas or a need to acquire woodlots in order to heat their houses since their own farms had been fully cleared of trees.

There are several ways to access the documents. If it is convenient, you can go to an office of the Quebec National Archives and view the films yourself or hire someone to do it for you. Or you can contact the Archives Nationales du Quebec in Montreal directly, specifying that it is in the "Ellice Famille Fonds" and providing the number of the film and the document number. Supplying the film number will help them quickly find the requested document. Their address is:

Bibliotheque et Archives Nationales du Quebec,
Centre de Montreal
535 Ave Viger Est,
Montreal, QC   H2L 2P3
Tel: (514) 873-3065
Fax: (514) 873-2980
web page:

Note:The archive web-pages are part of the new Bibliotheque et Archive Nationales du Quebec portal website. The staff of the ANQ are quite experienced at answering questions in english and will communicate by e-mail. Their charges for copies have been quite modest (25c/page - minimum $2) but may be changed without notice in the future due to the merging of National Library and Archives organization. Their webpage explaining charges is still in a state of flux so it is best to get a confirmation of charges when ordering.

You can also purchase copies of the films from the ANQ distribution agent, La Fédération des Familles-Souches Québécoises Inc.(FFSQ) Their address is:

La Fédération des Familles-Souches Québécoises Inc.
C.P. 6700,
Sillery, QC
Canada   G1T 2W2

Tel: (418)653-2137
FAX: (418) 653-6387
web page:

You can download a copy of the 2006 ANQ catalogue in PDF format at:

or purchase a copy using the pdf order form (Catalogue des microfilms et microfiches produits par les Archives nationales du Québec).


By its very nature, this index still contains a number of errors due to various reasons. The author or the web-master is not responsible in any way for any costs or other consequences that may result from actions based on these errors. In other words, if the copies you get don't resemble the index entry, tough!! I would appreciate however being advised of any errors you find, so that corrections can be made.

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Copyright©2002-8 Burt Lang - Revised:2008/03/24