Recent article

The depth of ancestral roots in Quebec, a measure of the regionality of the population.

Reference :
Espace, Populations, Socitétés 2011 | La profondeur des souches ancestrales au Québec, une mesure de la régionalité de la population.


The ancestral roots of a population often refer to the paternal lines, due to the transmission of surnames from one generation to another. However, paternal lines reach only a portion of the ancestors, whose relative importance diminishes as we go back generations. This study aims to measure and compare the depths of ancestral roots in the populations of various regions of Québec, taking into account the origins of all ancestors. Data was obtained from a sample of 2340 genealogies built with the BALSAC population register and which goes back to the 17th century. These genealogies contain a total of about 5.5 million mentions of ancestors and have a an average depth of 9.5 generations. An index of the depth of regional ancestral roots was developed using a method similar to that used for the calculation of genealogical depths. Results indicate significant regional variations in the depth of ancestral roots, reflecting the history of migration that has characterized the population of Quebec over generations. Average depths range from less than one generation (Abitibi and Témiscamingue) to nearly six generations of ancestors married into the same region (Charlevoix and Côte-du-Sud). For some individuals from the regions of Côte-de-Beaupré, Côte-du-Sud and the Island of Montreal, the regional ancestral depth can reach up to eight generations. Maternal branches of up to eleven generations were also observed in the Côte-de-Beaupré region and on the Island of Montreal.

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