BALSAC offers the service of genealogical reconstitution within the framework of research projects. These reconstitutions are made from a set of probands (subject) who constitute the starting points of genealogies. For probands of French-Canadian ancestry, where we have the information of parents married before 1965, the reconstitutions are usually done without too much intervention since BALSAC contains all marriages registered in the Catholic registers before this date. For the other probands, it may be necessary to resort to external sources, which increases the amount of work done manually and thus the time required for reconstitution.
The reconstitutions carried out at BALSAC only take into account the biological ancestors of the individuals. Thus the genealogies of adopted probands are automatically classified as insoluble. In most cases, the genealogical lines go back to the first arrivals on the Quebec territory or to their immediate ancestors outside of Quebec. However, research is being pursued to identify up to two generations of ancestors who never came to Quebec for Franco-Ontarians, New Brunswickers, Acadians and French-Canadian emigrants from New England, because, as we have seen with the data included in BALSAC, these populations are likely to make several trips back and forth to Quebec.
Certain basic criteria must be met in order for probands of a research project to be selected as a starting point for a genealogy. The surname, first name and date of birth must be provided as well as the surname and first name of at least one parent. If only one parent is known, his or her date of birth or the identity of the grandparents (parents of that parent) must absolutely be provided. Participant records that do not meet these criteria are automatically classified as insoluble.
Limitations in database coverage may also make the genealogies of some contemporary probands of a research project insoluble. The BALSAC database exhaustively covers marriages recorded in Quebec Catholic registers up to 1965. Civil unions and marriages recorded in non-Catholic registers are only partially covered. After 1965, coverage is partial. It is therefore strongly encouraged to include, at a minimum, grandparents of project probands who were born after 1965. If grandparents are not known, genealogies can still be investigated. However, these surveys involve the use of external sources, which makes the reconstruction time longer.
- For probands born between 1966 and 1984, the parents' marriage can generally be found in external sources if it is not in BALSAC. If only the civil copy of the marriage is found, the genealogies cannot be reconstructed since the parents of the married couple are not mentioned in the civil status forms for this period.
- For probands born between 1985 and 1999, the marriage of the parents can be sought. However, it is important to take into account that births to unmarried people are increasingly common. Also, the civil status forms mention the parents for this period. Note that for probands born in the 1990s, even grandparents' marriages may be outside the BALSAC coverage period. Several files may therefore be insoluble.
- Records of probands born in 2000 or later for whom only the parents are known are automatically classified as insoluble because the proportion of births out of wedlock is too high.
For all these reasons, probands' files are sometimes partially completed (e.g., only maternal grandparents are located). The level of completeness reached in the genealogical corpus can therefore be significantly impacted.
For research projects involving Quebecers who are not subject to Catholic marriage:
- Genealogies can be reconstructed without problems, but the time required for reconstructions is increased since the non-Catholic portion of the population is only partially covered in the database. Some research in external sources is therefore required.
For research projects involving people of French-Canadian ancestry outside Quebec (Franco-Ontarians, Franco-Americans, etc.) :
- It is usually possible to link probands to the database. However, the range of external sources available for consultation is less extensive than for Quebec. It is therefore desirable that the questionnaires be as exhaustive as possible.
- Since the database covers Quebec, a maximum number of generations must be defined by the researcher in order to link the genealogical information collected from the applicants to BALSAC, generation 1 being that of the applicants' parents. Genealogies that could not be linked to this threshold will be classified as insoluble.
- If three generations are chosen, records for which no trace of the parents, grandparents or great-grandparents has been found in Quebec will be classified as insoluble. If a presence is found in Quebec, only those branches for which a presence in Quebec is found will be reconstructed.
For research projects with family pedigrees :
- The family identifier can be added to the result files produced in addition to the individual identifier of the probands. This identifier must be provided by the researcher.
- If two applicants are related by a parental relationship (parent/child, grandparent/grandchild, etc.), only the younger proposer should be selected as an applicant.
- If a son and grandfather are both probands, only the son should be included in the list of probands. The grandfather's genealogy is contained in the grandson's genealogy.
- If two probands are cousins, they must both be included in the list of starting points.
- Several siblings may be on the same probands list. However, the time required for reconstitutions will be increased and will involve additional costs.