Métis Nation of Ontario
500 Old St. Patric St, Unit3
Ottawa, ON
K1N 9G4

Tel.: 613-798-1488
Toll Free: 800-263-4889
Fax: 613-722-4225

Voyageurs Contracts Database

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This database is the result of a twenty years of extracting data from reports of the archivist of the Province of Quebec and microfilms of the Protonotaire Montréal Greffes de notaires fonds. The initial database was started by Alfred Fortier, executive director of the Société historique de Saint-Boniface (1990-2002).

This became the starting point for a more ambitious project undertaken by Dr. Nicole St-Onge of the University of Ottawa and Dr. Robert Englebert of the University of Saskatchewan, assistant director of the project. This project was a component of the National Research Initiative of the Métis National Council.

The Voyageur database comprises approximately 35,000 fur trade contracts signed in front of Montreal notaries between 1714 and 1830. It is currently the single largest collection of data regarding the contracts signed by men of the Montreal fur trade. The information collected from the contracts includes: family names, parishes of origin, hiring company, length of contract, destination(s), advances and wages, supplies, conditions of hire, the name of the notary, date of signing, and miscellaneous notes. The database is in French only.

Further Reading

  • St-Onge, Nicole. The Persistance of Travel and Trade: St. Lawrence River Valley French Engagés and the American Fur Company, 1818-1840 in Michigan Historical Review, Fall 2008.
    (Available on http://findarticles.com )
  • Godbout, Suzanne. Sur la piste du temps avec les voyageurs in Perspectives sur la  recherche, Numéro d'automne, novembre 2006.
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