Institut généalogique Drouin

Frequently asked questions

What is the Drouin Genealogical Institute ?

What is the Drouin Genealogical Institute ?
The Drouin Genealogical Institute (l'Institut Généalogique Drouin) was for nearly a century the largest Quebec company producing genealogical trees. Its internal data, which we call its genealogical patrimony, was sold as family genealogy books to its customers. The inheritance didn't include some 75,000 genealogical trees and more than 16,500 family genealogy books. Actually, the books were written and shipped to the customers and the Institute didn't keep a copy nor make a legal deposit.
In 1990, the genealogical patrimony was sold and the new company changed its mission completely. Thus, this is a break between the Institute of the 1950s for example and the Institute today. Instead of aiming at each individual, the new Institute now offers its services to the community. In other words, the company is now selling its internal material mostly to libraries and societies. This corresponds to the major part of the large collection catalogue. There is no more search made for customers. Indeed, by making the internal material available to everybody (through main libraries), it is now very easy for each individual to build his/her own family and in those conditions, we have to focus on reselling the assets to genealogical societies.

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Do you still perform research ?
No. We won't perform new search for individuals. Today, the Drouin Institute's tools and collections are available on its websites and Genealogy Quebec.

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My father had his family tree made by you in 1955....
The Institute was selling three main products: a dictionary, linear ancestry charts and family books.
The dictionary, called Dictionnaire national des Canadiens-français (DNCF), was firstly a large book (11" x 17"), with an album about our most famous ancestors (a part of it forming the no. PF-001 in the numerical catalogue). This large book are later resized to 8,5" x 11" with two volumes, with a third volume based on the most famous ancestors. Those three volumes can be found in many libraries in most Quebec public libraries and in many places in North America, as 75,000 copies were sold, often with a linear chart. There is now a fourth volume made from the female index.

The linear chart, bearing a parchment color, is the line of someone or the lines of the parents of someone (i.e. a couple). In the first case, we have each generation with the name of male ancestors and spouses until the first who came to Quebec or Acadia. In the second case, we have the lines from the spouses. About 75,000 of those trees were sold..

The family books were made for the customer from a series of internal files and included the genealogical tree itself with all known ancestors instead of only the male line. The internal files used for these books are now reproduced in a collection called Dossiers généalogiques Drouin (Drouin Genealogical Files). The same material was used to add a page about the client's family and inserted in the third volume. The books themselves, more that 16,500, were not kept by the Institute. They were made years before the photocopier and the computer existed and a new book was made for each customer. About 1,500 books were made by Joseph Drouin before 1938, all with a typewriter. From 1940, his son Gabriel Drouin reorganized completely the Institute and the 15,000 books he produced with the help of a large team of employees were handwritten because they were made after reading the internal marriages catalogue (later the Blue Drouin and the Male and Female series) or the microfilms.

The Honorary Membership Certificate (certificat de membre honoraire) gives no special privilege..

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