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Cyprien Tanguay

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Genealogist, born at Quebec, 1819; died 1902. After a course of classics and theology at Quebec Seminary, he was ordained in 1843. The first twenty-two years of his priesthood were devoted to parochial work, especially at Rimouski, where he greatly contributed to the foundation of the future diocesan seminary. His early taste for genealogical studies fully manifested itself after his official appointment to the Dominion Statistics Department (1867). His whole time was henceforth spent in consulting and compiling parochial and historical records throughout Quebec, the Maritime Provinces, Ontario, and the old French settlements in the United States. He also twice visited France for the same purpose. As the result of his labours he published (1871-90) his "Dictionnaire généalogique des familles canadiennes françaises depuis les origines de la colonie jusqu'à nos jours", comprising seven large double column volumes of over six hundred pages: a colossal undertaking, fit for a numerous body of collaborators, which he achieved alone. Although he was unable to realize the latter part of his programme entirely and many inaccuracies have crept into his work, yet on the whole it is highly reliable and almost unique. Every French Canadian by completing from contemporary registers the information supplied by this dictionary can proudly trace back his genealogy to his ancestors from old France. It has proved valuable for the discovery of canonical impediments to marriage through relationship, and has given birth to a copious genealogical literature of less comprehensiveness. In recognition of his labours the author received a prelature from Leo XIII (1887). He likewise published "Répertoire du clergé canadien-français" (1868) and "A travers les registres" (1886).

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