The contribution of English, Scottish and German settlers to the French-Canadian gene pool of the Quebec (Canada) population

Marc Tremblay, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi

The Quebec (Canada) population descends in most part from French immigrants who settled in the St. Lawrence River valley during the seventeenth century. However, people from other European origins have also contributed to the early settlement of the Canadian province. Following the British conquest of New-France in 1763, immigrants from England, Scotland and Germany came to Quebec. Some of these early British and German settlers were married to native French-Canadians and thus had descendants who can be traced through genealogical records from the contemporary Quebec population. By means of genealogical data spanning more than three centuries, this study aimed to measure and compare the contributions of these immigrants of English, Scottish and German origins to the peopling of the Quebec regions. More than five thousands genealogies were reconstructed using the BALSAC population database. These genealogies span more than ten generations on average, with a completeness reaching at least 80 % up to the 7th generation. Immigrants of each origin were identified and linked to all their descendants in the genealogical samples. Results show that English, Scottish and German founders appear in the genealogies of all seventeen Quebec regions, although in various proportions. Between 16 % and 72% of the regional genealogies contain at least one English founder, whereas Scottish founders appear in 5 % to 39 % of the genealogies and German founders in 15 % to 45 % of the genealogies. Most of these founders appear in less than four different regions, but a few of them are found in the genealogies of the seventeen Quebec regions. The genetic contributions of the founders also vary greatly according to their origins and period of arrival in Quebec. Although most of British and German immigrants to Quebec were Protestants, these results show that many of their descendants married French-Canadian Catholics.

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Presented in Poster Session 1