This is a continuation of a series of "how-to" for English speakers to more easily decipher the Québec Drouin Collection records (although it may help you in other French records as well). Part 1 of the series can be read here.
Through this series of posts, I will cover determining the type of event, the dates of the events recorded (baptism, marriage burial), the dates of birth and death for baptism and burial records, the individual's name, the individual's marital status, the individual's spouse or parents' names, and where the event occurred, among other facts.
If you have any questions (in general or specific to your research), corrections, additions, or anything else, please do not hesitate to leave a comment or email me directly!
Determining the Type of Record
There are three types of records in the Québec Drouin Collection -- baptisms, marriages, and burials. From the baptism and burial records, you can usually determine the individuals' birth and death dates, but not always. What type of other information is available in a record will also depend on the type of record it is.
The left-hand margin on a church record in the Drouin collection, or an underlined title, will usually indicate the type of record you're looking at, abbreviated, followed by the individual's (or individuals') name(s). B. indicates a baptism record, M. indicates a marriage record (also, the names of two people, the bride and groom, will be in the margin), and S. indicates a burial record. "B. François Gosselin" tells you, for example, that you're looking at François Gosselin's baptism record.
The record itself will have some key words or phrases after the date that starts the record and before the name of the person whose record it is. If, after the starting date, you read "a été baptisé" (meaning baptised) followed by a name, this is a baptism record for that named individual. If you find "inhumé" (meaning buried) and "le corps de" (the body of) followed by a name, you are reading a burial record.
Marriage records tend to be much longer than baptism or burial records in length, sometimes taking up a full page. I honestly don't know what most of the information immediately after the date says; in general there tend to be other dates on which the couple gave each of their marriage banns (a practice in the Catholic Church where an announcement of the upcoming marriage is published three times). If you scan for key phrases or words and find "après la publication de trois bans de mariage," then later "entre" followed by a male's name, you're reading a marriage record.