The Most Reverend Cyprien Tanguay, DLitt, FRSC

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Cyprien Tanguay, DLitt, FRSC

Birthplace: Québec, Québec, Canada
Death: April 28, 1902 (82)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Place of Burial: Québec, Québec, Canada
Immediate Family:

Son of Pierre Tanguay and Reine Barthell
Brother of Honoré Tanguay; Georges Tanguay and Sœur Sainte-Thérèse du Bon Pasteur

Occupation: Prélat romain, évêque, prêtre, généalogiste, professeur, auteur
Managed by: morel
Last Updated:

About The Most Reverend Cyprien Tanguay, DLitt, FRSC

(See French)


Tanguay was ordained in 1843. The first 22 years of his career were devoted to parochial work. Tanguay earned a reputation as a builder, a man of action, who aroused strong opposition at times. As an administrator, he is reputed to have been authoritarian, extravagant, tactless and unwilling to listen to those around him. Despite his reputation as being vain and quarrelsome, his reputation rests on genealogical and demongrathic studies of a scientific calibre difficult to achieve in the 19th century.

Tanguay is considered the father of genealogical studies in Québec. In 1871 he published what would be his life’s work and his greatest achievement, the « Dictionnaire généalogique des familles canadiennes depuis la fondation de la colonie jusqu’à nos jours » (1871-1890). His work was used by the church to establish and complete family records. He undertook this work with a national scope. Tanguay hoped that his work would give rise to many interesting studies on a host of questions. His method was to systematically examine the parish records of the country, including all of french speaking America, to copy records of births, baptisms, marriages deaths and burials. He also traveled across Europe to examine holdings of strategic archives. He also examined census reports, the writings of Samuel de Champlain, Pierre-François-Xavier de Charlevoix, Étienne-Michel Faillon, and Jean-Baptiste-Antoine Ferland. This work was completed in 1890 and included 122,623 forms, with an average of 10 documents or dates listed on each. Tanguay's research resulted in other works of a more modest nature such as « Répertoire général du clergé canadien, par ordre chronologique depuis la fondation de la colonie jusqu'à nos jours » (Québec, 1868); « Monseigneur de Lauberiviére, cinquiéme évêque de Québec 1739-1740, documents annotés » (Montréal, 1885); and « À traverse les registres » (Montréal, 1886).

Titles, Associations

  • Chamberlain (camérier secret) of pope Leo XIII
  • Attaché of the Office of Statistics Canada
  • Doctor-ès-Lettres from Université Laval
  • fellow of the Royal Society of Canada
  • member of the Historical Societies of Montréal and of Missouri


About Mgr Cyprien Tanguay, DLitt, FRSC (Français)


Généalogiste, Professeur, Auteur

Titres, Associations

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The Most Reverend Cyprien Tanguay, DLitt, FRSC's Timeline

September 15, 1819
Québec, Québec, Canada
September 15, 1819
Québec, Québec, Canada
April 28, 1902
Age 82
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Québec, Québec, Canada