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About Us

Château_Frontenac_after_a_freezing_rain_day_in_Quebec_city (1).jpg

The French- Canadian Heritage Society of California


About Us

I was halfway across America, at the dividing line between the East of my youth and the West of my future.”


The French-Canadian Heritage Society of California (FCHSC) is affiliated with the Southern California Genealogical Society (SCGS), which is located in Burbank, California. The primary purpose of the FCHSC is to foster an interest in our common French-Canadian, Acadian, and French heritage by researching our ancestors and helping others research theirs.


Our Collection 

We honor and promote our French heritage by funding a collection of French-Canadian genealogical materials, i.e., books, microfiche, CDs, manuscript files, and access to the online PRDH database. Our fund-raising efforts have significantly increased the French-Canadian and Acadian holdings at the SCGS library. It is now one of the largest collections in the Western United States, next to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.


The French-Canadian Heritage Society traditionally congregates in the spring and fall for meetings and potluck get-togethers at the SCGS Library. Check the calendar for dates, times, and updates. New members are always welcome!

Research Team

The FCHSC Research Team staffs the SCGS library in Burbank each Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For a nominal fee, members can assist with your research or conduct it entirely for you. Contact for details on how to request help.


The SCGS Library houses one of the largest collections of French-Canadian resources in the United States. Our researchers can mine the Blue and Red Drouin, Jette, Tanguay, PRDH, the marriage records of the 1,000 parishes, and the many other FC resources we have to provide you with documentation on your ancestry.

Group Leader,
Suzy Goulet
The Immigration of Franco-Canadians

French Canadians descend from French pioneers who settled in Canada in the 17th century. Between 1840 and 1930, nearly one million French Canadians immigrated to the United States, mainly from Quebec. These immigrants, known as Franco-Americans, settled throughout the northern U.S., mostly in New England.


People who claim some French-Canadian ancestry or heritage number some 7 million in Canada. In the United States, 2.4 million people report French-Canadian ancestry or heritage, while an additional 8.4 million claim French

ancestry; they are treated as a separate ethnic group by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The 1880s and 1890s were the crest of several waves of emigration that ended with the Great DepressionMen, women, and children worked in the textile mills of New England. Some industrial cities had sections known as "Little Canada." 

Some immigrants found success in America. Among them: Jack Kerouac in literature; Napoléon "Nap" Lajoie as a baseball player for the Philadelphia Phillies, Athletics, and the Cleveland Naps; and Rudy Vallée, a musician.

In 2020, California had the highest number of people in the United States who identified as having French ancestry, with about 9.4 million people reporting French ancestry or French Canadian descent. The U.S. Census Bureau treats 8.4 million people who claim French ancestry as a separate ethnic group. 

Notable French-Candian Americans
French and French Canadians in California

Photo, top of page: Château Frontenac, in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. designed by American architect Bruce Price. Wilfredo Rafael Rodriguez Hernandez, Wikimedia, CC BY-SA 4.0

Photo of Jack Kerouac by TomPalumbo. 

Wikimedia, CC by S.A. 2.o

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Is this the beginning of something
Connect with people through SCGS; Connect with people from your past.

Join today. Become a member of the Southern California Genealogical Society

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