For researchers not too familiar with available Quebec resources, the above mentioned documents
often contain reams of genealogical information. Though these are court documents, I've noted
that in Argenteuil, notaries played a crucial role.
The French seemed to be more conscious of this provision, but I did find one for a Gore family (English). When a person died leaving minor children, a tutorship could be drawn up. The living parent would request a gathering of the relatives (always males) who would meet to appoint a "tutor/tutrix" to care for the minor children. A widow could be named tutrix to her offspring. Also a "subtutor" was chosen and his role was to take immediate responsibility for the children, should the tutor be unable to. These documents usually give the parents names, children's names and ages, the names and relationship to the children of all the persons called together to appoint a tutor. (if not enough family lived in the region "friends" were asked. At times, we'll see tutorship requests for a minor who wanted to marry and required the consent of a guardian - yet both parents were deceased or in the old country.
The Tutor's role was not without limitations as every time anything happened that affected the children, another document was drawn up. For example, the sale of property.
In with these documents we find the curatorships. In these cases, someone requested a curator to handle the affairs of someone else. These vary. If adult children lived in USA when the parents died, they had inheritance rights. If someone was unable to manage his own affairs, whether voluntarily or involuntarily. Other times, a person died without leaving a will, or family - and those he owed money to - would petition the court for a curator.
Thomas EVANS: tutelle
On this seventh day of the month of January in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred & eighty-seven
Before Mr Alphonse Berthelot, the undersigned Public Notary, duly commissioned & sworn, residing & practicing in the Town of Lachute, in the Province of Quebec, Canada.
Came & Appeared Dame Jane Westgate, residing in the township of Gore, in the said District, widow of the late Thomas Evans, in his lifetime of the same place, farmer
Who hath declared unto me the said Notary as follows, to wit;
That whereas the said late Thomas Evans departed this life at the said Township of Gore on the twenty-first day of the month of December eighteen hundred & eighty six leaving Agnes Maude Evans, aged six years on her last birthday, issue of his marriage with the said appearant.
That it has become necessary that a tutor - & a subrogate tutor be appointed to the said minor where upon the said appearant requires a concel & advice of the relations and friends of the said minor
Done & passed at the Town of Lachute, in the office of the said Notary, on the day, month & year first above written. And the said appearant hath declared to be unable to write her write hereto being requested after being duly read [?]teen words null
A Berthelot NP
On this seventh day of the month of January in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred & eighty-seven
Before Mr Alphonse Berthelot, the undersigned Public Notary, duly commissioned & sworn, residing & practicing in the town of Lachute in the Province of Quebec, Canada.
Came & Appeared Dame Jane Westgate, residing the the township of Gore, in the said District, widow of the late Thomas Evans, in his lifetime of the same place, farmer Who hath caused to be assembled before me, the said Notary, for the purpose of appointing a tutor & subrogate tutor to Agnes Maud Evans, aged 6 yrs her last birthday, issue of the marriage of the said appearant with the said late Thomas Evans, her husband to wit; Robert Evans, brother, of the Township of Gore, said district, farmer, Alexander Evans of the Township of Eaton in the District of St Francis, farmer, paternal uncle , John Evans of the parish of St Jerusalem d'Argenteuil in the said district, farmer, paternal cousin, John Westgate and William Westgate of the Augmentation of the Seigneury of Mille Isle, in the parish of St Jerome, in the said district, farmers, Thomas Westgate of the said Township of Gore, the last three paternal (sic) uncles & James Curry of the said Town of Lachute as friend in default of relations. Who after having been here duly sworn on the Holy Evangelists having taken [?]isation of the foregoing declaration and having naturally deliberated together were unanimously of opinion at the said ____ Dame Jane Wesgate be tutrix and the said
Robert Evans, subrogate tutor of the said minor child which said parties being personally present have voluntarily accepted their said respective office and promised under oath to fulfil the duties thereof. Done & passed [Latin phrase] at the Town of Lachute in the said district on the day month & year first above written Some of the said appearants to me declared to be unable to write their names hereto being requested . The others have signed these presents being duly read seventeen words were null [These were crossed out in the document PR]
Thomas [X-his mark] Westgate
A Berthelot, NP.