Chartier Family
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CHARTIER Genealogies in North America
In 1982 and 1983, a 5-volume series of books called The Chartier Families of North America was published. This series, co-authored by Jean  ROBERT of Montreal, Canada and Vernon CHARTIER of Portland, OR traced the four (4) major branches of CHARTIER in North America, whom are all unrelated in North America.  Volume I dealt with basic history and will be included in this site at alater date.  Volumes II - V are separated into the following groups: II - Guillaume , III - Michel , IV - Rene  and V - Jean  [nee: John Carter].
Descendants by Volume
This web-site will eventually include all those branches completely.  All Volumes are now complete (and editable).  The site is skewed towards the descendancy of GUILLUAME (Vol.II) largely due to the fact that webmaster and database architect Michael SHORKEY, Jean ROBERT and Vernon CHARTIER are all descended from this branch and therefore is where the most research has been conducted.

GUILLUAME was part of the GRANDE RECRUE of 1653 (see plaque).  At the time of original publication, GUILLUAME was, by far, the largest branch having some 400+ pages. With all the updates applied over the past 30 years, all those volumes today would be many times larger. Vol.II today would exceed 3600 pages! Vol.III over 1000. Certainly WAY too large to actually publish the way the original volumes were. It is also doubtful that anyone would be interested in ALL of the branchs, so a plan is in development that will allow users to self-publish pieces of the genealogy. But that is many months away. This site, while now 1-year-old, is still 'teething' and releasing updates to the site on a regular basis. Most recently the Volume counts and Family Surname counts by volume were added.  Soon, "heat" maps will be unveiled showing population migration.
Marker in Montreal celebrating 350th Anniversary of the Grande Recrue

How to Register

The current version allows REGISTERED users to join in the fun!  This version not only allows editing, but in another great leap forward, has added photos!  This will truly let the web-site come alive.  When browsing, if the user is registered and logged in AND photos are available for that person, a "View Photos" button will be visible on the Ancestry page.  Clicking the button will pop-up another screen (be sure pop-ups are not blocked) with a slideshow of the photos available for that person will open.

How do you register?  Click the "Login" link at the top right corner.  Follow the "Register" link on the LogIn page and fill-in the required fields.  After that, just login each visit to get the full experience!


One of the first things we need to discuss is the name: CHARTIER.  It originally derived from CHARRETIER, or cart driver in 12th century France (when family surnames started to become common).  Today, it depends on who you ask concerning pronunciation. A true Frenchman will say: SHAR-TEE-A. The French-Canadians say: SHAR-TEE with a very gutterable A, which to a non-French ear may sound like an 'O' (hence the SHORKEY spelling seen from the Michigan, Vermont and NY lineages) and many just say: CHAR-TER (leaving out the I).  An interesting footnote to this can be found in Cloud County, KS.  Descendants of Vol.II, III and V all managed to settle in this one little county in north central Kansas, and each pronounced CHARTIER differently!  The variations are many, including: Chorkey, Shurkey, Shirkey, Shorkey, Sharkey, possibly Shortee as well (some Census records). What it is not is the SHARKEY of largely Irish descent! 

Why all the variations?  These all occur in the USA.  The French-Canadians started migrating en-masse to the US starting in the 1840's, due to the harsh treatment and restrictions imposed on them by the British after the War of 1812.  The French-Canadians threw their lot in with the Americans during the war and the British retalliated afterwards by closing all the French schools.  Since no respectable Frenchman would attend English schools, these immigrants were (by 1840) largely illiterate.  The English-speaking clerks of Michigan, Vermont and New York spelled the names as they heard it.  Being illiterate, they could not correct the clerks spelling (many an "X" were found in VT registers). 

Interestingly, though their CIVIL names were changed, their records in the Catholic churches remained CHARTIER due to the fact that the priests were largely French or French-Canadian or spoke French due to seminary training.  My own grandfather, ALBERT SHORKEY is a good example of this.  His baptism and marriage in Middlebury, VT  @ Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is listed as CHARTIER.  At the dawn of WWII while applying for a special gasoline permit (he was a power-line supervisor so he had to have gas to get to downed lines), it was discovered that his civil birth record actually said SHORTKEY.  He had to make a special trip back to Vermont to correct this error, just to get it back to SHORKEY.

This genealogy site traces CHARTIER descendants, both male and female.  The original volumes only traced CHARTIER females for one (1) generation after marriage because of the difficulty of keeping track of the multitude of family surnames that would entail, especially since the storage medium was a word-processing document.  Now that all records are in a database, we can store unlimited generations and easily track back to the "native" CHARTIER tree.  Consequently, we now have oodles (the technical term!) of non-CHARTIER names.  Below is a "Top 10" list of those family surnames for each Volume:

Vol.II - Guillaume Vol.III - Michel Vol.IV - Rene Vol.V - Jean

This Site

This site just celebrated it 1st anniversary, and is still in development, but includes several elements not often found on genealogy sites:

     1 - Family Tree: find where a selected person lies along the family tree.  Includes this persons descendants,  ancestors, ancestors siblings.

     2 - Kinship Tree:  find how any two persons within each volume in the tree are related

     3 - Search:  find family name, then individual to display demographic data.

     4 - Maps:  Shows migration of each volume (or all) by era (in 25 year increments).  Plus population break-down by state and county.  Sometimes these type of maps are called HEAT Maps.

A word about the pages of demographic data. Each descendant page includes data about that descendant; their dates of birth and death and where each occurred and place of burial, the full names of their parents and the hometown where that family was raised (all if known). The same data is included for each spouse in addition to the date and place of marriage, including church. If a date is unknown, a "circa" tag will appear with the submitter's closest approximation.  Lastly, any children of the descendant are listed with a shorter synopsis of birth, death, marriages and children. All of the descendants ancestors are listed at the top left of the page. These are hyperlinks to each ancestor within each volume, all the way back to first known ancestor.  Following those links, you can "climb" back up the tree, and the children's names allow you to "drill-down" the tree.

At the top right of each page is a Section (and sub-section) designation, the current ancestor/descendant ID and date the information was last updated.

A further elaboration about the "AncestryID". The first letter for each Volume denotes the founder of that CHARTIER clan in North America.  All ID's in Vol.II start with "G" [GUILLUAME], Vol.III with "M" [MICHEL], Vol.IV with "R" [RENE] and Vol.V with "J" [JACQUES/JOHN].  For each generation an additional letter is added mostly in the alphabethical order of their birth (first born's are always "A", second "B", etc.). In some cases, these ID's are not exactly sequential because initial research might have found 3 children and latter research 6 offspring. Initially the 3rd child had been assigned a "C", and really could not be reassigned to the correct letter (maybe they were really 5th [E]) since we may have additional generations of offspring when they were assigned "C". If you speak database, that "C" was part of the primary key, which should never be changed. We can correct SEQUENCE however so they still appear in the correct birth order (as far as we know) on each page.

Also, in case you were not aware, the initial heritage of CHARTIER is French and French-Canadian Roman Catholic. I mention this because of two factors. Dates of birth and dates of Baptism, particularly in French Canada, are nearly synonymous. Childbirth was a dicey affair in previous centuries, so babies were baptised within hours or days of birth. Frequently the priest would be in attendance at births because the mothers life could also be in danger and "Last Rites" for either the mother or child could be necessary. The Catholic tradition also had vast numbers of male names starting with JOSEPH and females with MARIE. Most often, the child would be known by their second or third names. So don't assume that great-grandfather "Louis" will show up that way. It's just as likely his name was "JOSEPH-LOUIS" or "JOSEPH-FRANCOIS-LOUIS" in official records. Same story with the females and MARIE. Additional digging may be necessary!  Another complication was the "re-use" of a name. As I mentioned, childbirth was a dicey affair, and it was not unusual for a child to die very young and the parents to name a latter child identically!  The head of Vol.II, Section E (Joseph) had 4 plain "Joseph" sons!

So please browse thru the site and give us some feed-back.  We have been amazed at how fast our visitor counter has climbed, averaging over 400 unique visitors daily!  If you GOOGLE or BING "Chartier Family" or "Chartier Genealogy" we are now the #1 site.