Regardless of their social status, the lives of the inhabitants of New France were recorded in the many official papers produced at key moments in their existence—birth, marriage and death, entry into a religious community, old age, the separation of a couple. These documents enable a reconstruction of the diverse destinies of individual men and women, and give a glimpse of their extended family and the ties they maintained with France. They also contain references to the objects used in their daily lives and to their financial situations. Visual images of the inhabitants of Canada and their lifestyles are, however, extremely rare.

The Important Stages of Life
Habitans de Canada [Inhabitants of Canada],
ca. 1800
CA ANC Collection Peter Winkworth R9266-1978