260 years ago, New France stretched from Louisiana to what is now northern Quebec. The Treaty of Paris (10 February 1763), which sealed the Seven Years' War, ceded all of this territory to the British (with the exception of Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon). In Quebec, the descendants of the first French settlers have maintained a strong identity by continuing to speak French and maintaining their Catholic worship. A study published in the journal Science and conducted by a team from McGill University in Quebec, combines genetic and vital statistics data to trace the family tree of the current population. The vast majority of Quebecers today derive their ancestors from about 8,500 of the 10,000 settlers who emigrated from France to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to settle in this region. Even more impressively, two-thirds of the French-Canadian gene pool is inherited from only 2,600 settlers.
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