The French-Canadian Heritage Society of Michigan (FCHSM) is an educational, historical, cultural, and genealogical non-profit organization, committed to make people aware of the rich culture and history of French Canadians in North America.
Articles appearing in Michigan’s Habitant Heritage (Our Journal) cover all areas of New France, including articles about French Canadians who lived in, explored, or travelled to all areas of Michigan, the Detroit River Region (which means both sides of the Detroit River), Michilimackinac, Fort St. Joseph, Southwest Ontario, the Great Lakes, the Mississippi Valley (Kaskaskia, Vincennes, New Orleans, Mobile), La Salle’s colony in Texas, Hudson Bay, and Acadia, as well as articles about our ancestors’ origins in France. Although the FCHSM is based in Michigan, members live throughout the United States and Canada. Please see our Acadia/Acadie Page, our Fort St. Joseph, Michilimackinac, and River Raisin/Frenchtown Page and our Mississippi Valley and Texas Page for examples of articles written about these areas, art, and maps, as well as links that can help you with your research. Visit us on our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/109717099063919/
Our aims and purposes are:
To promote an awareness of and appreciation for our French-Canadian heritage.
To facilitate contact and interaction among people of French-Canadian descent, for the purpose of researching family histories.
To act as an educational and social group by sponsoring and participating in functions which further interest in and awareness of French-Canadian heritage and New France’s history.
See our Books Page for information on our first book: Gail Moreau-DesHarnais and Diane Wolford Sheppard, Le Détroit du Lac Érie 1701-1710: (Vol.1) and Suzanne Boivin Sommerville (Vol. 2) (Royal Oak, Michigan: The French-Canadian Heritage Society of Michigan, 2016).
See our Meetings Page for the list of meetings for 2017.
You can renew your membership or join FCHSM by completing the membership form and sending your check to FCHSM. See our Join FCHSM Page.
University of Windsor - Community Heritage Awards:
The History Department of the University of Windsor, Ontario, awarded two Community Heritage Medals at the FCHSM meeting on 14 May 2016. The University representatives who presented the medals were: Miriam Wright, PhD, Department Head and Associate Professor; and Guillaume Teasdale, PhD, Assistant Professor. One medal was awarded to FCHSM member Rosemary Kirt. Rosemary was recognized for her long-standing work in the French-Canadian genealogical arena and specifically for her book, Heirlooms: Stories of a French-Canadian Family – The Petrimoulxs. Rosemary journeyed through pages of documents and contracts to document the Petrimoulx story. The road she travelled led her through Sandwich, Ontario, down the St. Lawrence to Québec City, and across the Atlantic to Fontenay-le-Comte, France. Along the way she met nine generations of Petrimoulxs. Each had a story to tell. By writing these Petrimoulx stories, Rosemary came to understand more about her French-Canadian Heritage and to provide important and interesting information regarding this family.
The French-Canadian Heritage Society of Michigan also received a Community Heritage Award for its promotion of “genealogical research on hundreds of French-Canadian families who have settled in Michigan and in southwest Ontario. Through its publications, meetings, website, and Facebook group, the FCHSM has provided invaluable information on French Canadians in the Detroit River region. Also, through its “Chart Program for Those who came to Detroit between 1701 – 1710,” it has commemorated the founding of Fort Pontchartrain du Detroit. The impact of the FCHSM has reached genealogists and historians throughout North America.”
These are the first Community Heritage Awards to be presented to foreign (non-Canadian) individuals or societies.
2016 French-Canadian Heritage Week Celebration at the Detroit Historical Museum:
Join us at the Detroit Historical Museum on Saturday October 1, 2016 to celebrate French-Canadian Week. Noon: Diane Wolford Sheppard – “French Detroit’s History and Culture and their Impact on Detroit’s Founding Families”; 1:00 p.m.: Karen Marrero, Ph.D. – “Angélique's World: Marriage, Family, and Regime Change in Old Detroit”; 2:00 p.m. Jay Gitlin, Ph.D – “The Last Time We Saw Paris: The Franco-American Bicentenary Committee of 1901, Cadillac's Chair, and the Forgotten Past of Le Détroit”; 3:00 p.m.: Genot Picor and Trois Buffouns
Art, Photographs, and Maps on our website: although we can learn about our history and culture from articles, timelines, and books, art, photographs, and maps help us visualize our history and culture as well as the history and culture of New France's Native Allies and Enemies. We have retained the captions and provided the reference numbers that are used by the library, museum, insitutuition, digitized books or other source for the digital images so that you can access the image from the organization that provides these images for non-commercial purposes such as education and study.
Genealogical Queries and Research:
Most people can do their own genealogical research by using the links or suggestions on the PDFs on our French-Canadian Resources subpages. Our Research Guides and Parish Records Pages spotlight internet or other sources that can help you with your research. Other pages contain articles that were published in Michigan’s Habitant Heritage or were used as handouts for a FCHSM meeting.
If after using these resources you hit a brick wall, please post your queries on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/109717099063919/) where you will reach a much larger audience than if you send us an e-mail. We do not have a staff available to answer genealogical questions via e-mail or snail mail. While some may not feel comfortable using Facebook, you do not have to use it for any other purpose. Alternatively, a friend or relative could post your query for you.
Sprit of the Northwest Statue at the Brown County Courthouse, Green Bay, Wisconsin. Left to right: A Fox Indian, Claude Allouez, S.J., and Nicolas Perrot. See University of Wisconsin, Green Bay Website: http://www.uwgb.edu/wisfrench/photos/trio.htm
You can read Allouez and Perrot's biographies at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online: http://www.biographi.ca/en/search.php
Jean Baptiste Lagacé – Cavelier de La Salle au Mississippi – Courtesy of Artefacts Canada, http://www.rcip-chin.gc.ca/artefacts/index-eng.jsp
You can read La Salle's biography at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online: http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/cavelier_de_la_salle_rene_robert_1E.html
Arthur Hider -
La Verendrye at the Lake of the Woods – Available from Library and Archives Canada (LAC) (http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/lac-bac/search/arch_adv), Mikan #2837447; Acc. No. 1939-60-1
You can read Pierre Gauthier/Gaultier, sieur de La Vérendrye’s biography at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online: http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/gaultier_de_varennes_et_de_la_verendrye_pierre_3E.html
Some of the Explorers Who Explored or Passed Through Michigan - See our History of New France Page for links to timelines discussing many of these explorers
Canadian Stamp - Étienne Brûlé Nears Lake Superior - Available from Library and Archives Canada (LAC) (http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/lac-bac/search/arch_adv), Mikan #2266052
See Part 1 of the Timeline for Brûlé and Grenolle's circa 1620 - 1621 voyage to Michigan
Marquette and Jolliet on the Illinois on their return voyage from the Mississippi - Courtesy of the Illinois State Museum - http://www.museum.state.il.us/exhibits/changes/htmls/Current/historical_illinois/historic_il_intro.html .
See Part 5 of the Timeline for Marquette and Jolliet's 1673 exploration of the Mississippi
Francis Lee Jaques circa 1922 painting of Daniel Greysolon, sieur Du Lhut, and some of his companions at the head of the lakes - Displayed at the Minnesota Historical Society: http://collections.mnhs.org/cms/display.php?irn=10609004
See the Timeline - Part 6 for the 1678 exploration of Du Lhut and his companions
You can also read the biographies of these explorers at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online: http://www.biographi.ca/en/search.php