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.
Announcements: See our Meetings Page for the list of meetings for 2015.
You can renew your membership or join FCHSM by completing the membership form and sending your check to FCHSM. See our Join FCHSM Page.
2014 Events which celebrated the 313th anniversary of the founding of Detroit!
Saturday, July 19, 2014, 3:00 pm: Mt. Elliott Cemetery – The French-Canadian Heritage Society of Michigan gathered for a ceremony at the monument (section A, left of the entrance) honoring all those buried from Ste. Anne de Detroit. Until 2010 the mass grave of those founders of Detroit had been unmarked. The rededication ceremony. led by David Martin included prayers, songs, a roll call honoring ancestors buried in Mt. Elliott and the placement of remembrance flowers on the monument. See our Plaque and Monument Page for a picture of the Monument.
Saturday, July 19, 2014, 7:00 p.m.: French Novena Mass at Ste. Anne's, Detroit. The Mass also celebrated physical and spiritual grandmothers with five FCHSM members carrying treasures owned by their grandmothers during the offertory procession. A reception with light refreshments was held after the Mass. See the attached flyer for additional details. See their website for directions: http://www.ste-anne.org/
Sunday, July 20, 2014: Members of FCHSM once again participated in the Storyteller's Festival at the Detroit Historical Museum from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The Museum is located at 5401 Woodward Avenue, Detroit (north of the main branch of the Detroit Public Library and northwest of the Detroit Institute of Arts). See their website for directions: http://detroithistorical.org/detroit-historical-museum/plan-your-visit/general-information and http://detroithistorical.org/detroit-historical-museum/events-calendar/events-listing/storytellers-festival for additional information. Parking is available for $5 at the Detroit Historical Museum lot on Kirby adjacent to the Museum, while available.
French-Canadian Heritage Day Celebrations:
Friday, October 3, 2014 – 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.: The Detroit Historical Museum has invited the FCHSM to participate in a celebration of French-Canadian Heritage Day. 1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.: FCHSM members Suzanne Boivin Sommerville and Diane Wolford Sheppard – joie de vivre – French-Canadian heritage, traditions, and culture. 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. – FCHSM Member Genot Picor and the Trois Buffons – French-Canadian music and dance. The Museum is located at 5401 Woodward Avenue, Detroit (north of the main branch of the Detroit Public Library and northwest of the Detroit Institute of Arts). See their website for directions: http://detroithistorical.org/detroit-historical-museum/plan-your-visit/general-information
Saturday, October 4, 2014 – 11:00 a.m.: The Mount Clemens Public Library: Guillaume Teasdale, PhD. – Anciens Français et Bois-brûlés: Tocqueville and the Vestiges of New France in Michigan. Guillaume Teasdale was the co-editor of French and Indians in the Heart of North America 1630 – 1815. His PhD. dissertation from York University was titled: French of Orchard Country: Territory, Landscape and Ethnicity in the Detroit River Region, 1680s-1810s. Pot luck with French-Canadian food.
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
Pierre Gandin's 1937 etching - Cavelier de La Salle 1640-1687 - Available from Library and Archives Canada (LAC) (http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/lac-bac/search/arch_adv), Mikan #2908680
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