FrancoGene: Genealogy of French forts of the West

History at a glance

The inside area of the North-American continent was firstly inhabited by Natives (called Amerindians or Indians) for 10 to 40,000 years.

The European colonization was made from three places: Spanish from the South, French from the St.Lawrence Valley and English from the Atlantic Coast.

In 1538, the Spaniard Hernando de Soto navigated along the Mississippi River, but the Spanish settlements were limited to the South.

French, who settled the St.Lawrence Valley (Quebec City, 1608, then Montreal, 1642), explored the continent looking for furs. In 1615, Samuel de Champlain and Étienne Brûlé reached the Great Lakes (Ontario). In 1621, Étienne Brûlé was in Sault Ste.Marie (Ontario). In 1634, Jean Nicolet reached Michigan Lake (Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin). In 1657-58, Medard Chouart dit Desgroseillers and Pierre-Esprit Radisson explored the Superior Lake and the North of Mississippi River (Illinois). In 1669-70, Robert Cavelier de La Salle explored Ohio and Illinois. In 1673, Louis Jolliet and father Jacques Marquette discovered the Mississippi River. In 1699, D'Iberville arrived in the mouth of the Mississippi, later known at the New Orleans (Louisiana). In 1731, Pierre Gauthier, sieur de La Vérendrye, was in the West. He visited the Rocky Mountains in 1738.

Despite many fur traders were already living in the area, sometimes like Natives, it is only in 1701 that the earlier permanent forts were settled, like Détroit (Michigan) and Mobile (Alabama). Many more were built, for example in 1711, with Michillimakinac (Michigan) or in 1718, with New Orleans (Louisiana).

While France was occupying, with her forts, the inner continent, and more particularly the Mississippi area, they were surrounded by English of the colonies, later American, on the East border, and by Spanish on the South-West side. In 1763, after loosing the Seven Year war, France gave way Louisiana to Spain who then owned half of the continent. This was in short the West Bank of Mississippi, from New Orleans to future Manitoba. The Northern area East of Mississippi to the Great Lake was a part of Canada becoming at that time a British colony and included in what was then called the Province of the Quebec Government.  At that time, american colonies continued to expand thru the inner continent. In 1801, during the Napoleon wars, France took back Louisiana to resell it in 1803. Then, Napoleon received from the Americans $15 millions.

During that time period and after it, the interior of the continent was divided in territory and then in States member of the United States.

Some French pioneers

See the Home page for United States for data depending on the State.

Principal genealogical sources

This list will be rebuilt.  If a source is about one specific State, it is presented on the State's page when this page is ready.

List of old French forts with records

Register: type and year of registers.  Register: type (bms for b/baptisms, m/marriages and s/burials) and years with records.  "rec" is a census.
 
Fort Today US state/
Province
Registers Publication
Assomption de la Pointe de Montréal du Détroit Sandwich, Co. Essex Ontario bms:1764-1799 NAC:C-2894-2895 
Cahokia (Ste-Famille) Cahokia, Co. St.Clair Illinois rec:1735,1752,1787 
m:1735-1839 
s:1784-1794 
PFF 1
Fort Biloxi Biloxi (Harrison) Mississippi s:1720-1723 ANF:G1-412 
NAC:F-597 
Fort Condé de la Mobile 
Fort Louis de la Louisiane 
Mobile, Co. Mobile Alabama bms:1704-1764 C-2224 
Old Mobile -- Fort Louis de la Louisiane 1702-1711 
Vidrine 
Fort de Chartres (Ste-Anne) Fort Cavendish, Co. ??? Illinois bms:1720-1765 ANF:G1-412 
NAC:C-2899 
NAC:F-597 
PFF 2
The village of Chartres in Colonial Illinois 
Fort de la Presqu'Isle du Lac Erié (L'Assomption) Erié, Co. Erie Pennsylvania bs:1753-1756 NAC:C-3023 
PFF 1
Fort de la Rivière aux Boeufs Waterford, Co. Erie Pennsylvania s:1753-1754 NAC:C-3023 
PFF 1
Fort de la Rivière St-Joseph des Illinois Près de Windsor, Co. Lambton Ontario bms:1720-1773 PFF 1
Fort de Vincennes (St-François-Xavier) ou Ouabache Vincennes, Co. Knox Indiana bms:1749-1786 PFF 2
NAC:C-2896 
Fort Duquesne (L'Assomption) Pittsburg, Co. Allegheny Pennsylvania bs:1753-1756 NAC:C-3023 
PFF 1
Fort Frontenac Kingston, Co. Frontenac-Kingston Ontario bms:1747-1752 PFF 1
Fort La Présentation Ogdensburg New York bms:1750-1760 PFF 1
Fort Michilimakinac (Ste-Anne, St-Ignace) MacKinaw City, Co. Mackinac Michigan b:1695-1821 
m:1725-1821 
s:1743-1806 
PFF 1
NAC:C-2900 
LDS:0865224 
Fort Pontchartrain du Detroit (Ste-Anne) Detroit, Co. Wayne Michigan bms:1704-1800 NAC:C-2893-2895 
Denissen
Fort Rosalie 
(N.-D. de l'Immaculée-Conception
Natchez Mississippi bms:1726-1796 ANF:G1-464 
NAC:F-804 
PFF 2
Fort St-Frédéric Crown Point, Co. Essex New York bms:1732-1760 NAC:C-3023 
NAC:M-866 
PFF 1
Fort St-Philippe ??? Louisiana bms:1761-1765 NAC:C-2899
Kaskaskia (Notre-Dame de la Conception) Kaskaskia, Co. Randolph Illinois rec:1726, 1752, 1787 
bms:1695-1834 
ANF:G1-412
NAC:F-597
NAC:C-2899 
PFF 2
Mission des Hurons de la Pointe de Montréal du Détroit Sandwich, Co. Essex Ontario b:1761-1767 NAC:C-2894 
Mission des Illinois du Chapilatas à la Pointe Coupée Pointe-Coupée, par. Pointe-Coupée Louisiana bms:1722-1723  
Pointe-Coupée (St-François) Pointe-Coupée, par. Pointe-Coupée Louisiana bms:1756-1794  NAC:C-2237 
NAC:C-2900 
Bâton Rouge Diocese Records 
Poste des Arkansas ??? ??? bms:1744-1799 
rec:1723,1726,1727 
NAC:C-2899 
Poste St-Philippe des Illinois (La Visitation) ? Missouri ? rec:1752 
bms:1761-1765 
NAC:C-2899 
PFF 2
Prairie du Rocher (St-Joseph) Prairie du Rocher, Co. Randolph Illinois bms:1761-1799 NAC:C-2899 
PFF 2
St-Louis des Illinois ??? ??? bms:1776-1800  
St-Martin des Attakapas  Attakapas (St.Martin), par. Assumption  Louisiana bms:1756-1794  First register of St.Martin des Atakapas, etc. 



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