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References & sources for researching your French-Canadian ancestors in Michigan

For F-C researchers in Michigan there are some finding aids and research centers which could be of help:  the Loiselle marriage index (+ supplement) which covers a large number of parishes in Quebec and a few adjacent areas of Ontario, Nova Scotia and New England. There is also the Rivest marriage index, it is a bride index and overlaps Loiselle but also covers some parishes he doesn't. Both are available on film through your local Family History Center,  These films are on indefinite loan at the Lansing Family History Center in East Lansing .  They are master indexes and can help in determining location of ancestors.  There is also a microfiche version of Loiselle at the Michigan State Archives. Then there is the Fabian marriage index which covers parishes along the St. Lawrence seaway but is only available at the Canadian National Archives as far as I know.  There are also published marriage repertoires (or listings) of various parishes of Quebec, Ontario, and New England at the State Archives, as well as some baptisms and burials, see - . The Burton Collection at the Detroit Public Library also has a large number of the repertoires.  I believe one of the Family History Centers in the Detroit area has some if not all of the Loiselle index, perhaps someone can comment on that.


The Archives also has the Drouin Collection -




See: for a summery on using the various sources.


See also:


For non-French speakers, the church records usually follow a format and the essentials can be determined, the handicap being the sometimes illegible handwriting:


The earliest generations have been researched:



Also online - For a critique and how to read Tanguay see Michigan’s Habitant Heritage, v.4 #3 (Jul 1983), pp.60-63, published by the French-Canadian Heritage Society of Michigan.  It should be noted that this is considered out-of-date and essentially replaced by –

DICTIONNAIRE GENEALOGIQUE DES FAMILLES DU QUEBEC DES ORIGINES A 1730 by           Rene Jette, however note that Jette only goes to 1730 while Tanguay goes to 1760, so don’t dismiss Tanguay completely. For on-line (not Jette) see:

For those with Detroit ancestry see:

GENEALOGY OF THE FRENCH FAMILIES OF THE DETROIT RIVER REGION, 1701-1936             (revised) by Fr. C. Denissen.  Various additions & corrections have been published in Michigan’s Habitant Heritage, by the French-Canadian Heritage Society of Michigan.

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