Detroit was established as a fort from an idea of Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac . In 1697 the French court began closes all but 4 Post/Forts. Which were St. Joseph of Miami, Frontenac, St. Louis of Illinois, & de Buade. They closed the rest due to economic failures etc…
However Commandant Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac did not see closing the forts as a good move. He went to France more then once to have a new fort built. He did not want the English to be able to expand west. Cadillac had a plan for his post. Some would say he was a dreamer. His plan was to convince the aborigines to settle out side his fort. Cadillac saw the Detroit River area as a natural defended area with it high banks and narrowest section of the river. Some said it could not be done with the tension amongst the tribes.
In which every version you believe the first building constructed was either the Fort or the Church Ste. Anne de Detroit. My bet is on the fort. Sice we all need shelter first.
So thus began the Detroit River Region.
France was giving away land in order to entice French families to the region. In 1708 there was a Conveyance Plan made. If you look on the History Detroit website you can see a picture of the Conveyance.
It is shown over present day streets. If you go to the Web site History 1701 2001 Detroit this map is also available in an interactive. You can click on a spot it will say who had the land first. Maybe it will be one of your Direct French Ancestors.
The Burton Library, located in Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library, 5201 Woodward Ave.,Detroit, MI 48202 (313) 481-1401. This is a superior collection of all Detroit French past. If you are in the area I suggest a visit to the Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Library. Your French Ancestors may have come through the region.
Do you have an ancestor who made their way to Fort Ponchatrain and received land? I have several. Plus if you read my entry on Jacks then you know too that the first German family here was the Jacks/Yax.
History 1701-2001 Detroit, 2008, http://www.historydetroit.com/part_2.asp
· Burton, Clarence M. (2005) [1928?]. "City of Detroit". The city of Detroit, Michigan, 1701-1922. Ann
· Fuller, George Newman (2005) [1928?]. Local history of Detroit and Wayne County / edited by George B. Catlin.. Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan Library. Retrieved 2007-04-10.
· Burton, Clarence M (1896). Cadillac's Village: A History of the Settlement, 1701-1710. Detroit Society for Genealogical Research. ISBN 0-943112-21-4.
· Burton, Clarence M (1912). Early Detroit: A sketch of some of the interesting affairs of the olden time. Burton Abstracts. ASIN B00085GX94.
· Denissen, Christian (1987). The Genealogy of French Families of the Detroit River Region, 1701-1936. Detroit Society for Genealogical Research. ISBN 0943112028.
· Farmer, Silas (1889). History of Detroit and Wayne County and Early Michigan. Omnigraphics Inc; Reprint edition (October 1998). ISBN 1-55888-991-4.
· Gavrilovich, Peter and Bill McGraw (2000). The Detroit Almanac. Detroit Free Press. ISBN 0937247341.
· Gavrilovich, Peter and Bill McGraw (2006). The Detroit Almanac, 2nd edition. Detroit Free Press. ISBN 9780937247488.
· Woodford, Arthur M. (2001). This is Detroit 1701-2001. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-2914-4.