Since the time Detroit was settled in 1701 by Cadillac, the French have been a presence in southeastern Michigan.  The first census in which Monguagon Township was specified (1840), Trenton had 276 inhabitants, including families of Metties, Duquettes, Girards, Reaumes, Raymonds, and Bushas.  In the 1830 census, Truaxes, Vreelands and Metties, already lived outside Detroit proper. Virtually all those listed in the 1796 census of the River Raisin were French.

Throughout the years up until 1930, the French have been a substantial part of the southeastern Michigan population.

I am creating this website as a means to get information about all my French families in one place.

My own ancestry includes Venier (Vigneux), Burbo (Bourbeau), LaBelle, Reno (Renaud), and Mayville (Miville), Chenevert (Shinevar, Chinevere), and Beaudrie (Boudrie).  As can be seen, many French names were anglicized over the years.  Some other examples are:

Mitchell (Michel), Beaudrie, Boudrie (Beaudry), LaFeve, Lafee (Lefebvre), Amo (Ameau), Mexicotte, Mexico(Massicotte), Brow (Brault), Rushlow (Rocheleau), Jambo (Jambeau), Laura (L'Heureux)

The French were a relatively conhesive minority.  Many continued to speak French at home until about the time of World War I.  From my own family, the following were very close to one another in the 1870 census.

Sched # Surname   Maiden Name French Name
268 Rushlow David   Rocheleau
268 Rushlow Mary Jambeau  
269 Johnebore John   Jambeau
269 Johnebore Aurilla    
270 Burbore Nelson   Bourbeau
270 Burbore Sarah Labelle  
271 Mitchel Octab   Michel
271 Mitchel Julia Bourbeau  
272 Johnebore Joseph   Jambeau
273 Reno Alexander   Renaud
273 Reno Mary Bourbeau  
274 Labelle William   Labelle
274 Labelle Catharine Bourbeau  
275 Labelle Charles   Labelle
275 Labelle Julia Duquette  
279 Burbo Joseph   Bourbeau
279 Burbo Phebe Girard  
279 Burbo Augustus   Bourbeau
279 Burbo Philes Baudin