Help with locations in Detroit River Region from French settlement to 1900?

+2 votes

Hi all! I'm working on the French Canadian by way of Detroit/Windsor area branch of my tree. I'm trying to figure out the designations for place names as the boundaries and sometimes, town names, of this particular location change fairly rapidly from 1700-1900. I'm fairly familiar with place names on the Michigan side of the Detroit River but need some help with the now-Canadian side.

I have the following possibly figured out, but would love any guidance or corrections, including the best way to add these into the Wikitree location bar. 

1701 - Detroit established as Fort Pontchartrain

1749 - La Petite Cote established. Name for "Sandwich" prior to 1796. Called "Cote de Misere" due to sandy soil. Also location of the Church of the Hurons mission.

1765 - "Mission des Hurons de la Pointe de Montréal du Détroit," located in the western part of Essex County along the Detroit River, became the parish of "L'Assomption de la Pointe de Montréal du Détroit."

1791 - Upper Canada province formed (til 1841); previously Province of Canada

1792 - Essex County established. Parish became known as "L'Assomption de Sandwich"

1796 - Amherstburg and Sandwich were the first townships established in Essex Cty after the British ceded Detroit (Jay Treaty). Many French settler-descendants moved across the river to Sandwich area when this happened.

1797 - Sandwich was established (after American Revolution)

1803 - some confusing maps including Indiana Territory and Wayne County comprising all of the lower peninsula, and maybe Virginia at some point?

1805 - (til 1837) Detroit is Michigan Territory

1835 - village of Windsor established (became a town in Sandwich Township)

1837 - Michigan becomes a state

1854 - Sandwich South, Sandwich West and Sandwich East created

1858 - Sandwich acknowledged with “town” status

1867 - Dominion of Canada - Ontario established as a province?

1935 - Sandwich annexed by Windsor

Other place names across the Detroit River include River Canard, Lasalle, Tecumseh. Let me know if I am missing anything!

in The Tree House by AK Kurtz G2G1 (1.3k points)
adding them to the WikiTree location bar, do you mean the automatic suggestions thing that pops up when you enter locations?  As far as I know that comes straight from FamilySearch, not sure if it's amenable to modification or not.  Not at all useful for eras prior to modern times frankly.  Anachronisms abound, like counties entered in there when no such thing existed.
Ah! Thanks, Danielle, that's good to know. I did mean the automatic suggestions for birth place/death place/etc. Good thing it can be overwritten with more accurate place names!

I just turn it off myself, the repetitive things that are found for all places I have written out on a notepad and just copy-paste as needed.  laugh

3 Answers

+2 votes
Best answer
In 1791 both Upper Canada (then Canada West and now Ontario) and Lower Canada (then Canada East and now Quebec) were formed from the Province of Canada. A good read on this is "Uppermost Canada: The Western District and the Detroit Frontier, 1800-1850" by R. Douglas
by Bruce Connor Johnson G2G Crew (910 points)
selected by Doris Miller
Thank you for the recommendation, it sounds perfect for my research - I'll check that book out!!
+3 votes
Some things that you can add:

Upper Canada became Canada West in 1841 and remained that until Confederation in 1867.

Windsor was incorporated as a village in 1854 - the year that the Grand Trunk railroad arrived.

Before this, Sandwich was the center of population, but after arrival of the railroad, Windsor quickly overtook it.

Grew rapidly and became a town in 1858; city in 1892.

In the 20th century, Walkerville and Ford City grew as suburbs on the eastern side of town and were annexed by Windsor in 1935 at the same time as Sandwich on the west side.

Further east was Riverside, incorporated in 1921 and annexed by Windsor in 1966.

Lasalle remains as a suburb further southwest (downriver) from old Sandwich and Tecumseh is an eastern suburb facing Lake St Clair.
by Dave Rutherford G2G6 Mach 8 (84.3k points)
Oh wow, thank you for all of these details!!
+2 votes

from 1763 to 1791 the territory under British rule was named Province of Québec.  Détroit itself gets ceded during that time to nascent USA, so gets that changed, I believe in 1784, but going from memory here.

Prior to 1763 all that area is under French rule and is known as Pays d'en Haut, Nouvelle-France.

by Danielle Liard G2G6 Pilot (480k points)
Danielle is correct about Province of Quebec.

The British continued to garrison Detroit after the American Revolution, finally handing it over to the Americans in 1796 under terms of the Jay Treaty.

At that time the British garrison relocated to the newly constructed Fort Malden on the Canadian side, south of Sandwich at the mouth of the Detroit River.
Thank you both for these clarifications and added details!

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