what was Illinois in 1764?

+4 votes
Illinois as a state formed 1818. As the Illinois Territory, think it was 1809? It was "discovered" in 1673 and first settled in 1720 or so.  What was it named labeled back in 1760/70? I did look but can't figure it out but Dicy was NOT born in Clinton, Illinois, USA not in 1764 which is what was on the profile -- I changed that to "Illinois Territory, North America" but I don't think that's what it was called named in 1764
WikiTree profile: Dicy Outhouse
in Genealogy Help by Susan Smith G2G6 Pilot (510k points)
It’s very unlikely that a woman who married on the coast of North Carolina in 1785 was born over a thousand miles away in French territory.  Few Europeans lived in Illinois before the American Revolution; there were Native Americans, French trappers, and French forts which became British forts in the 1760’s.  People moved East to West, not West to East.  I would look for her in North Carolina or nearby Virginia.
Kathie, 1000's of people traveled 1000's of miles from Europe to the North American continent, from the tip of South America to the Canadian border.  And etc.

Dicy was alleged to have been born in 1764 (there is a dispute whether she was 'old enough' to the bio mother of her daughter') and there is no reason to suppose she was not born in that bit of terrain that later became Clinton County, Illinois. There's nothing known to indicate she and whatever family survived did not travel those miles to coastal North Carolina.

I had an umpty degree gd father who traveled from North Carolina to what was then the Northwest Territory (Illinois Terr) and later broken into Indiana and Illinois where his 3rd and 4th child by his 1st wife were born (the first two children born in North Carolina)

So when the Brits took over from the French in 1766 (several years after her alleged DOB) who is to say her parent(s) did not pick up and head for the coast of North Carolina? Along with any number of others who were equally dis-enfranchised or dis-enchanted .... I do not doubt that the change of govt also brought forced expulsion of portions of the population that were there ...

4 Answers

+2 votes

Wikipedia has an Article on the Illinois Country, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illinois_Country

by George Fulton G2G6 Pilot (417k points)

Per the Colonial North American Place Names spreadsheet, it appears that it may have been Province of Quebec at that time.

It appears that would also be consistent with the info in the Wikipedia link that George posted.
Which is easier, answering the question or pointing to the source?

Which teaches how to find answers?

I like to answer questions, then point to the source so the questioner may see the details.
+1 vote
It was part of Northwest Territroy
by David Hughey G2G Astronaut (1.6m points)
+2 votes
The French originally claimed the area but the Brittish took control about 1766. George Rogers Clark succeeded in capturing the villages of Kaskaskie, Cahokia and Vencennes in 1778. These villages still had numerous French people in them during that time.

In 1764 it would probably be considered a French territory.

by Ray Urquhart G2G1 (1.2k points)
+2 votes

Bless you all for your help.  I just KNEW it wasn't a county and state in 1764, since the USA didn't exist as a legal entity at that time. First census was 1790, war was concluded, more or less, in 1785 or by 1785.  And the Rebellion or Revolution (depending on who you sided with) began more or less a decade before that, 1775/76. 

Apparently, "Illinois, Province of Quebec" is the "winner" -- that, at least, is on the list supplied by familysearch.  The turning point seems to have been that the Brits took over the area in 1766, several years after the alleged date of birth (1764). Whether that made her "French" or not as an ethnic, I don't know. Neither does anyone else, apparently. 

I have made note on the biog of the various answers, the question and its URL, etc  -- I'm not altogether convinced this will prod the PM into action. But in any case, unless someone removes the notes, there's a rationale for stating her place of birth was "Illinois, Province of Quebec"

by Susan Smith G2G6 Pilot (510k points)

Susan, although the French were living in Illinois in 1764, and at several different locations, the Illinois land was still legally the property of the Illinois Native Americans (namely the Miamis, Kickapoos, and Piankishas), and Pontiac was still actively defending their land at that time. Also, the larger populations were Native Americans, and not French (who were considered Canadians). It seems rather provocative to label Illinois during this period as French Canadian territory, when in fact it was Native American territory. It should be called, Illinois, and nothing else, as that is what the Native Americans called Illinois at that time.


I do not disagree with your pro-native american stance. But the native american population did not have the reins of government in hand over that of the non native american

I opt to go with the precedent of Historical Naming of a terrain, which in this case if not all others seems to follow which government had the reins at that time (1764).

WT does encourage us to stick like a burr to the nomenclature of the era in which an Event (marriage, birth, death, divorce, etc) occurred.
I did not present you with my view. I presented you with an historical account. It is explicitly recorded (by Europeans nonetheless) that the Native Americans did not give Illinois to either the French or the English, either prior to, or during, 1764. The French were living on Native American land as respected guests and friends. That some Frenchman would have the audacity to claim the natives' land without the Native American's permission, and then give it to another foreigner (the English), and then this falsehood be recorded as history and enforced here on Wikitree is sad. Our own European-penned historical records reveal that Illinois was still the property of the Illinois natives in 1764, and remained so up until 1769, as recorded in 1877. Our records on Wikitree must reflect this truth so as to record the facts correctly. There is no basis in fact for saying that Illinois was ever a legal part of Quebec or Canada.

I have no interest in supporting Native American culture beyond giving them credit where credit is due. The French Canadians did not own Illinois, ever, despite the claims of later writers. As late as 1877, it was nearly everybody's understanding that Illinois belonged to the Native Americans in 1764.

Thank you David T. I will include the relevant portion about who owned the terrain, ruled it, governed it, and the apparent mis-information about this matter according to the European commentators. 

Although now this presents me with a dilemma -- do I roll with the American version of the History or do I roll with the European version you have laid out before us? 

What we see here is the nominal govt being the European (French then British) and the actual govt being native american (three tribes mentioned) 

So we can figure Dicy was not native american and her parents were squatters (according to the European view) and were expelled -- perhaps -- in 1766, when the nominal govt went from French to British in 1766,  based on the dubious un documented basis of a marriage alleged to have occurred in Bertie, NC in 1785.  Whether it actually happened is another question. 

The distance tween what became Clinton Co, IL to what became Bertie Co, NC is about 850 miles (on foot).  Given the histories of many who traveled that far and farther to reach their dreamland, even across oceans, that is not an insurmountable distance. 

The history that I linked to is American history from the perspective of European immigrants who settled in North America. From the recorded history I linked to, we can see that the French never purchased land from the Native Americans, but merely coexisted with the Native Americans. We can see that the English received the French forts due to negotiations that took place in Europe, and which took several years before the handovers occurred. We can also read that the English, after taking possession of the French forts in Illinois, then afterward purchased land from the Native Americans in 1772 and 1774. Before purchasing Illinois lands, the English made it clear that no Europeans were to purchase land from the Native Americans without approval of the King of England, clearly indicating that the land was still owned by Native Americans. Ownership of Illinois lands passed to Europeans (French, English, Germans, etc are Europeans) when England purchased those lands. So in 1764, the land was Illinois (land of the Native Americans who were called the Illinois).

About the time of the Revolutionary War, a relatively small band of Virginians (about 125), and led by George Rogers Clark, captured the Illinois forts from the English on behalf of the State of Virginia, and thus Virginia also took possession of the newly purchased lands.

As for people in Illinois traveling to the East Coast, it happened regularly during that period. It didn't happen as often as people traveling from East to West, but it did happen. Traders were constantly floating up and down the Ohio river, and Illinois river; occasionally transporting families. Sometimes, families decided to head back East. Either the women were not satisfied with the frontier, or the men had better business opportunities back East. In the 1770s through 1790, the Indians were very violent (estimated to have killed 10% of the settlers), and several families opted to leave the territory. Of course, the Indians had been treated with great disrespect, but they were violent, nonetheless.

Trails across Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois were traversed regularly by French, English, Germans, and Native Americans. It wasn't like the traffic of the Interstate highways, today, but people did traverse back and forth in both directions.

Settlements, in general, did migrate West. But don't mistake this trend as being solely in one direction. And it certainly was not impossible for families to travel back and forth across those distances. Back then, it was normal to walk across country, even if it took a couple years to do it with long breaks between. I walked from Las Vegas to Northern California one Summer, including across the high desert. Walking long distances is very beneficial to one's health, and our ancestors undoubtedly realized that. How else can we explain some of them living into their 90s and 100s? The point is that it is not so big of a deal for families to travel East at any time, or in any place, in history.

As I often do, I recite information from memory and then find my details are a little off. The land purchases by the English from the Native Americans were in 1773 and 1775, the details of which can be read here (starting near the bottom of page 167).

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