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Mackinac Roots

Updated August 5, 2011

About Our Family Research

The eastern end of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is an important area in history as well as genealogical research. This site will focus on the influence of Native American, fur trade and missionary efforts in the area. For hundreds of years this area was part of a great economic boom, for furs, timber and mining. The money has been made,the resouces lessened, and the rush is long over but a few hearty souls left their marks in the records that help us to find them and connect with them.

Additional interests on this page are: the Company K of the First Michigan Sharpshooters, an all Indian company. Their roster is here as well as photographs of 2 grave markers and Company Second Lieutenant Garrett Graveraet, and,

Postcards! My latest passion is collecting postcards of genealogical value. I have included several new cards here that allow me to see villages, buildings and dwellings as my ancestors saw them. It is an inexpensive and rewarding hobby.

Families on this page include Belanger, LaJoice, Martell, Payette, Vasseur, Dufault, Montreuil, Therrian and others with French-Canadian and American Indian origins. Please feel free to contact me with corrections, questions or suggestions. My apologies for the formatting on the Voyageur files. Spreadsheet format did not carry over very well to this site in a txt. format.

Enjoy your visit!

Family Trees (viewing trees requires 4.0 or later browser)
Family Photos
  • Francis Tabasash, Corporal, Company K (174 KB)
    This photo is thought to be of Francis Tabasash. Thanks, Charlie! From: Collection of Dr. Charles J. Meyers of Southfield, MI. Contact: for permissions.
  • Mary Lavake LaJoice and 3 of her daughters (42 KB)
    This photo marks the beginning of 6 unbroken generations from mother to daughter in my family. Mary Lavake Lajoice is surrounded by 3 of her daughters. From L to R, standing: Madeline Latondress, Frazine Vallier, seated right is Rosalie Therrian. Josephine Derusha is the missing daughter. Photo courtesy of Marion Belanger King, date unknown.
  • Ignatius Benjamin Martell, 12/171864 - 8/12/1939 (15 KB)
    Ignatius Benjamin "Enos" Martell was my greatgrandfather. His parents were Abraham Martell and Madeleine Payette. Madeleine died when she was only 29 in 1871 and he went with his brother Joseph to live with their godparents - Joseph and Louise Payette Abair on Sugar Island. He was husband to Josie Therrian Martell and father to Theresa Martell. He was born at St. Joseph Island and died in Flint, Michigan and is buried at the Old Calvary Cemetary.
  • Josephine "Josie" Therrian Martel (28 KB)
    Josephine was the daughter of Rosalie Lajoice Therrian and is Generation #3 in this series. This photo was taken in 1944 in Flint, Michigan about 1 year before her death.
  • Indian Fishing Village at the Soo, early 1900s (92 KB)
    This postcard depicts an Indian fishing village at Sault Ste. Marie in the early 1900's. The shanties are built in the St. Mary's River! Note the single board walkway into each dwelling.
  • Theresa Florence Martell Hopper Scholl (12 KB)
    This is my nana, Theresa. She was the daughter of Josephine Therrian Martell. I was named for her and this picture includes her first husband, Bennie Hopper, who is holding me in his lap. This photo was taken in the summer of 1957. Nana is generation #4 in this series.
  • The Indian Agency House on Mackinac Island (74 KB)
    This house was used to issue annuity payments to our ancestors and conduct business of the local Indian Agent. It was later renovated and named Anne Cottage, the fictional home of a literary character created by Constance Fenimore Woolson. The original building was demolished and the new cottage built in the late 1890's still bears the name "Anne Cottage" today.
  • Maryalice Hopper Weller (7 KB)
    This is a high school photo of my mother, Maryalice who is the daughter of Theresa Martell. Mom represents generation #5 in this series.
  • Schoolcraft Indian Agency, Sault Ste. Marie (58 KB)
    This is the home of Henry Rowe Schoolcraft and Jane Johnston in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. It was also the location of the first Indian Agency in the Soo, built in 1827. The home is still standing today and is a tourist attraction for the area.
  • Theresa Lynn Weller (19 KB)
    This is trashound at high school graduation in 1975! I am the daughter of Maryalice Hopper and represent the 6th generation in this series. The unbroken chain from mother to daughter spans the years from ca. 1822 to the present.
  • Ka-be-nah-gwey-wence, an Ojibwe Indian age 136 (306 KB)
    I have been collecting postcards of genealogical significance and here is an interesting one. Can anyone identify this man? It has been suggested he is from Minnesota or upper Wisconsin.
  • Grave stone of Payson Wolfe, Company K Veteran (276 KB)
    Photograph of Payson Wolfe's tombstone taken October 31, 2001 at Cross Village Cemetery, Cross Village, Michigan.
  • Beshiminikwe, Mrs. Chabwaway Les Cheneaux Island (159 KB)
    This woman was born in Saginaw and was married to Chabwaway's son Be-ba-mis-se who, after his father died, became chief and assumed the name Chabwaway. She was about 85 in 1910 when this photo of her was taken. She was a local figure of interest in the Hessel area in the early part of the 20th century. See "A Brief Early History of Les Cheneaux Islands" by Frank R. Grover for more information.
  • Grave of Francis Tabasasch, Company K Veteran (254 KB)
    Grave stone of Francis Tabasasch (Taw-baw-sosh) taken on October 31, 2001 at Cross Village. Cemetery, Cross Village Michigan. He appears on the 1910 Durant Annuity Payment as #4870 and has Durant #6729.
  • The Burt Lake Village as it appeared in 1890 (486 KB)
    This photo is in posession of the Burt Lake Band of Indians. It shows the Indian village at Colonial Point approximately 10 years before the burn out.
  • Second Lieutenant Garrett A. Graveraet (4 KB)
    Gravereat was Lieutenant of Company K, First Regiment of Michigan Sharpshooters and responsible for recruiting most of the Indian soldiers from northern Michigan. He was wounded in action at Petersburg, VA and died in Washington, DC and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. His father Henry served as Sergeant in the same company and was killed in action at Spotsylvania, PA, about one month before his son was wounded and subsequently died. He was buried at the National Cemetery in Fredericksburg, VA. His body, and that of his father was later disinterred and buried on Mackinac Island.
Related Files
  • The Lajoie/Lajoice family of St. Ignace (40 KB)
    The family and descendents of Louis and Mary Lajoice. See the portrait of Mary and 3 of her daughters from circa 1885.
  • The Belangers of St. Ignace (23 KB)
    Edited version of an article that appeared in the Habitant Heritage of October 2000. Discusses 2 years of research and findings from primary source documents on the Belanger family.
  • The Payettes of Penetanguishene and Sugar Island (36 KB)
    The Family and descendents of Ignace and Madaleine Payette.
  • Additional roster of Company K soldiers (12 KB)
    The individuals on this page do not appear in the Wilson list of Company K, and includes Francis Tabasash, see photo of his grave marker above.
  • The Burt Lake Burnout. The Awful Truth (1 KB)
    Lands purchased by Chief Keshigoway's band were held in perpetual trust by the Governor of Michigan. 40 years later the Cheboygan county assessor placed them on the tax rolls. The reservation was bought by a land speculator to be developed into a summer resort. Read the awful truth about the eviction and destruction of the reservation village and a first hand account of a group of dispossessed people, who, "at last understands the seriousness of the law of the white man."
  • 1814 List of Voyageurs at Mackinac (1 KB)
    "Prairie du Chien Document, List of Canadian Voyageurs, who volunteered their services at Mackinac, June 21, 1814" by Mary Martell
  • St. Anne's of Detroit Exterior Parishes Index (520 KB)
    St. Anne's of Detroit missionary priests visited far and wide to provide sacraments to the faithful. The attached index covers the years 1810 - 1833 from the Georgian Bay to Sault Ste. Marie to Green Bay, Prairie du Chien and Galena. The index is copywrited and cannot be duplicated for commercial purposes of any kind. Legend: N - naissance or birth, M - marriage, D - deces or death. Please refer to Tanner to determine unfamiliar locations. Data derived from personal data base and converted to html, so please excuse the sloppy appearance! Number previous to date refers to the page number of the volume at the Burton.
  • Graveraet Family of Mackinac (10 KB)
    Henry Graveraet was born near Albany, New York and came to the Mackinac area in the early 1800s. Here he met and married Charlotte Livingstone and had a family of 16 children. His descendents served the state of Michigan as teachers, business entrepreneurs, statesmen and Civil War heros.
  • The Therrians of Drummond Island (39 KB)
    The Therrian family moved from Drummond Island to the Mackinac area indicated by the baptismal records of their children. Peter Isaac Therrian was French Canadian, Angelique was Indian. Josephine "Josie" Therrian (see photo) is their great grand daughter.
  • St. Joseph Mission Baptisms at Lapointe 1835-1851 (2770 KB)
    The baptismal index from St. Joseph Mission founded at Lapointe, Wisconsin by Bishop Baraga is based on the published baptisms from Lost in Canada. The dates range from 1835 to February 1951. This index is very large and takes some time to load. It is intended for individual use only.
  • The Martells of Detour (38 KB)
    The Family and descendents of Joseph Martel and Genevieve Dufault. Theresa Martel (see photo) is their great grand daughter.
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