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Detroit River Connections
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Detroit River Connections. Historical and Biographical Sketches of the Eastern Great Lakes Border Region. Judy Jacobson. Paperback, (1994), repr. 2002, Index, 190 pp.
Mrs. Jacobson here examines the history of the area along Lake Erie encompassed by Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario, an area that shares a rich cultural heritage. At one time or another the area was ruled by three different sovereigns and changed hands five times in all. After the border between the U.S. and Canada was pacified during the last century, there was a constant flow and settlement of peoples on both sides of Lake Erie. By 1870, 500,000 Canadians had migrated to the U.S. through the port of Windsor, and today countless Americans who claim Michigan ancestry also possess Canadian ancestry.
In this book Judy Jacobson examines this border's history, focusing attention on a number of families whose heritage spans our two nations. In the style of her earlier books, Massachusetts Bay Connections and Southold [L.I., NY] Connections, Mrs. Jacobson commences with an overview of exploration and town settlement within the region. Thus we learn about the origins of Detroit, Grosse Pointe, and Michilimackinac on the American side and Kingston, Thamesville, and Windsor on the Canadian, to name just a few of the communities surveyed. What genealogists will find most valuable about the book, of course, is the collection of genealogical and biographical sketches spanning the 18th and 19th centuries on the following border families: Askins, Barthe, Baudry, Bondy, Brush, Burns, Campeau, Cassidy, Chapoton, Donovan, Elliott, Fields, Jacob, Landon, McKee, May, Navarre, Pattinson, Reddick, Richardson, Robertson, and Viller/Villier. Mrs. Jacobson also includes a helpful guide to French names and naming practices at the outset of her book and an appendix of source records and a bibliography at the back.