Cheboygan County MI Genealogy

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Introduction to St. Anne’s Church Records

Transcribed by Sally Eustice

The following charts are provided as an index to the Baptismal Records of the "Mission of St. Ignace de Michilimackinac." These records were translated from the original French and Latin and published in 1908 in the Wisconsin Historical Collections, Volume 19, pages 1-149. The originals are still maintained at St. Anne’s Church on Mackinac Island; but, because of their fragile condition are not available to the public to search. Microfilm copies of the original are available at the Mackinac Area Public Library, the Cheboygan Family History Center, the State Archives in Lansing Michigan, and through other Family History centers by special order. A reprint of the Wisconsin Volume was available through Heritage Books, but it is not on their current catalog. Also, a CD of the original records is available at the gift shop at St Anne's Church on Mackinac Island.

The best way to search these records is to use the find key to locate your surname. If the name could be spelled different ways just enter part of the name. The cursor will advance through the document and stop at every occurrence of that letter combination. Last names are better than first as there are too many Jean Baptist’s and Marie’s to search!

While indexing this document, it was difficult to decide how to spell the names. The priests spelled them with a French ending. The namesakes often spelled them differently, even from document to document. I took the liberty to add capitals and to somewhat standardize the spelling as that makes it easier to search. However, please check for variant spellings as they occur often.

Each priest seemed to pick their own style and way of making entries. Some gave a lot of information, others gave very little. Many gave a birth date of approximate age. Most listed the woman under her maiden name. Some used titles such as Madam, Mlle., Sieur. Sometimes the priest would refer to women with a married title or as the wife of . . and she would sign with her maiden name. These notations give clues to a woman’s marriage or parentage and you should be cautioned to go back, read the original, and look for more clues.

The original document just gave the first name of the person being baptized. I took the liberty of adding the last name when the father’s name was given. Many names are Indian and the spelling varies widely — a French spelling of an Indian name was usually given. Many times the Indian women were called "a Savage Woman" but sometimes, the Tribal Nations were identified. There were both black and Indian slaves at the time and sometimes they were identified as "a Negress belonging to ..." or a "panis slave of ..."

The first records were of limited information. The records of later dates were sometimes hastily done, especially during the small pox epidemic in 1756. There were times when no priests were available and the local notaries and Justice's of the Peace performed baptisms and then official "church baptisms" were later done. I entered all such occurrences because different information was given in each entry. Make sure not to confuse this and think they are multiple people.

The original editors made a lot of notations about people and it is worthwhile to go back to the Wisconsin Historical Collection source to see the additional information. This document is not meant to be used as your “Proof” for genealogy, but only as a resource to help you find the original notation on the microfilm. It is not easy to read variant handwriting, in French and Latin, on a microfilm reader, especially when many names are so similar. Use this as a guide to find the date of the original and then go back to the source and look it up yourself.

These records are important for more than vital statistics. You can look at the time of year when they were in residence, find relationships and references to other names and places, see patterns of long term or seasonal occupation, and even find notations as to occupation: voyageur, blacksmith, trader, merchant)

Other indexes will follow shortly as there is also a limited notation of early interments and also a marriage register. There will then be an attempt to index later entries from 1821 on.

Most baptisms fall into the groupings listed below, but some are listed out of order:

1695 to 1738 | 1739 to 1749 | 1750 to 1756 | 1757 to 1760

1761 to 1786 | 1787 to 1796 | 1797 to 1803 | 1804 to 1821

This Page Was Last Updated Saturday, 03-Mar-2012 12:36:45 MST

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