Descendants of Founder of Detroit Didn’t Tell Anyone They Were Going to Visit City

If you are going to visit the place(s) where your ancestors lived, you might want to let someone know in advance that you are planning to visit.  Well, that’s true if the ancestor was someone famous.
You might like to read the story and view the pictures in an article by Meredith Spelbring in the Detroit Free Press at


We in the French-Canadian Heritage Society of Michigan (FCHSM) will be most willing to see the documentation that we hope will be provided by the Laumet family. We are not the only researchers who have reported descent through _female_ lines only, at least thus far. See Jean Boutonnet, Lamothe-Cadillac, Le gascon qui fonda Détroit (1658-1730), France: Éditions Guénégaud, 7 juillet 2001. I have read his book and have a review in our two-volume FCHSM book. He was unable to find any descent from the male Lamothe Cadillac children in France, and that is the name those men used, not _Laumet_, Antoine’s name on his baptism. To date, this has been the finding of our Gail Moreau-DesHarnais in her extensive examination of the records in France. Stay tuned for further reports in the future after we have examined the evidence. Lamothes documented in France after the family returned there from Louisiane in 1717 are Joseph, the son born in 1702 at Fort Pontchartrain, married to Marguerite de Grégoire 1732, no male children survive, and Joseph cannot be traced beyond about 1744. However, their daughter Marie-Thérèse Lamothe Cadillac married in 1760 Barthelélémy de Grégoire, And a female descendant did survive to be granted by the United States the old concession given to Lamothe Cadillac in what is now Maine. (That’s a separate story, and she disappears from the records.) Thérèse baptized at the fort in 1704, married François Hercule de Pouzargues 1729, son Antoine-Joseph assures descendance to this day, but not with the last name Laumet. It is a gentleman in this line with whom I communicated prior to the celebration of the 300th anniversary of Detroit, and we published his descent in our journal in 2001. Son François Lamothe Cadillac, born at the fort in 1709, married Angelique de Forgole 1744; no male descendants survive, and he died in 1769.
Another daughter became a nun in France. My confirmation of the birth of Joseph in 1702 is the subject of two of my articles. Unfortunately, those responsible for the return visit to Detroit by the alleged descendants had months since last December to seek documentation for their claim but did not do so. I sincerely hope such documentation will be forthcoming.


Descendants of Founder of Detroit Didn’t Tell Anyone They Were Going to Visit City
Even the title of the article is misleading.
Actually, the two younger men did tell a local historian on an earlier visit in December, and that person, Kimberly Simmons, whose specialty appears to be Afro-American history, invited them to return and apparently made the arrangements for the grand reception given to the men in March. When we have any documentation for the claim made by the visitors, we will be most delighted to publish it. We in the French-Canadian Heritage Society of Michigan (who have researched possible descendants) are happy they were made to feel welcome but cannot accept a claim without proof. Those of you who document descent from those who were at Fort Pontchartrain really need to see the French-Canadian Heritage Society of Michigan’s award-winning two volume book:
Le Détroit du Lac Érié: 1701–1710 (volume 1 by Gail Moreau-DesHarnais and Diane Wolford Sheppard, volume 2 by Suzanne Boivin Sommerville); Madison Heights, Michigan: MJA Graphics, 2016). Text in English. For Tables of Contents and information on ordering it, see


Preliminary research confirms that this Laumet family from the north of France has no known links to the Laumet family in the south of France, the birthplace of Antoine Laumet dit de Lamothe Cadillac, in Gascony. More details will be forthcoming.


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