I thought this would be an easy blog topic. Look at my family tree and write about a soldier that was part of the American Revolutionary War. I did a search for United States between 1775 and 1887 using the “Who Was There List” report found in RootsMagic 5. Almost all of the results that were shown were listed in Michigan. I found a few marriages shown at Michilimackinac during the early 1700’s. However the fort located here was under British control during the American Revolution, and was moved from Mackinaw City to become Fort Mackinac on Mackinac Island in 1780. This move occurred because the British believed the fort was too vulnerable to American attack. Strike 1.
Upon further searching, I found a 3rd cousin, 7th removed, Francois Louis Picot De Beletre who was married at Fort de Chartres, Prairie du Rocher, Randolph, Illinois, United States in 1762. Hurrah, here is my link to the Revolutionary War, I thought. But a quick search gave this history of the Fort, found at http://www.ftdechartres.com/page/page/1396754.htm
France surrendered Illinois, along with most of its North American possessions, to Great Britain in the 1763 Treaty of Paris that ended the Seven Years’ War. British troops of the 42nd Royal Highland Regiment took possession of Fort de Chartres on October 10, 1765 in a carefully choreographed transfer ceremony. The British made little use of their new possession, which they renamed Fort Cavendish. Military engineers attempted to control erosion caused by the Mississippi, which already threatened to swallow the south wall. But British military leaders in North America soon deemed the fort of little practical value and ordered it abandoned in 1771, ending its use as a military post. The futility of controlling the river’s erosion of the fort was underscored in 1772, when the south wall and bastions collapsed into the Mississippi.
My last hope was among the large number of ancestors found in the Detroit area. Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit was built in 1701 by the French. It remained under French control until 1760, when it turned over to British control as a result of the British victory during the French and Indian War. According to Wikipedia, “During the American Revolutionary War, Detroit was far to the west of the main area of action. The fort’s main contribution was to arm American Indian raiding parties who attacked American settlements to the southeast. Under terms negotiated in the Jay Treaty, Fort Detroit, Fort Lernoult and the surrounding settlement was surrendered by the British to the Americans on July 11, 1796, 13 years after the Treaty of Paris ended the war and gave the area to the United States.” All of my relatives that I have in the Detroit area are of French-Canadian origin, so I do not believe that any of them were involved in the British military efforts. Strike 3.
So my efforts to find my Revolutionary War link has failed. But I have learned a lot about of the some of the forts around Michigan. So I consider this post a success.