French-Canadian Heritage Society of Michigan
P.O. Box 1900, Royal Oak, 48068-1900
History of New France
Introduction: Although Jacques Cartier was the first explorer documented to have explored the Gulf of the St. Lawrence in 1534, and "discovered" the St. Lawrence River in 1535, continuous occupation of New France did not occur until the 17th century. While some people prefer to study the history of their ancestors and their culture working backwards in time, we feel that if you study the history of New France starting with the 17th century you will have a greater understanding of not only our shared history but of the historical events that greatly influenced our evolving culture.  The lives lived by our ancestors was also influenced by where they lived at a particular period of time as well as their occupations.  In other words, if you focus too much on the stories about French-Canadian culture or Native culture learned from your parents, grandparents, or great grandparents without reading about their history, you may make assumptions about their culture that are not supported by historical records.
 
Articles - 17th Century History:
Charles and Guillaume Boivin at Sainte Marie aux Hurons, by Suzanne Boivin Sommerville – Suzanne’s article provide a description of the Mission and a list of the French Canadians documented to have lived or travelled to the Mission.  The website for Ste Marie Among the Hurons notes the following: “By 1648, Sainte-Marie was a wilderness home to 66 French men, representing one-fifth of the entire population of New France” [http://www.saintemarieamongthehurons.on.ca/sm/en/Home/index.htm]
 
Voyages to the Northern Sea (Hudson Bay), by Diane Wolford Sheppard
 
French-Canadian Exploration, Missionary Work, and Fur Trading in Hudson Bay, the Great Lakes, and Mississippi Valley During the 17th Century - a multi part series by Diane Wolford Sheppard:
 
French Missions and Forts:
 
Ste Marie Among the Hurons
Exterior of Ste-Marie Among the Hurons - courtesy of http://www.saintemarieamongthehurons.on.ca/sm/en/Home/index.htm
 
Portion of Vincenzo Coronelli’s 1688 Map of New France

The Complete Map can be downloaded from BAnQ: http://collections.banq.qc.ca/ark:/52327/2246864