The French connection in Allen County goes back centuries, to the founding of the first fort at the Miami village of Kekionga in 1715. The British, then the Americans gained control of the area, but ethnic French continued to arrive, especially in the 1820s to 1840s, coming from Ohio and New York, and these French descendants are one of the largest ethnic groups in Fort Wayne. Now, thanks to the generosity of Martine Copeland, we have her research, “French Families of Allen County, Indiana” online for searching.

The Compendium and four surname based volumes total more than 18,000 pages of biographical information, and the Online Tree provides connections for more than 30,000 people. And don’t think that this material contains only French surnames. Other families that married into the French families are also included. In fact, The Compendium section includes lists of surnames, French and others, with brief explaanations of why they are included or not, as well as maps and lists of departments and regions in France, a glossary for translating French abbreviations, and a list of French archives and web addresses.

Anyone researching the ethnic French in Indiana or the Midwest should certainly examine this wonderful addition to our Free Databases.