Volume 2: Midwest United States
Michigan: MI-9

Catholic Church. Archdiocese of Detroit. Archives
12 State Street
Detroit, MI 48226

Phone: 313-237-5846


Hours: See website

Access: See access

Copying facilities: Yes


History: The Diocese of Detroit was erected for Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North and South Dakota east of the Missouri River, 1833. Detroit lost territory for erecting new dioceses, 1843-1938, and was elevated to the Archdiocese of Detroit, 1937.  Previously, Detroit had been part of the dioceses of Cincinnati, 1821-1838, Bardstown, 1808-1821, Baltimore, 1796-1808, and Québec, 1674-1796. The Archdiocese of Detroit and its predecessors administered the following missions, parishes, and schools among Native Americans:

1701-1830s (no longer Native) (Detroit, 1833-1830s)

Sainte Anne Church (Métis, Wyandot), Detroit/ Fort St. Joseph, Michigan Territory/ Indiana Territory/ Northwest Territory/ Quebec

1780-1840s (no longer Native) (Detroit, 1833-1840s) 

St. Anne Church (Ojibwa), Mackinac Island, Michigan/ Michigan Territory/ Indiana Territory/ Northwest Territory/ Quebec

1799-present (no longer Native) (Detroit, 1833-1882)

Holy Childhood of Jesus/ St. Peter Church (Ottawa), Harbor Springs/ New Arbre Croche, Michigan/ Michigan Territory/ Indiana Territory/ Northwest Territory

1829-present (Detroit, 1833-1882)

Holy Cross Church (Ottawa), Cross Village, Michigan/ Michigan Territory

1831-1836 (closed) (Detroit, 1833-1836)

Native School (Menominee, Metis), Green Bay, Wisconsin Territory

1832-1893 (closed) (Detroit, 1833-1882)

St. Leopold Mission (Ojibwa, Ottawa), Beaver Island, Michigan/ Michigan Territory

1833-1835 (closed)

Winnebago Mission (Winnebago), Wisconsin Territory

1833-1845 (no longer Native)

Church of the Blessed Virgin (Ojibwa, Ottawa), Grand River, Michigan/ Michigan Territory

1833-1853 (closed)

St. Vincent de Paul Mission (Ojibwa, Ottawa), Manistique, Michigan/ Michigan Territory

1833-present (Detroit, 1833-1882)

St. Ignatius/ St. Francis Xavier Mission (Ojibwa, Ottawa), Middle Village/ Middletown, Michigan/ Michigan Territory

1834-1920s (no longer Native) (Detroit, 1834-1882)

Holy Name of Mary Church (Ojibwa), Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan/ Michigan Territory

1845-1870s (no longer Native) (Detroit, 1845-1870s)

Sacred Heart of Mary Mission (Potawatomi), Dowagiac/ Silver Creek

1971-1974 (closed)

Aniwim Community Parish (e.g. Huron, Mohawk, Ottawa), Detroit


St. Clement of Rome Church (e.g. Huron, Mohawk, Ottawa), Romeo

1980s-2012 (closed)

St. Elizabeth Church (e.g. Huron, Mohawk, Ottawa), Wyandotte


St. Vincent Pallotti Church (e.g. Huron, Mohawk, Ottawa), Wyandotte


Holdings of Catholic records about Native Americans:

Inclusive dates: 1838, 1970s-ongoing

Volume: Few records

Description: Within 2 series.


/1 Bishops Papers

Inclusive dates: 1838

Volume: 1 ledger book

Description: This ledger book of Ottawa Indian drawings from Harbor Springs is believed to have been made in 1838 when it became part of the ethnographic collection of Bishop John Friedrich Résé, Detroit’s first Bishop. Then, the Leopoldinen-Stiftung im Kaisertume Oesterreich (Leopoldine Society of Vienna) provided substantial funding for evangelization of Native Americans in the diocese. In gratitude, Bishop Résé gave the ethnographic collection to the society’s secretary, Johann Georg Schwarz, and eventually, it was transferred to the Museum für Volkerkunde (Vienna, Austria). 


/2 Sacramental records

Inclusive dates: 1970s-1974

Volume: Several records

Description: The archdiocesan archives, or a successor parish, administers the sacramental records (e.g. baptisms, marriages, burials) of closed parishes whereas open parishes administer their own sacramental records and those of predecessor parishes. For open and closed parishes that had Native American parishioners, the disposition of sacramental records is as follows:

A. Detroit, Aniwim Community parish, 1971-1974: Archdiocesan Archives, Detroit

B. Detroit, St. Clement Church, 1970s-ongoing: St. Clement Church, Detroit

C. Wyandotte, St. Elizabeth Church, 1970s-2012: St. Vincent Pallotti Church, Wyandotte

D. Wyandotte, St. Vincent Pallotti Church, 2010s-ongoing: St. Vincent Pallotti Church, Wyandotte


/3 Parish files

Inclusive dates: 1970s

Volume: Few records

Description: May include clippings and photographs of Native American parishioners:

A. Detroit, Aniwim Community parish, 1971-1974

B. Detroit, St. Clement Church, 1970s-ongoing

C. Wyandotte, St. Elizabeth Church, 1970s-2012

D. Wyandotte, St. Vincent Pallotti Church, 2010s-ongoing


Unless otherwise noted, the repository on this page holds (or held) the records described here and they are not held at the Marquette University Archives.