Pierre St. Onge dit Chesne
Louise or Jeanne Bailly or Bailli or Batty
Charles Chesne or Chene


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Catherine Sauvage

Charles Chesne or Chene

  • Born: 11 March 1694, Montreal
  • Partnership: Catherine Sauvage 18 January 1722 in Detroit

  Please note: Births, marriages, deaths, relationships, etc. should be considered a lead or working theory unless supporting documentation is provided. Documentation and/or general notes for this individual include:

The city of Detroit, Michigan, 1701-1922, Volume 2 edited by Clarence Monroe Burton, William Stocking, Gordon K. Miller

City of Detroit, p. 1269


Being the Story of the Church, or Malcher, Farm

By Clarence M. Burton

There is no more romantic occupation than that of examining titles to real estate. The titles of no two farms along the river front of Wayne County are the same, and the story of every farm combines the romances of the lives of many families for the two centuries of occupation by the white man. The Indians never claimed private ownership in these lands, but individual ownership by white men extends back to the time of Cadillac. The first settlers were the French farmers, and they brought with them from their homes across the water, the idea of the Frenchman's "water lot," and introduced it here. The "Ribbon farm" was a tract of land with a frontage of several arpents or French acres, upon a stream of water and extending in the rear as far as government would permit. Upon the Detroit River these farms were usually two, three or more arpents wide, and extended from forty to sixty arpents in depth. An arpent was a French measure of 192.75 feet, being a little less than an English acre. There were many of these concessions or grants made by the French government and the commandants, but only a very few were made under the English rule. The French government controlled the country until 1760 and the British had possession from that date until 1796. Thereafter the Americans owned and disposed of the lands or confirmed the previous grants made by France and England.

About the year 1780, when it was thought likely that the Revolutionary war would end by the transfer of this part of the country to the new United States, many of the people living in and around Detroit, obtained grants of lands from the Indian tribes. There was no validity to any of these transfers, but on many occasions persons took the Indian deeds and entered into possession of lands under them and were in the actual possession, with title uncontested, at the time of the coming of Gen. Anthony Wayne with the American army in 1796.

Soon after the Americans took possession of the country an agitation was begun to settle the land titles. Acts of Congress were passed at various times, the general object of which was to quiet the titles in the proper parties and to give land owners assurances that they would not be disturbed in their possessions. Commissioners were appointed by Congress to sit as a court in Detroit, to whom evidences of possession and ownership were presented. Awards were made by the commissioners and, where no appeals were taken, grants or patents were issued to the proper parties. These patents were based upon the actual possession of the soil ante-dating the coming of the Americans and were, therefore, more in the nature of confirmations than of conveyances, (Corby vs. Thompson, Vol. 196, page 706, Michigan Reports).

(As it is expected that this paper will be read by lawyers and others engaged in examining titles and transferring land, references will be made to the public records and to Supreme Court reports so that they will readily understand.)

Among these grants was one located on the Detroit River a short distance east of the Grand Boulevard. It has a frontage on the river of five arpents (about 963 feet) and extends northward about three miles. A more definite description will be given later. This farm is now generally known as the "Church" farm or private land claim number sixteen. It is also sometimes referred to as the "Malcher" farm and as the "Public" farm.

Charles Chene purchased a portion of the land from the French government and obtained a patent for it dated July 14, 1734. This portion was 4 arpents in width by 80 arpents in depth.

Charles Chene was the son of Pierre St. Onge dit Chene and his wife, Louisa Jeane Bailly. He was born at Montreal March 11, 1694, and married at Detroit, January 18, 1722, Catherine Sauvagc. The family name Chene is sometimes spelled Chesne. Pierre and Charles Chene were ancestors of the family bearing that name and owners of the Chene farm at Chene street, Detroit. In 1762, Charles Chene sold the farm to Guillaume Bernard (or St. Bernard).


Charles married Catherine Sauvage, daughter of Jacques Sauvage and Marie Catherine Rieul, 18 January 1722 in Detroit.

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