Welcome to the website for The People Who Own Themselves!

The genealogical and historical information contained in my book, The People Who Own Themselves, was gathered over a period of approximately twenty years. Some of this data was collected while pursuing my family genealogy independently. The remainder was compiled in the course of researching my doctoral dissertation in history, which was eventually published as this book.

On this site you will find family information for a number of Desjarlais family branches, and for several other Métis families who intermarried with Desjarlais family members. However, this site does not claim to be a complete genealogy of the Desjarlais family. I have a great deal of additional written information on various Desjarlais individuals and family branches that has yet to be entered into the data base.

I intend to continue to update this site and incorporate the additional information I have gethered, as time permits. In the meantime, if you have questions about individuals or families not included on the website, please feel free to e-mail me at There is a good chance that I have information that may help you.

Heather Devine