Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. William Cremin

Second Advisor

Dr. Donald P. Heldman

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Maher

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


An in-depth search of historical documentation and archaeological references indicates that there exists very little information on Jesuit rings. The primary references were statements in the Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents which strongly suggest that Jesuit rings were used as religious items by missionaries in the area known as New France.

Cleland (1972) hypothesizes that changes in the design, quality, and production of the rings over a 60 year period Indicate that the rings were used as trade items. .Very little has been published on this subject but there is some support for this hypothesis.

The largest number of rings recovered from any one site was found at Fort Michilimackinac, which was a large fur trade center and a center of missionary activity. An analysis of the distribution of the rings found at Michilimackinac supports Cleland's hypothesis, strongly suggesting that they were indeed used as trade items.