Notes - Suzanne Boivin Sommerville
Email 21 December 2000


Note 1
This Pierre Couc who was buried in 1665 was not related to Pierre Couc dit Lafleur de Cognac. He was another soldier named Lafleur, yet another of Tanguay's "guesses" at identification. He made _so_ many unfounded assumptions. There is no evidence of a son Pierre. Besides, if this dead soldier "Lafleur" [the rest of the name does not appear on the record; Tanguay added the rest.] was 41 in 1665, he would have been born in 1624 (!) thus a contemporary of Pierre, not his son. Pierre Couc obviously lived beyond 1665.]

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Notes - Suzanne Boivin Sommerville
Email 21 December 2000



Note 2
The death occurred between 5 April and 18 May. No precise date is given. I have a copy of the register entry. He was buried where the church that had been burned by the Iroquois stood. There is no evidence he died as the result of an Iroquois attack, something else I have seen people mention, although I suppose it is "possible" as the next two people buried are said to have died from this cause... Many people attended the funeral, but only two witnesses are cited.
The burial was at Saint-François-du-Lac. In 1690, there was only Saint-François-du-Lac, a seigneury where Pierre had land, in New France, also called Canada at that time. The area of the settlement is partially under water now.
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Notes - Suzanne Boivin Sommerville
Email 21 December 2000



Note 3
I have their marriage contract as well. It is, unfortunately, almost illegible, being damaged over time. Pierre named Marie as his heir in this document, which carries two dates, 24 August 1657 and 15 Oct 1659, and mentions two other witnesses assigned by the notary, Severin Ameau. These were perilous times at Trois-Rivières because of Iroquois attacks on the colony. Perhaps Pierre wanted to be sure Marie inherited if he died, as he did not file a marriage contract before the marriage, the usual procedure.
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Notes - Suzanne Boivin Sommerville
Email 21 December 2000



Note 4
Giving this spelling the French equivalents, would say
mi-te (maybe tay)-wa-meg-ou-kou-kway
The last "e" is accented é The "kway" ending means woman or lady in Algonquine, I have read.
There is no evidence of her place of birth.
Nations des Outtataronons (Outiateronons)
What is your source for this?
Michillimakinac, Québec (Mackinaw City, MI). She was baptized 6 Nov 1650 in Montréal. What is your source for this?
The Abenaki or Sokoki, from the East Coast, were not in the Trois-Rivières area until later, at the time Louis married. (in 1688)
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Notes - Suzanne Boivin Sommerville
Email 21 December 2000
Children of Pierre COUC and Marie MITE8AMMEG8K8E


The following message contains both statements from my web page and her comments on these statements. Her comments are listed within [brackets].

Children of Pierre COUC and Marie MITE8AMEG8K8E were:

543 i. Marie Angélique COUC was born in [about] 1661-1662, in Trois-Rivières [Her marriage contract states she is of Cap-de-Madeleine,where her parents had land in 1661-62], St-Maurice, Québec.[St-Maurice didnot exist as a county then.] She was also known as Angélique COUC. In the census of 1667, she is listed as 5 years old; in the Census of 1681, she is listed as 18 years old and a resident of St-François-du-Lac (7), 24 years old in census 1682 [What is your source for a census of 1682?]. She married François DELPÉ aka St-Sorney (various spellings, but mainly St-Serney)in 1682. (4) This is the ancestor of the Léveillée lineage. [I have their marriage contract.]

[****There are many children of this couple, including the Maurice Delpé who took the last name MONTOUR, in honor of his assassinated uncle, Louis Couc Montour. THIS Maurice Delpé dit MONTOUR is the husband of Thérèse Petit, m 27 July 1728 Trois-Rivières. I have the record, but see Jetté, p 324. I am afraid Tanguay might have led you astray, but see his footnote. It refers you to Delpé in volume 1. See your error below under François COUC dit MONTOUR. Many of the nieces and nephews of Louis took the name MONTOUR. )

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ii. Jeanne COUC dit LAFLEUR was baptized 14 Jul 1657 in Trois-Rivières, Québec. Here parents are listed as Pierre LAFLEUR and Marie MITEOUAMIGOUKOUE, an Indian. Godparents were DESCROISELIERS [Desgroseilliers, Médart Choart, the famous explorer with Radisson, who founded the Hudson Bay Company after they went over to the English] and DELAMESLEE [Jeanne Évard, wife of Christophe Crevier, sieur de La Mélée]. Jesuit Father Pierre BAILLLOQUET was the officiating priest. (15) She was murdered by Jean Rattier dit DuBuisson on 23 Oct 1679 (20) and was buried 24 Oct 1679 in Trois-Rivières. On the Death Certificat, her father is listed as Pierre COUC LAFLEUR and her mother as Marie, an Algonquine. Her sister is listed as Angélique COUP. [This misspelling occurs at Detroit as well. Perhaps the last "c" was not pronounced as we pronounce it today in English.] [ There is no signature. ["angelique couc" signed the register. Jeanne had received the sacraments before her death. It is the priest who did not sign the record. I have a copy.] (13) She is not listed in the Census of 1681. (7)

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iii. Louis COUC dit MONTOUR was baptized 27 Nov 1659 in Trois-Rivières. On his baptismal certificate, his surname is listed as LAFLEUR, with his father listed simply as LAFLEUR and his mother MITEOUAMEGOUKOUE (French spelling). Godparents are listed as NORMANVILLE [Louis Godefroy, sieur de Normanville, husband to the godmother ] and Madeleine SEGNEURET. The officiating priest was Father René MÉNARD. (12) He [Louis?] immigrated to the West in Aug 1692. [What is your source? I have several of his "engagement" (hiring) contracts and also evidence of him in Michillimakinac, Baye des Puants (now Green Bay, Wisconsin), possibly Détroit. He went back and forth from the Pays-d'en-Haut (the posts in the west, but then returned to the colony. I don't think he defected until after 1701, definitely by 1707. ] He was first married to Madeleine [What is your source for this first name? It appears on no record I have seen. I know Tanguay uses the name, so perhaps it is on a source now lost. It is not on any surviving document. This marriage was "according to custom" but not sanctioned by the Church.] SACOKIE in 1681. His second marriage was to Jeanne QUIQUETIG8K8É or OUIGATIGOCON 7 Jan 1687, St. François-du-Lac, Yamaska, Québec, Canada. (5) On the Marriage Certificate No. 92887, the date is listed as 7 Jan 1688.(19) [Why the two dates? The record I have is the 1688 one.] In the Census 1681, he is listed as being the first born [His elder sister was, of course, deceased.] and 18 years old. (7)

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Children were:
    François COUC dit MONTOUR baptized 30 Oct 1682, at Sorel. [Jetté says born 4 June 1681, St-François-du-Lac, mother's name not given. b 30 Aug 1682 Sorel, buried 9 Dec 1700 Trois-Rivères.] He had a son Maurice

[****Maurice is nephew to Louis Couc dit Montour, not son to François. See above under Angélique. François died 9 December 1700. I have the record and see Jetté] born in 1703, married Thérèse-Véronique PETIT, born 1710, on 27 July 1729 in Trois-Rivières. Maurice died 13 May 1749 at Pointe-du-Lac. Maurice and Thérèse had two sons Charles and Pierre.(20)     Jacques COUC aka Jean MOUNTOUR (20) was born in [about] Nov 1687 and baptized 7 Jan 1688 in St-François-du-Lac. Godparents and witnesses were Jean PERE, a bourgeois, Pierre COUC, grandfather and Marie Madeleine COUC, aunt. Officating priest was B. DUPLEIN of St-François-du-Lac. The original baptismal certificat was torn, leaving out the name of the baby boy and the date. (18) [so how can you be sure that is his name? Notice that Louis had this son baptised on the same day as his church wedding. I have a copy of both records.]

{Added comment since my message to Don: The name is possibly Jean, as that is the name of his godfather, but Jetté says this is Joseph, born 2_months_ before the baptism 7 January 1688 Saint-François-du-Lac. Isabelle, recorded as Élisabeth, was godmother with François Delpé as godfather (and giving the name) for François Couc Montour, who died in 1700. You may not know about this French tradition, that the child's name is the same as a godparent. It does not always occur, but it is certainly consistent. I have amused myself scanning the population of Cap-de-la-Madeleine to try to "guess" who Élisabeth / Isabelle's godmother might have been in 1667. She herself decided to use the form Isabelle, though, by at least her sister Angélique's marriage contract 27 July 1682. That event is also the first recorded use of Montour for Louis that I know of. Before that he is recorded as Lafleur or Couc dit Lafleur, like his father.}

{Jetté says François, no mother's name given, born 4 June 1681, Saint-François-du-Lac and baptized 30 August 1682 at Sorel and that Jacques, born of a Socokie, no first name, was born July 1683 at Nicolet and baptized1 May 1684 at Trois-Rivières.}

    Marie-Madeleine COUC-MONTOUR was baptized in 1687 [No record of a baptism]. (21) [Madeleine Couc, daughter of Louis, died and was buried at the end of February 1697 (no precise day given) at Trois-Rivières, age 9-10. She would thus have been born about 1687-88. I have the record. ]

    Joseph MONTOURbaptized in [about] 1688 and married a Huron, Elizabeth ??. [This is the only son of Jeanne Quiquetigoukoué,according to Jetté. ] Joseph and Elizabeth had a son Joseph on 23 July 23, 1714. [It seems they were in Detroit when the child was born, but the child was baptized back in the colony.]

    Marie-Anne COUC-MONTOUR baptized about 1691. in Montréal. (21) [This is more probably daughter to Isabelle. See my article. PRDH now agrees with me.]

    [Louis had at least one more child, according to the New York records, named Michel, possibly by yet another wife, although it could have been by Jeanne. Simone Vincens believes Louis had remarried by the time he went to New York.]

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v. Marguerite COUC dit LAFLEUR , born 1 Jun 1664 and baptised 5 Jun 1664, Trois-Rivières, St-Maurice, Québec. On the baptismal certificate, her father is listed as Pierre COUC and mother as Marie MITEOUMIGOU. There were three witnesses: Jean PÈRE, Jeanne CREVIER and her husband [Pierre] BOUCHER, Governor. [her husband is mentioned only as that, her husband. It's another way of identifying the godmother.] The officating priest was Jesuit Father François LEMERCIER. (11) She married Jean FAFARD aka Jean MASSÉ-FAFART dit Maconce or Macons (1657-1756) in [about] 1682 [no record exists, so you cannot say when or where it happened, only that it had occurred by a certain date that shows them as married.] in Sault Ste-Marie, Michigan. (2) (4) She is listed as 16 years old in the Census 1681. (7) Jean FAFARD was a famous coureur-de-bois who finally settled in Detroit, where he died at ninety-nine. (20)
[****Marguerite had two husbands, Jean FAFARD, who had died by 1703, so he could not have settled at Detroit, and Michel Massé, with whom she was in Detroit by at least 1707. She may have married him at Detroit, but the records are missing for 1701-1703. She was definitely Massés wife by 1707 at Detroit.] Maconce is a name given to Jean Fafard by the Indians. It means "ourson" in French, or bear-cub. Some of his children went by this name. He is definitely not the Fafard who died at Detroit at 99 !!!]
They had three children:

    Marie-Anne FAFARD married Louis JAVILLON in 1722.

    Marguerite FAFARD married Jean-Baptiste TURPIN in 1710.

    Jean-Baptiste FAFARD married Marguerite QUEROTI in 1715

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vi. Élisabeth COUC dit LaFleur aka Isabelle was born around 1667, in Trois-Rivières [Probably at Cap-de-la-Madeleine. The records for the period of her birth and Angélique's are missing.]. A Marriage Contract was drawn up by the Notary Antoine ADHEMAR, of Cap-de-la-Madeleine, on 26 April 1684 between Joachim GERMANO, of Rivière dite du Loup, originally from the Parish of St-Maxime, city of Confoulands, diocese of Limoges, France, and Isabelle COUC of St-François. Neither were able to sign the document.
[The entire family witnessed and left their marks, including Marie. They give me shivers! Pierre and Angélique signed.] Present [No, they never came to the New World.] were his parents Jean GERMANO and Catherine CHOURY, of St-François [error], and her parents Pierre COUC DELAFLEUR and Marie METOMIGOROUE, an Amerindian, both of St-François. (16) She married Joachim GERMANEAU aka GERMANO 30 April 1684, Sorel, Richelieu, Québec. Witnesses were his father Joachim GERMANO and his mother Marie CHOUFY,[No, they were not present! His mother's name is CHOURY] and her parents Pierre COUC and Marie, an Amerindian. (17) In the 1667 Census, she is listed as 3 months old; 14 years old in the 1681 Census. (4) (7)
She has been referred to as "La Chevrette". [This is a gross misreading of La Chenette, or La Techenette, short for "la femme de Techenet", the wife of [Pierre] Techenet. Germaneau was deceased by 1700.] For many years, she was at odds with Cadillac, the founder of Fort Pontchartrain who spread the word to all who would listen that she was kept by more that a hundred men. [Actually, he wrote it only for the eyes of Pontchartrain. the Minister of the Marine in France, when he needed to defend himself against accusations of mismanagement at Detroit. I do not know of any other audience for the long, rambling Mémoire he wrote (except perhaps Champigny, who read many of the dispatches, and scholars, who have, in the past, taken Cadillac's words at face value. He was, in fact, a notorious liar. He probably wrote the Mémoire in prison at Québec, just prior to 4 November 1704.](22) See my articles.]

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vii. Marie Madeleine COUC dit LAFLEUR (LEFÈBRE [this name appears on only one record, and is probably an error made by the priest. She never used the name on any other document I know of.] ) was born around 1669. She married Maurice dit Lafontaine [I am not aware of his use of this "dit" name, although his father used it.] MÉNARD,[There is no record for the marriage. It may have taken place at Michillimakinac, where their son Antoine was baptized in 1695, when Cadillac was Commandant there.] on Oct 1681, Boucherville, Chambly, Québec, Canada. Another source indicates the marriage as 1682 in Michillimakinac (Mackinaw City,MI), where he was an interpreter and fur-trader. In the 1681 Census, she is listed as 12 years old and living in St-François-du-Lac. (7) [Again, all that can be said is that they were married by a certain date as the record is missing.]
  Children were:
    i. François Dit Lafontaine MÉNARD
    ii. Marguerite Dit Lafontaine MÉNARD
    iii. Marie-Madeleine Dit Lafontaine MÉNARD
    iv. Antoine Dit Lafontaine MÉNARD
    v. Louis(Sr.) MÉNARD
On 11 Feb 1689, Marie Madeleine COUC and Martin REMI, Sargent in the M.DelaMotte Company, were godparents at the baptism of Thérèse, a Soquoquis Indian. Her parents are listed as MASCOROMENI and MATECOUAT. Pierre COUC is also listed as a witness [No, he is listed as father of Madeleine. He was not present]. The Augustin Father Dominique DE STE ELIZABETH [that's de Ste-Elizabeth, Ste= Sainte. PRDH runs the words together, sometimes creating confusion.] was the officating priest. (14)

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viii. Jean-Baptiste (Sr.) COUC dit LAFLEUR was born in [about]1673. He married Anne SAUVAGESSE, an Abenaki or Sokokoi woman about 1705, in Lachine. He's listed as 8 years old in the 1681 Census. (4) (7)
  Children were:
    Jean-Baptiste (Jr.) COUC Dit LAFLEUR was born 24 and baptized 28 Nov 1706 in Lachine. (4) [He was later in the US colonies.]

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Notes - Suzanne Boivin Sommerville
Email 21 December 2000



Note 6

These are the specific parts of Don's work I commented on. I've given you a lot to absorb. You really should update your web site. I would appreciate acknowledgement that I have provided the corrected items. A general acknowledgement is acceptable. You don't have to cite every little detail, but certainly the reference to "Eysabelle" and "La Germano" below should be attributed to my article "Madame Montour and the Detroit Connection" _Michigan's Habitant Heritage_, The Journal of the French-Canadian Habitant Heritage Society of Michigan, October 1999.
http://habitant.org/fchsm/index.htm"
I am always willing to answer questions.
Suzanne

>>>>>>>>> Don, I have quickly read your material. Because you have not consulted the primary French and Canadian documents, you have some serious errors here as well. I hope you can read my articles in _Michigan's Habitant Heritage_, The Journal of the French-Canadian Habitant Heritage Society of Michigan, Jan., April, July, Oct. of 1999 and Jan. of 2000.
For an address see: http://habitant.org/fchsm/index.htm

Actually, I have done much more since writing these in 1998. In that series of articles, I was mainly summarizing Simone Vincens' _Madame Montour et son temps_ (1979) for an English-reading audience, along with some of my research on the Couc family, but I have since consulted the original texts myself. I read Vincens shortly after it was published. She is the one who really began to set the record straight, although the _Dictionary of Canadian Biography_ had already identified Isabelle as Madame Montour. I have added only a few crucial details through my research. I'll comment on a few items in your work.

You write:
>Madame Montour's first name has been variously given as Elizabeth, Catherine, and Madeleine. The strongest case seems to be for Catherine, but everyone in the New York and Pennsylvania colonial governments referred to her only as "Madame Montour." No one seems to really know her first name with certainty.<

Her name was recorded as "Eysabelle" Montour, as preserved in the New York documents. I can give you the reference if you want to trace it down. It was located by a professor in Pennsylvania, Allison Duncan Hirsch. I mention it in the Oct. 1999 issue with her permission. Fortunately, she also has _some_ of the Canadian details right, but not all.

You write:
>The French Governor of Canada sent Montour's sister to convince her to move to Canada. When these entreaties did not succeed, the Frenchman Cadillac, in a pique of sour grapes, asserted that Montour was a slut who had "been kept by more than a hundred men." Interestingly, these remarks become gospel for some historians.<

You have the time frame absolutely out-of-kilter, as I commented in my previous message. Cadillac's words were written in 1704 and refer to events during his command at Michillimakinac 1694-97. He identifies "La Techenette" as the sister-in-law of Maurice Ménard. In an attempt to distance himself from La Techenette, who served as an interpreter at Détroit Fort Pontchartrain, it was important to Cadillac to assert that he could not possibly have used her skill as an interpreter in a crucial council held with the Hurons in 1704, so he slandered her, as well as just about all of his other "enemies". The attempt to have Isabelle _return_ to Canada did not occur until 1719. By that time Antoine Laumet, called Lamothe Cadillac, had been back in France for some six years after being recalled from Louisiane, where he was sent after losing the command at Detroit in 1710-11. Isabelle, "La Techenette" (spelled a variety of ways), identified also as sister to Montour, deserted from Detroit with her brother Louis Montour and Étienne Véniard de Bourgmont some time in 1706-1707 (he's another interesting story) and were said to be going over to the English. Louis is documented in Albany in 1708 and promised to return there, but he was assassinated in 1709 by Joncaire (Louis-Thomas Chabert de Joncaire, called Sonnenchez by the Iroquois) on orders of Governor general Vaudreuil. A brother-in-law to Montour was present at the killing, _probably_ Ménard. Montour was bringing the Far Indians to trade with the English, against the laws of the French Colony. After his death, Isabelle, "Montour's sister", conducted them to Albany with Montour's wife. Isabelle returned the following year with more Western Indians, and then began to interpret for Robert Hunter, who, by the way, knew French.

You write:
>In the attack Montour was wounded and his ten-year-old daughter taken captive. The girl very probably was reared by the Mohawks, where she learned the Iroquois tongues in addition to the French and Algonquin tongues she already spoke. Perhaps at Iroquois conferences at Onondaga, she met the Oneida or Seneca chief, Carondowanna, whom she married<

Madame Montour is Louis Couc Montour's sister, Elisabeth / Isabelle, who married, first, Joachim Germaneau in 1684; and then, around 1700, Pierre Techenet (his name the source for La Chenette or La Techenet or "la femme de Techenet" the wife of Techenet) possibly at Michillimakinac or Detroit. The Detroit records 1701-1703 burned in October of 1703, and only Antoine Ménard's baptism in 1695 is extant for the period in Michillimakinac. Although no marriage record survives, both of them served as godparents at Détroit in 1704 and 1706. She was interpreting in Huron, an Iroquois language, at Detroit in the 1704-1706 period, as well as in Algonquine. Her father appears to have traveled to Iroquoia in the 1650s, so he may well have known the language as well. In 1720 the woman Montour in New York was still being called "la Germano" by Michel Bégon at Montréal. She is identified as sister to "la femme St-Serny" (Angélique Couc), who went to New York but did not convince her sister to return. I am sure I am the first to publish the reference to "la Germano".
The account of Montour's wounding, written by La Potherie, makes no mention of anyone, especially a child, taken captive in that episode. Louis's daughter Madeleine died at the age of 9-10.
One problem US writers have is believing that a woman must always carry the name of her father. Among the Algonquin Indians, when an important person died, he was made to live again by giving his name to someone else. This is what happened with the Montour name. Isabelle adopted it. It was also taken by some of Louis's nieces and nephews and, of course, by Isabelle's children. Only her son by Germaneau used his father's name. This well-documented custom is another reason it is hard to interpret Indian names. Often they change.

You write:
>Another child of Louis Montour was the sister of Madame Montour's who lived among the Miami Indians. The French used this sister to try to persuade Montour to leave the British service and join the French.<

I believe the sister who lived among the Miami was _probably_ Isabelle's sister, Marguerite Couc, wife first to Jean Fafard and then to Michel Massé. Marguerite lived at the Miami Fort St. Joseph near what is now Niles, Michigan, in the 1720s, and is documented there. The Pennsylvania documents refer to a sister "married to a Miami", though, so this depends on what those who heard the phrase understood. At the least, Madame Montour had connections among the Miami.

There is so much more . . .

I agree with a great deal that you have, and read it with interest, but almost no one in the States has bothered to check the French or Canadian records. See the _Dictionary of Canadian Biography_, Vol. 3 for an article on Isabelle, although even that historian. William Hunter (writing in 1978, at least published that year) didn't get _everything_ right.

I am passionate about the subject. Isabelle is my seventh great-grandaunt. There will always be shadowy areas of interpretation, but Madame Montour _is_ Isabelle Couc. Everything above is documented.

I hope you can read my two articles on what I believe to be a mistranslation of a French word in the most-commonly used English translation of some of the documents that refer to Isabelle. That mistranslation resulted in false or at least slanted interpretations of La Techenette and Bourgmont by English language historians. (July and October 2000) Please do not post this to anyone else or on the internet. I am willing to answer questions. If you decide to use my references in your writing, please acknowledge me as a source. That's something I would have liked to see more of in your writing, specific references to sources. Otherwise, as I say at the end of my article, we might as well all write novels. In the interest of accuracy ...

Suzanne Boivin Sommerville

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Thomas-M. Charland, O.P., Histoire des Abénakis d'Odanak, 2ème édition, Novembre 1989, Réimpression par la Société Historique de la Région de Pierreville, p. 20 and p. 32. Charland also states that on 15 May 1798, the seigneurie of Pierreville, owned then by François-Joseph Lemaître-Duhaime, was "sold by sheriff Antoine-Isidore Badeaux to William and David-Alexander Grant and Nicolas [sic] Montour, with the part of this seigneurie belonging to the Abénakis specifically reserved to them" at that time. (p. 140) He spelled his name Nicholas in his signatures at Pointe-du-Lac photocopy). Nicholas Montour, the seigneur of Pointe-du-Lac, is the grandson of Isabelle Couc / Madame Montour, and great-grandson of Pierre Couc. Nicholas Montour, son of Andrew Montour and SARAH AINSE HANDS), who was at Detroit after her separation from Andrew. Nicholas was born 1756, baptized on October 31 1756 in the Dutch Reformed church at Albany, New York, godparents Martin and Sara Lydius, his cousins, grandchildren of Marguerite Couc and Michel Massé, as will be seen. See Dictionary of Canadian Biography for Nicholas Montour and Sarah Ainse. Photocopies from the Registers of Pointe-du-Lac, FHL #1302359 & 1302360

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See the online magazine Roots - Racines -Késsinnimekfor the articles All Sources Are Not Created Equal Parts 1, 2 & 3 by Suzanne Boivin Sommerville, appearing in the February, March and April Issues.