COUC – MENARD – MONTOUR – FAFARD
Submitted and written by Judith Pidgeon Kukowski
May 17, 2016
When Pierre Couc dit Lafleur arrived in what was then called the New World there were few marriageable French women available. But he met and married an Algonquin woman named Marie Miteoumegoukoue in 1657 at Three Rivers in Quebec. They would beget a new people, those who are called Metis. The word means mixed blood. And many are proud to wear that title. The Canadian government has chosen to accept them with the title just as are the First Nation people. The USA does not grant status to the Metis.
My study of this family got serious when I found Chief Quo Qua. I thought that’s an odd name until I found that Pierre Couc was also called Coucque. Now my researcher’s appetite was piqued. Pierre and Marie would have 8 children. Tragedy struck the family when in 1679 their oldest daughter Jeanne was murdered. The second child was Louis Couc dit Montour. The dit is like the aka we use and means called. Louis married Madeleine, a Sokoki Algonquin in 1681. She gave him four children. She died in giving birth to that last child in 1687. Louis then married Jeanne Quigetigoucoue an Algonquin. She would have 3 children. The third child was Angelique who married Francois Delpee in 1682. They would have 9 children some of whom used the dit name St Cerny or Montour. Marguerite was the fourth child. She married Jean Fafard dit Maconce who was Huron/Wendat Metis. That is a new discovery1. He is the son of Francois Fafard from Normandy, France and Marie Richard from LaRochelle. Marie Richard was one of our children who were taken to LaRochelle, Aunis, France for education – the boys were to be interpreters and the girls were to be proper French wives. Now we begin to see them returning with new identities from their adoptive parents. For years I have heard that the Jesuits referred to Huronia as LaRochelle. 1Emigration Rochelaise en Nouvelle France: Pere Archange Godbout OFM at the Archives Nationales du Quebec 1970 with forward by Roland Auger – see p 204 for more on Marie Richard. I think I might have an answer now. LaRochelle, Aunis, France had a beautiful Harbor on the Atlantic Ocean. The same can be said for the Georgian Bay of Huronia with Lake Huron as in inland sea. The union of Marguerite Couc Lafleur and Jean Fafard Maconce produced four children. Their son Jean Baptiste was employed in the fur trade and had two marriages, both to Native women, one a Wea and one a Wendat. This family produced five dit names – Maconce, Delorme, LaFrenaye, Boisjoly, and Lonval. Before the birth of Elizabeth the Couc family suffered the loss of a son Pierre who died at four months. The next Couc child is Elizabeth Isabelle Catherine Couc Montour. She is the best known. She has been called Madame Montour, Queen Catherine etc. She had five children by five “marriages” and was a trader when women were supposed to be keeping house. She defied all norms and all authority. I love to think that perhaps I have some of her blood in my veins. The next born is Madeleine who married Maurice Menard dit LaFontaine. His parents are Jacques Menard from France and Catherine Fortier or Forestier. Catherine is another of our lost children adopted by a French couple in LaRochelle, Aunis, France. The marriage of Catherine Fortier and Jacques Menard was performed in Three Rivers, Quebec 19 November 1657 at Immaculate Conception by Pierre Bailloquet S.J. In the copy of the record he calls Catherine “Rupellensis”2. Catherine and Jacques would have eleven children. The fourth child is Maurice who marries Madeleine Couc Lafleur in 1681 in Boucherville, Chambly, Quebec. Maurice is a trapper and interpretor and spends much time in the back-country. This unites two of the most important families of that era and they are both indigenous. The last of the Couc Children is Jean Baptiste who also marries in Algonquin woman named Anne. So how exactly does all this get us to Chief QuoQua? Reading all those records in French I found that his first name is Pierre. He is the father of our beloved Catherine Tomame Quoqua whose mother is Andouoan of the Wyandot Bear Clan. Chief QouQua is the son of Joseph Couc Montour born 1714 and an unknown woman. He is also the grandson of Joseph Couc Montour 1687-1719 and Elizabeth Isabelle Onontio or Montio a Wyandot. Our people have populated the Detroit River Region from Lake St Clair to Monroe in Michigan and from Huronia at Georgian Bay to Amherstburg, Ontario and into Sandusky, Ohio.
1Emigration Rochelaise en Nouvelle France: Pere Archange Godbout OFM at the Archives Nationales du Quebec 1970 with forward by Roland Auger – see p 204 for more on Marie Richard. 2From www.ancestry.com: Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection) Trois Rivieres (Three Rivers) Immaculate Conception Church Vol 1634 – 1677 image 219 or p 472 dated 19 Nov 1657 / also see the Jesuit Relations 1610-1791 edited by Reuben Gold Thwaites, Volume XXVII – XXVIII, Letter of Jean de Brebeuf to Very Reverend Father Mutius Vitelleschi SJ at Rome: “building a new house in this village, which we call Rupella (LaRochelle), the savages Ossossane”