Is Jean-Baptiste Fontaine (1806-1865) and Clotilde Brisson really the parents of Oliver C. Fountaine (1829-1904)?

+3 votes

Clotilde Brisson Fontaine's record seemed to unlock a path backward for my ancestors in the Fountain family. My line goes back from Wilfred Fountain (b. 1895) , to Gideon Fountaine (b.1864), to Oliver C Fountaine (b. 1829). My cousin found a record of Oliver on a U.S. Census(via that showed his parents to be Jean-Baptiste (1806) and Clotilde Brisson. My problem is that, in all the other searches I've done, I've only found these two to have one child (not Oliver!), another Jean-Baptiste.

After immigrating from Quebec, the family resided in the Black Brook area of Clinton Co., in northern New York. Eventually, they came to Western Massachusetts (North Adams and Williamstown).

At this stage, I can't say with certainty that Oliver C. is the son of Jean Baptiste and Clotilde. It would be nice to nail that piece down, and then I would have a string of ancestors that goes all the way back to France.

asked in Genealogy Help by Bob Scrivens G2G6 Mach 1 (16.6k points)


What was the year of the US census where Oliver was found? Where was he living and what was the name of his spouse at the time of the census?

Oliver Lafountain, "United States, 1890 Census of Union Veterans and Widows of the Civil War"

Name: Oliver Lafountain
Spouse's Name:  
Event Type: Census
Event Date: 1890
Event Place: Champlain, Clinton, New York, United States
Affiliate Publication Title:

Schedules Enumerating Union Veterans and Widows of

Union Veterans of the Civil War,1890.


I was able to find Marie Clotilde Mottet de la Fontaine (c.1795 - 1872).  She married a Henry Russell.  Could Brisson be an interpretation of Russell in someone's bad handwriting as I have often found to be a problem in my genealogical research?  She is the daughter of Benoit Mottet de la fontaine and Marie M. Villon de Fecamp, and the wife of Sir Henry Russell, 2nd Baronet.

2 Answers

+2 votes
I believe their first child, Francois-Xavier is the elusive Oliver based on a variety of sources. He married Elmore 'Martha' Carin 9-Oct-1849 in St-Remi-de-la-Salle, St-Remi, Napierville, Quebec. I show a total of 10 children for Jean-Baptiste and Clothilde Justine Brisson.
answered by

I myself have made some progress since I posted this question. But, I would be interested in your elaborating on a few things from your post:

First, this is the first time I've heard of Elmore 'Martha' Carin. How did you come by her, marriage records? 

And could you tell me the names of the other children and your source?

And FYI:

The change of name is very interesting. Through the help of some native Quebecois, I've found that name changes after arriving in the U.S. weren't that unusual. I have a few theories on the reason in this case. One is that the script version of Xavier, with some rounded flourishes at the ends of the "X," could turn "Xavier" into "Oliver" in a mistaken transcription. I saw one hand-written record record of "Xavier" that gave me that impression. The other explanation is the Civil War. I don't think a French Canadian who came from a history of [[|The Quebec Patriots Rebellion of 1837-38]] would be eager to enlist in a conflict that was not their own. Especially, since (to my knowledge) many Quebecois felt (rightfully) betrayed by Americans who didn't come to their aid in Quebec's own war for freedom. Finally, Oliver’s Naturalization papers say Oct 3, 1872, Carthage, NY,  Why go cross state (130 miles for Black Brook, 200 for N. Adams, MA) for this? Was Francois-Xavier pretending to be Oliver for the sake of citizenship? (Identity “borrowing” from a relative that  was about the same age?)  Compare Fontaine-309 to Fontaine-435. They were both born in St. Remi within five years of one another. Coincidence?

Having said al that, it could be none of the above, something simple, plain, and uninteresting. One thing I do know is that records show Oliver Fontaine purchased a family plot at the Southview Cemetery in North Adams, MA right after his wife died. The tombstone has his wife's name AND Xavier (not Oliver) on it.

+1 vote
The Olivier born to Jean-Baptiste Fountaine and Clothilde Brisson was born in St-Remi, Québec on the 14 Mar 1841. Could your Olivier's birth date be incorrect?
answered by Sue Pombrio G2G6 (6.7k points)

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