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On my mother’s French side of the family, my Mississippi roots, I have a great-great grandmother, Mary Louise Fournier.   She was born on the first of November in 1844, daughter of Andrew (or Andre) and Marie Morin Fournier.  She married Francois “Frank” Fountain, Jr. in 1866, not long after the Civil War.  Together she and Frank raised 10 children, including a set of twins;  my great-grandfather, Armond, was the youngest.  They raised their family in the sleepy fishing village of St. Martin, Jackson Co., MS, separated from Biloxi by Biloxi’s Back Bay.  See Francois & Mary’s family group sheet here, which includes an interesting story of the history of St. Martin:  Francois & Mary Louise Fournier Fountain Family

I was wondering what was the meaning of Fournier (and what did the name have to do with ‘water’ this time??)

On Genealogy.FamilyEducation.com, I found the following:

  1. French: occupational name for a baker, Old French fournier (Latin furnarius), originally the man responsible for cooking the dough in the fourneau ‘oven’ (see Baker). This surname is frequently Americanized as Fuller.
  2. There are many points of origin for the name Fournier in North America; bearers of this name arrived from all over France: from Limoges, Normandy (to Quebec city, 1651), Paris (to Trois Rivières, Quebec, 1657), La Rochelle (to Quebec city, 1670), Picardy (to Boucherville, 1688), and Orléans (to Quebec, 1670).

About.com states:  An occupational surname from the Latin word “furnarius” meaning “man of the oven.” The term “furnus” meaning oven in Latin became “four” in modern French.

(If you’ve read my other posts on Surnames, you will know that I was relieved to know this surname has nothing to do with ‘water’, unless it was being boiled! However, the family did live on Biloxi’s Back Bay!)

Mary’s nickname was “La-Char.”  I looked that up, too, and found it could mean “the chariot”, which could mean she was the driving force of the family, but with her maiden name, Fournier, I think maybe she burned too many dinners.

What do you think?

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