What does “La Rencontre” mean?
Simply put, Rencontre was the original spelling of our family’s current last name (Roundcount).
After looking up rencontre in the French to English dictionary we were pleasantly surprised by the variety of meaning this word had. Basically, rencontre refers to “a significant meeting.” This could include the junction of two or more roads. It could also be used to describe the confluence of two or more rivers.
Finally, the meaning of the word that was intended by our ancestor….
In the mid-1690s, after sailing to New France to fight in the Beaver War (North America France vs. the Iroquois for control of the fur trade), our ancestor, Francois Judic took a new surname, Rencontre. He selected this name using rencontre in reference to his current circumstances , he was currently at war with the Iroquois, where they had many “hostile meetings.”
After the war, Francoise accompanied French leader, Antoine Cadillac, as a soldier protecting the expedition, to the northeastern side of Lake Erie where they founded the City of Detroit. Francoise eventually settled in Montreal, around 1776 his descendants settled in the St. Louis area. Fur trading was the main profession of our family well into the 1800s. Later, as the demand for fur dried up, my ancestor turned to trading other goods. The most notable being whiskey.
This name represents our family who had an amazing start right along the banks or the Mighty Mississippi and Illinois River. Most of my family can still be found hunting the bluff line and enjoying the river life. Personally, I’m more into trading.
Special thanks to Bill Roundcount for his research into the family history!