Since I already talked about my married surname and my maiden surname, I guess I will tell you about my mother’s maiden name which is Fountain. Now all of the family from down in Biloxi pronounce it the way it looks, as in “soda fountain,” but my fancy grandmother wanted the French pronunciation, as in “Fontainebleau.” So, my mother and her sister grew up with the name Fountaine. That little ‘e’ on the end made all the difference. Mom’s name, Rosalie, flowed so much better with Fountaine, and her sister’s name, Jacqueline, well, that just sounded super French!
My Fountain family descends from Francois Fountain, who came to the U.S. from France, sometime between 1814-1829 (depending on which version of the story is correct) and settled in the Biloxi, Mississippi area. He married Julienne Celine Ladnier in 1831 and together they raised a large family of 12 children, 9 boys and 3 girls.
Fountain, and its variants, is a topographic name for someone who lived near a spring or well, (here we go with the water again!) according to Genealogy/Family Education.com.
So, now I have Van Patten, meaning, “to draw water from a well,” and Ballou, which means “lovely water” and now Fountain. Mmm…what is up with all of this water? I know there has to be a deeper meaning somewhere. I just did a Google search on water and found so many profound quotes and words of wisdom. I started wondering, “Do I have a ‘water personality’?” I also started thinking about my maternal grandfather, Ed Fountain, who was a boat builder and worked for the Coast Guard most of his working years. He built his own boat and loved to fish and crab on the Chesapeake Bay. His father, Armond Fountain, was also a boat builder and lived on the Gulf of Mexico. On my maternal grandmother’s side were the Baltimore sailmakers. I, myself, grew up near the Chesapeake Bay and my husband spent his childhood years at his parents’ cottage on Seneca Lake. We now live near the Finger Lakes in New York and the Tioga River is within walking distance from our home. I even live on River Road, for crying out loud! What does all of this mean? I don’t know yet, but all of this thinking has sure made me thirsty…