Tuesday, May 5, 2015
The REAL Story of Gérard Anthony "Tsonakwa" Rancourt Jr. - Part 6
In 1949, my father and two of my uncles along with some of their friends from Odanak came to Odzihozo [Rock Dunder, just off shore of Burlington, Chittenden County, Vermont] with offerings of tobacco, maple syrup, and coffee. Late on that summer day, my father napped in the shadow of Odzihozo and had a power dream which became the theme of a lot of his work.
The question begs to be answered, who were the two uncles, and some of their friends from Odanak that ALLEGEDLY went there? Were there photographic images made of this alleged event? Or is it just another fairy tale story concocted by Gérard Anthony "Tsonakwa" Rancourt Jr.?
My father kept and decorated many boxes. My mother gave these to me after my father passed into the spirit world. These boxes hold important things. Each item is a mnemonic, a coded reminder like the picture-symbols of our wapapi records. When read like hieroglyphs [sic], these things illustrate the entire span of my father's life.
These items MAY have been kept and decorated by Gérard Anthony "Tsonakwa" Rancourt Jr.' father Gérard Rancourt Sr., and these items MAY have been given to Gérard Jr. by his mother ... but if Gérard Jr. claims he was born in Central Quebec, Canada (blah blah blah), how does anyone know for certain that anything or dynamic is even remotely based in truth or fact? How does anyone really honestly know for certain that the man is telling the truth, vs. yet another story? What is to be believed, if he can't even tell the truth as to his own birth in 1945 Meriden, CT?
For a more detailed chronological Time Line of Gérard Anthony "Tsonakwa" Rancourt Jr.
click on the following link:
December 24, 2006
Sherrie Pittman [daughter of Gérard Anthony "Tsonakwa" Rancourt Jr. and his 1st wife]
"I myself am Abenaki. My father is Gerard Tsonakwa ...."
Is she so sure? Or is she so quick to ride the coat-tails of her father's story-telling ...
March 05, 2009 (Ancestry.com)
She implies and states that her father Gérard Anthony "Tsonakwa" Rancourt Jr. and his father, Joseph Gérard Antoine "Tsemitzewa" Rancourt Sr. ARE MEMBERS OF THE ODANAK TRIBE OF CANADA.
Really? If that is the reality, then Odanak's Band Council and Registrar ought not to have any problem or hesitation, in confirming this alleged reality of membership of her father and grandfather! Or maybe a telephone call to Ottawa, would be informative as to the accuracy of her assertions.
This is a conversation I had starting on May 19, 2014 with Sherrie (Rancourt) Pittman, and my attempts to solicit communication with her father. Suffice it to say, he had nothing to say to me. I attempted to clarify certain dynamics I was finding in his stories about his ancestors, etc.
And I never did hear one word from Gérard Anthony "Tsonakwa" Rancourt Jr. at all. Not by letter, email or telephone ...
Suzanne Rancourt, is not actually by birth, a Stewart. Upon divorcing William LaPrairie of Stony Creek, NY ... she opted to take her mother's maiden name (just like Donna Carvalho - Charlebois - Moody did when she'd divorced Robert Charlebois). It makes them 'more' "Abenaki" I guess to take their mother's maiden names. Robert(s) to imply they are related to O'Bomsawin's; and Rancourt's to imply they are related to the Rancourt's of Old Town, Maine (i.e. Penobscot Nation).
Suffice it to say, that Suzanne (nee: Stewart) Genealogy has been worked on and mapped out:
Was Suzanne (nee: Stewart) (1m. Scott Bartlett Emery 2m. Scott S. Pierce and 3m. William LaPrairie) who took the maiden name of her mother, Muriel Evelyn Juliette (nee: Rancourt) (and Muriel E. J. Rancourt had married previously to Clarence E. Paradis in 1949 and then to Lee E. "Sonny" Stewart in 1956) to infer or imply genealogical relationship to Gérard Anthony "Tsonakwa" Rancourt Jr. and his storytelling and "Abenaki-ness"?
1. Roch Manintoubeouich / Manitouabeouich & Outchibabhanoukoneau HURON
2. Marie Olivier Sylvestre
3. Louis Prévost
4. Marie Prévost
5. Marguerite David
6. François Cloutier
7. François Henri Zacharie Cloutier
8. Zacharie Cloutier
9. Prisque Cloutier
10. Sophie Cloutier
11. Apolline Pauline Mathieu
12. George Walter Rancourt
13. Muriel Evelyn Juliette Rancourt
14. Suzanne “Suzy” J. “Blue Flame” Stewart - Rancourt
In her 2003 book entitled Billboard in the Clouds, of her poems, she implies that her ancestors were/ are Abenakis. At the end, she claims she is an Abenaki, of the Bear Clan, because allegedly someone of the Penobscot Nation SAID she was, because her half-sister, Michele M. (nee: Paradis) who married to Charles Robert "Tim" Tyler in March of 1971 married at the Ste. Anne's Catholic Church (by Rev. Real J. Nadeau), in Old Town, Indian Island, Penobscot County, Maine ... and Suzanne's maternal grandfather father George Walter Rancourt, had sat in a pew, allegedly reserved for the Bear Clan (according to Arnie Neptune) that day in March 1971. That made George an Abenaki? He (meaning George, Suzanne's grandfather) died Dec. 25, 1976 in Lewiston, Maine and had married to Dorothee (Dorothy) St. Onge in November 1913.
My question is, aside from reading and reviewing the aforementioned book of poems written by Suzanne (Stewart) Rancourt, that I am still wondering and confused ... how is she actually an 'Abenaki' herself or the descendant of an Abenaki?
I guess, she became Abenaki because her family didn't beat their child(ren)? Or the like ...
And btw, Gertrude 'Rizpah' (nee: Cleveland) Stewart, of which Suzanne made mention of in her book on Page 25 ... was not "Abenaki" because of the middle name she carried. It is a biblical name: (riz'-pa, "coal", "hot stone") was the daughter of Aiah, and one of Saul's concubines. She was the mother of Armoni and Mephibosheth (2 Samuel 3:7; 21:8-11).
Gertrude 'Rizpah' (nee: Cleveland) Stewart got the middle name 'Rizpah' from her maternal grandmother Rizpah (nee: Adams) 1m. Hewey 2m. Lewis.
The common Rancourt ancestor between Sherrie (nee: Rancourt) Pittman and Suzanne (nee: Stewart) was and is ... Jean François Rancourt born on 2 Apr 1694 in Ste. Joachim, Ile d'Orleans, Montmorency, Quebec, Canada. Suzanne descends from his 1st wife Louise Poulin. Sherrie Pittman descends from his 2nd wife Marie Claire Jodoin.
While Suzanne does have a distant 1600's genealogical ancestral connection to Roch Manintoubeouich / Manitouabeouich & Outchibabhanoukoneau, TWO HURON REFUGEE'S fleeing the Mohawk incursions/ attacks against Huronia in the mid-1630's, under the Jesuit umbrella of Protection at pre-Odanak in Sillery ... Sherrie (Rancourt) Pittman, does not have that same connection in her ancestry. And if the Rancourt's were in Ste. François d' Beauceville, Beauce County, Québec, Canada, again, that still does not mean her Rancourt ancestors were Abenakis at all.
ganttizdrama2 is in reality Sherrie Elizabeth Rancourt and Steven Lee Gantt's daughter, Falicity Gantt, who married to Sean Wheless.
This granddaughter of Gérard Anthony "Tsonakwa" Rancourt Jr. also believes her grandfather and her great-grandfather were "Abenakis". And that her great-grandfather's wife was half-Cherokee.
Perhaps, the http://www.pollysgranddaughter.com/ ought to take note and or interest in this claim of being "Cherokee" as well?
As for the storyteller, Gérard Anthony "Tsonakwa" Rancourt Jr. (and or his 3rd wife) or any of their ancestors being genuinely Abenakis, I do not discern any evidence of such reality.
And now, let's explore the honest-legitimate "history" and genealogical record(s) of his 3rd wife, this so-called "Yolaikia Wapitaska" ... who is really Marilyn Bernadet Sciolé ... who claims to be Abenaki as well from the Thetford Mines, Quebec, Canada area ...