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Guillaume Fouquet

"Guillaume Fouquet" is thought by many to be the single male ancestor of the entire Fuqua family in America. He was mentioned in several records of Charles City County and Henrico County in the colony of Virginia. 

Most of the Fuqua family genealogies which have been published are based on the "Guillaume Fouquet" information which was presented by Alya Dean Smith Irwin in her book Fuqua - A Fight For Freedom. The book is a monument to Irwin's dedication and determination to compile and publish her lineage. However, it is not the ultimate genealogical authority on "Guillaume Fouquet" or his seven alleged children.

During her research, Irwin and those who were assisting her identified many relevant colonial records. Those records were used to construct the presentation of "Guillaume Fouquet" and his family. The records were supplemented by the previous works of others, as well as assumptions which Irwin made to fill informational gaps. Much of that portion of her work was undocumented.

This is pointed out, not to be critical of Irwin's work, but to encourage family genealogists to separate proven information from speculation and assumptions, and to base their genealogies only on what can be proven.

What is really known about "Guillaume Fouquet?" When considering Guillaume Fouquet, it is necessary to start with his name. There is no known record which refers to him either as "Guillaume" or as "Fouquet." Howard Jones, a descendant of Joseph Fuqua, a participant in some of the research for Irwin's book, and a former member of the board of directors of the Fuqua Family Foundation, wrote an excellent article on this subject. It was published in Volume 3, Number 3, of the Fuqua Foundation News. To read his article, click HERE.

Howard's article, which is based on the actual records, casts very serious doubt that our ancestor's name was Guillaume Fouquet. However, through common usage, it is probable that this name will continue to be used even though it is very likely erroneous.

Other "Guillaume" information which appeared in the book, such as his year of birth, seems to have been pure guesswork.

The Marriage

The records establish, without doubt, that he married Jane Eyre. The commonly used date is "about 1687." This date came from  Irwin's book, and is based on an analysis of incomplete, and sometimes confusing, records. 

The Children

A convincing body of circumstantial evidence can be built, from available records, to support a case for several children of "Guillaume Fouquet" and Jane Eyre. Other children are possible, but are apparently assumed because the individuals lived in the right area at the right time.

"Guillaume's" Ancestors

No records have been found which provide an indication of his country of origin. In addition, there is no known "proven" evidence regarding his ancestors. It is generally assumed that he was a French Huguenot.

The English Connection

Huguenots are known to have fled from France and gone to numerous European countries, from which some unquestionably migrated to America. It is not the purpose of this dissertation to present a case for how "Guillaume Fouquet" may have fit into that situation. However, it is interesting to note that, in England, an interpretation of Huguenot church records encounters the same problems as one has with the Colonial Virginia records of our ancestor.

The Bishop's Transcripts of St. Dunstan's Church in Canterbury are typical. Records are found involving two families. In the case of the first, their surname is entered as Feuquet, Foquet,  Fouquet,  Fouquett and Fuquett. The second family is referred to as Farquett and Fuqueet. It is possible, if not probable, that the families were related.

There were many Huguenot churches in England, and there are many records which contain references which are similar to those found at St. Dunstan's Church. The prospect of simply looking for, and finding, "Guillaume Fouquet" or any other Fouquet in English church records seems somewhat optimistic, at best. Will the correct surname spelling please stand up?

The French Connection

In an article written for Heritage Quest Magazine (#18), French genealogist Margaret Audin made recommendations regarding how to search for the ancestors of "Guillaume Fouquet." A summary of this article was published under the title "The Elusive Huguenot" on the Fuqua Query Board at RootsWeb.

Among her comments regarding a possible connection between Nicolas Fouquet and Guillaume Fouquet was the following statement. "This is a tempting idea but one usually to be avoided when the surname is fairly frequent as in this case." Later in the article, she wrote: "The other Fouquet families come from Alsace, Angoumois, Anjou, Beauce, Berry, Brittany, Champagne, Languedoc, Lorraine, Maine, Normandy, Poitou and Saintonge."

She did not address the problems associated with the possibility that his surname name was actually something other than Fouquet.

The Bottom Line

In view of the uncertainty of the correct given name and surname of our ancestor, plus the complete lack of information regarding from whence he came and when, it seems somewhat premature to claim his ancestral line back to the 1400s. Yet, such claims are made, and proliferate as family "genealogists" copy such information from one web site to another.

If one's objective is to put together something that looks good and feels good, that is very easy to do. GUSTAVE ANJOU made a living producing "feel good" genealogies. Unfortunately, the good feelings quickly evaporated when serious genealogists tried to "prove" them as part of their own genealogical efforts. To get an idea of the chaos he created, just click on his name.

The ultimate authority of any genealogical claim is PROOF, based on an examination of primary records, using sound genealogical research methods and processes. Anything less is speculation or wishful thinking.

The Challenge

Readers who are interested in settling the issues, and establishing the facts, regarding "Guillaume Fouquet" are encouraged to join our effort to locate and publish additional source documents.  Only through such an effort will we establish the uncontested truth regarding "Guillaume Fouquet," his immediate descendants, and his ancestors.

The "Guillaume" Documents

Presented below are nine known documents which specifically refer to him. Most of the records were included in Irwin's book.

This author saw filmed reproductions of the original records during a visit to Virginia during the Spring of 2001. As additional records are located and verified, copies will be published on this web site. 

It will be noted that there are some minor differences between this list of records and the list which accompanies the Howard Jones article. These differences are in the process of being reconciled.

Record 1.
At Court, Varina, Henrico County, August 1st, 1687

Phillip Thomas aged about 35 years: Deposeth: That Jane Eyers now wife of Gill Fuquitt did live at the deponentt’s a twelve month before ye said death of her Grandfather Will Humphreys and all that time had in her possession as her own right four cowes, one featherbed and boulster and two pewter dishes.
                                                      Phillip Thomas

Ann, the wife of Phillip Thomas aged about (50 years): Deposeth: The same as ye above witness. And further Sayeth not.
                                                      Anne Thomas
[Colonial Index: Henrico Co., Va., Book 1, Wills and Deeds. 1677-1692, p. 451]

Record 2.
At Court Varina, Henrico County, August 1687

Upon ye petition of Gill Fuquett as marrying ye Granddaughter of Willm Humphrys late decd, and ye depositions in Court taken for proof thereof, It is ordered That four cowes, one feather bed, & boulster, & two pewter dishes given by ye Sd decedt unto ye Sd Fuquett’s wife before his death be, and remain to ye Sd Fuquett’s proper use, & be nott held nor deemed any part of ye sd decedents estate.
[Henrico Co., Va., Book 2, Orders and Wills, 1678-1693, (Trans) Reel 53, p. 242; Va. State Library]

Record 3.
At Court Varina, Henrico County, August 1687

Gill Fuquett having to this court subpd Giles Webb who having attended one day hath ordered granted to him agst ye sd. Fuquett for forty pds. Tobo. According to law and costs als ex.
[Henrico Co., Va., Court Minutes Book, Aug. 1687, p. 244]

Record 4.
On October 20, 1689, Thomas Cock Sr. was granted 816 acres on the S. side of Chickahaniny main Sw. in Varina Parish, Henrico County, VA. This was for the transportation of 17 headrights to the Colony of Virginia. The 17 persons were: Jno. Witt, Jane Borar (Borer), Robt. Beasley, Gill Ffuckett, Joane (Joan) White, Patrick Foster, Robert Povey, Jno. Edwards, Alex _____, Tho. Mathews, Hen. Baltamore, Fra. Cleavely, Hugh Davis, Jno. Herbert, Eliz. Harrison, Benetta Clame (Benetha Clause), and a negro named Nell. In 1695, these same 17 persons, along with 42 others were used by William Randolph for another land claim.
[PB 8 pgs 1&2 as presented in Cavaliers and Pioneers, Volume II, 1666-1695]

Record 5.
By Henrico County Court Order, October 1, 1691

The Estate of Fra Cleaverly late of Henrico County decd Sold at an Outcry by order of Court dated this First of Octobr 1691, by Willm Randolph Corroner &c:
Securities…                                                                    Tobo.              Purchasers…
Saml Trottman     1 heifer 3 yrs old…                         .530               Gill Fuquett
                                1 heifer 2 yrs old…                         .412               Gill Fuquett
Gill Fuquett
        yearling heifers                                .730               Sam Trottman
Gill Fuquett         7-3/4 yds narro blew (Calico)     .133               Ralph Hudspeth
                                3-1/4 yds red half thick                .127               Edwd Good
                                 9 lbs Canvas, Fine                         .300                        Povall
                                 3-3/4 yds Scotch Cloath                .120               Ralph Hudspeth
Gill Fuquett          3-3/4 yds Strip’d India Linnin    .137               Rob. Beezly
                                 1 Canvas Sheet & abt 2lb hops     .80                Gill Fuquett
Due in the hands Widdow Floyd 4-1/2 lbs canvas
Henrico County Octr 1: 1691
Presented in open court by Cap Will Randolph Corronr & also the Severall bills taken of wch List followeth
                                                               Teste H. Randolph Clr.
Ralph Hudspeth      Gille Foucque Secy        .253
Gill Fuquett               Saml Trottman Secy        1022
Saml Trotman              Gille Fuquett Secy        .730
Ro: Beezly                 Gille Fuquett Secy         .182

Henrico County Octr 1, 1691

The Estate of ffrancis Cleaverly late of this County decd is Dr
Contra Cr….      by Ralph Hudspeth         .253
                            By Gill ffueque                1022
Returned to ye Secretarys office in behalfe of the Coroner, Pursuant to an order of ye Genll Court bareing date of ye 12th day of Fber 1694 this 11th of october 1694.
                                                               James Cocke Clr.
[Henrico Co., Va., Book 5, Deeds and Wills, 1688-1697, Reel 5, pp. 264-65, 544; Va. State Library]

Record 6.
At Court Varina, Henrico County, August 1692

Gill Fueque who Maryed Jane Eyres ye Daughter of Joseph Eyres decd did this day appear in Open Court and acknowledged receipt of his Wives full part of her legacy left her by her Grandfather Wm. Humphreys decd from every part and parcel thereof doth hereby acquit and discharge Margt Floyd, Exex of ye Last Will and Testamt of ye sd Humphreys and ca: together with their majties: Justices of ye Peace and their Heirs and successrs. Ralph Hudspeth who Marryed Margaret Eyres ye Daughter of Joseph Eyres decd did this day appear in open Court and acknowledge ye receipt of his Wives full part of her legacy left by her Grandfather Wm Humphreys decd from every part and parcel thereof doth hereby acquit release and discharge Margt Floyd Exect of ye last Will and Testament of ye sd Humphreys and Her heirs and ca: together with their majties Justices of ye Peace of ye sd County their Heirs and Succr..
[Colonial Index: Henrico Co., Va., Book 4, Orphans Court Book, 1677-1736, p. 32]

Record 7.
On October 25, 1695, Captain William Randolph was granted 2,926 acres on the S. side of James Riv. on a Sw. named Pigion in Weynoake Parish, Charles City County, VA. This grant was amended in 1696 and again in 1699, and was for the transportation of 59 headrights to the Colony of Virginia. The first 17 persons were the same as the 17 which were used by Thomas Cock in his 1689 claim, including Gill Ffuckett. The names were even listed in the same order. It should be noted that Francis Cleaverley was included, although he had died in 1691.
[PB 9 pgs 2, 71 and 220 as presented in Cavaliers and Pioneers, Volume II, 1666-1695]

Although the evidence is circumstantial, there seems little doubt that the Gill Ffuckett on these lists is the same person as the Gillo Fuquett, Gill Fuquitt, Gill Fuquett, and Gill Fueque listed in the documents related to the marriage of Jane Eyre.

This premise is supported by the fact that Robert Beasley and Robert Povey (Povall), along with Gill Fuquett (also listed as Gill ffueque) were involved in the estate sale of Francis Cleaverly. All of these men were listed on Thomas Cock's 1689 headright list. In addition, Ralph Hudspeth, Jane Eyre's brother-in-law participated in the estate sale.

Record 8.
April 1697 Probate of the Will of Thomas Cocke

I give and bequeath to my grandson James Cocke, the son of Thomas Cocke, the land and plantation where Gill Ffuiquittt now lives on adjoining therto on the inward or South Side of the Western branch of Herrin Creek from the lowermost bounds on Herrin Creek to the uppermost on the North side of Monquies Run and soe till it come to the bounds thereof near Gilly’s path And breadth on that side of Monquies Run to extend to the Eastward most branch of the two branches of Herrin Creek above the mouth of Monquies Run…
[Colonial Index: Henrico Co., Va., Book 5, Deeds and Wills, 1688-1697, p. 688]

Record 9.
August 1698 Probate of the Will of William Cocke

Gille ffueque was paid 505 pounds of tobacco in “The Estate of Sarah Cocke, admistratrix of William Cocke, deceased.”
[Henrico Co., Va., Deeds, Wills, Etc., 1697-1704 (Original), Reel 6, p. 112; Va. State Library]