Larocque -

The Larocque / Ranger Family of Brockville, Ontario and the St. Lawrence Valley - compiled by Bob Ranger - - - this website is maintained at Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, USA. Updated: February 1, 2017.


Monument at Contrecoeur

At left is an inscription from the monument dedicated to the memory of the pioneers of Contrecoeur, Québec. The third name on the plaque is that of Philibert Couillaut dit Rocquebrune. A little further down is the name of Antoine Emery dit Coderre, ancestor of family historian Larry Coderre. Both Philibert and Antoine served in the Regiment Carignan in the same company, and later became neighbors in Contrecoeur. The plaque, if you find the last part hard to read says, "Ces quatorze foyers comptaient 69 personnes au Recensement de 1681 -- Commission du Troisième Centenaire."

The earliest ancestors of most of the new world Larocques (which includes us) are descended maternally from the House of Champagne in France. The first we know of is Hubert Sire d'Arnay (980 ad). He is the father of Hubert II, Sire de la Champagne. Hugues I, Count of Champagne, Crusader and founder of the Knights Templar in 1118, was an ancestor of Marie de Marcilly, mother of Philibert Couillaud dit Rocquebrune.

The Larocque name had its beginning in 1409. Larocque ancestors between 1409 and 1600 are listed at the Larocque family home page. See link below.* Laroque and Roquebrune were towns in Gascony, France from which Larocque took the name. The word roque (rook) means fortified tower (like the chess piece).

Our own branch of the Larocque family started to take shape in 1600 with:
Jehan BERNARD de LaRoque de Roquebrune b 1600. He married Marie Dalmas de Marcelly, daughter of messire Pierre de Dalmas lord of Marcilly and Charlotte Couillaud de Hauteclair, in D'Auch Gascogne, FRANCE.
Their son:
Philibert Couillaud dit Rocquebrune b 1647, Auch or Nevers, France, m Catherine-Suzanne De Laporte dit St.-Georges, daughter of Jacques De Laporte dit St-Georges and Nicole Duchesne, 1676 in Contrecoeur, Québec

After serving as a King's Musketeer, Philibert Couillaud Roquebrune joined the Carignan-Sallieres regiment. He left France, so goes the story, after a duel in which his opponent, Hauterive, was mortally wounded. Since dueling was illegal, Roquebrune was now in trouble with the king. A cousin, La Roque de Saint-Chamarand, was able to help him wriggle out of the scrape. He was spirited off to New France in 1665 to fight the Iroquois. King Louis XIV by now held Roquebrune back in his good graces. He encouraged Roquebrune and the other officers and soldiers of Carignan to remain in the colony. Philibert did remain and in so doing became the main progenitor of the Larocque family in North America.
Their son:
Louis Couillaud Roquebrune Vachignac b 1684 d 1764, Lac-des-Deux-Montagnes, Québec m Marie-Madeline Sabourin, b 1699, dau of Pierre Sabourin and Madeleine Perrier, in Pointe-Claire, Québec. Siblings: Marie-Barbe, Jean, Marie-Anne, Antoine, Catherine, Francois (Roch), Michel, Marie-Louise or Hilaire, Jean-Baptiste, Philibert.
Their son:
Jean-Baptiste Couillaud Roquebrune Vachignac, born in Senneville, Québec in 1720 d 1791 m Marie Charlotte Seguin dit Laderoute (1723-1794), dau of Jean-Baptiste Seguin dit Laderoute and Genevieve Barbeau, 1744 in Oka, Québec. Siblings: Francois Xavier, Marie-Margaurite, Louis, Pierre, Catherine, Antoine, Joseph-Mathieu, others.
Their son:
Jean-Baptiste Larocque m Marie Josephte Brabant, dau of Etienne-Joseph Brabant and Marie-Joseph Lamadeleine, 1770, in Oka, Québec. Siblings: Charles Amable, Louis, Pierre-Paul, Hyancinthe Emile, Paul, Marie-Charlott, Thomas, Joseph, and Charles Francois.
Their son:
Andre Roquebrune dit Larocque "ancien voyageur" m Catherine Roy, dau of Augustin Roy and Josephte Robidoux, 1808 in Rigaud, Québec. Siblings: Antoine, Louis, Marguerite, Marie, Marie Reine, and Jean Baptiste.
Their son:
Andre Roquebrune first married Helen McDonald, daughter of John "Leborgne" McDonald and Marie Poitras, 1831, in Ste-Madeleine de Rigaud, Québec. He second married Mathilde Philion (Filion), 1863, dau of Joseph Filion and Angelique Rochon in St Eugène Ontario. Siblings: Theophile, Augustin, Marie Anne, Marie Josephte, Alexandre Emery, Jean, Julie, others.
Helen McDonald's father is John "Leborgne" McDonald, born 1770 in Invernesshire, Scotland, son of Angus Ban McDonald and Nelly McDonnell. The family emigrated to Glengarry, Upper Canada, in 1786. He was one of the six wintering partners in the North West Co. in 1804. In 1816, he was one of the Nor'westers arrested in connection with the Seven Oaks Massacre. Our ancestor stood trial in 1818 at York (Toronto) and was acquitted. After the union with the Hudson Bay Company in 1821 he became a chief factor. He was in charge from 1821 to 1827 and was ranked number three on the Hudson Bay roster during this period. "Leborgne" means "one-eyed." He was also known as MacDonald Legrand because of his large size. He and his wife Marie died a month apart in 1828 and they are buried in Newmarket, Ontario. --- See the link below*** about the MacDonnell-Williamson house in Pointe Fortune. See also, the link**** about Finnan Mor, brother of John Leborgne where I found most of the above information. The picture at left is "Red River Settlers." Early settlers arriving at the Red River Colony, 1812, with the first governor of the colony, Miles Macdonell. Credit: Hudson's Bay Company Archives / Provincial Archives of Manitoba / J.E. Schaflein / HBCA Picture Collection, P-388 / N-11312
Their (Andre Roquebrune and Helen McDonnell) son:
Jean Baptiste Roquebrune (John Larocque) b Jan 9, 1843, Rigaud, married Margaret Picotte (c1847), Siblings: Marie b Jan.13,1833 at Rigaud, Mathilde, b Oct 11, 1835, Rigaud, Josephine Catherine, b April 12,1855, St.Andrews East, Henrelie, b Aug 13, 1857, St. Eugene, Ontario, others. Half-siblings: André, Joseph Oscar, Henri, Marie.
Their son:
George Larocque (about 1868-1948), Brockville, Ont., Canada, axemaker; m Matilda "Delia" Dufresne (about 1890); Siblings: Thomas Henri b1865, John Albert Larocque b1866, Francis Alexander Larocque b1870, Lovinia La Roque b1871, Joseph Larocque b1878, Peter Larocque b1881, Josephine Larocque 1883.
Their daughter:
Florence Rita Larocque (1894-1983) in both pictures at left, Brockville, Ont., Canada, Syracuse, NY, m Charles Antoine Ranger, Sr. (about 1915); Siblings: Charles Henry Larocque (1893-c1973), Archibald "Archie" Larocque (1897-c1948), Mary Margaret "Marguerite" Larocque (1904-c1990), Ann Myrtle Larocque (1906-unknown), Vincent "Shinny" Larocque (1909-c1978).
Their son:
Charles Antoine Ranger, Jr. (1917-1982) Syracuse, NY, RCAF, signs, sales, music; m Olive Eleanor Brennan in 1942, Sibling: James Edmund Ranger (1923-2006).
Their son:
Robert Charles Ranger (1945-) Ottawa, Canada, Syracuse, NY, musician, computer specialist; m Betty Ann Lewis, 1964. Siblings: Carol Ann Ranger (Carole Spencer) (1947-), Charles Michael "Mike" Ranger (1952-), Patrick Edmund Ranger (1954-).
Our daughter:
Jeanette Michelle Ranger (Born in the Syracuse "Blizzard of 1966") m Eric Andrew Zoeckler of Cazenovia, NY in 1984. Siblings: none.
Their daughters and sons include:
Michele Renée Zoeckler (1987) m Nathan Odhner at Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania in July 2010, Reuben Lee Zoeckler (1989), Vernon Taylor Zoeckler (1991), Charlene Grace Zoeckler (1993), Ethan Lemuel Zoeckler (1996), Simeon James Zoeckler (1998), and Olivia Rose Zoeckler (2002).

Many thanks to Larry Coderre, Suzanne O'Neill, Louis Larocque*, Robert Black**, and Duncan MacDonald*** for their help in finding and identifying our Larocque forebears.

Links of interest:

*If you are interested in further information about the history of this colorful family, visit the Larocque family home page by Louis Larocque at It consists of many interesting and informative pages and is an excellent family history study. The coat of arms on the right was blatantly snarffed from Louis' site.

**Robert Black is trying to accumulate all material he can on the subject of the Métis. The Métis of western Canada are trying to further their land claims & formal recognition of their status in the history of Canada. More information may be found at Scroll down to "The Larocque Métis File."

***The Macdonell-Williamson House, known as "Poplar Villa" or "Scotus" was built by Judge John Macdonell on his retirement circa 1817. It is located in Ontario on the Ottawa River adjacent to the village of Pointe-Fortune, at the border between Ontario and Québec (Upper Canada and Lower Canada). Judge John le Prêtre MacDonnell was a brother-in-law to our John le Borgne McDonald. They married two Métis sisters, Madeleine and our Marie Poitras.

****Finnan McDonald by Neil J. MacDonald. Our ggggreat uncle Finnan Mor McDonald was the greatest frontiersman of them all. If you don't believe it now, you will after reading Neil MacDonald's account of his bravery. Finnan Mor was John Leborgne's younger brother.

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Copyright © 1999, 2017 by Robert Ranger, Wilmington, North Carolina.