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Matthew Maury  Fontaine was born May 22, 1787 in Hailfax, Virginia, and died July 23, 1879 in Ozan, Hempstead County, Arkansas. He married Rachel Wallace, his second marriage,  February 20, 1834 in Hempstead Co, Arkansas, daughter of Andrew Wallace and Lucy Davidson. She was born January 01, 1808 in Tenn., and died April 20, 1860 in Hempstead County, Arkansas.




Matthew Fontaine's Will

In the name of God, Amen 

        Know all men by these presents that I, Matthew Fontaine, of the County of Hempstead and State of Arkansas being of sound and disposing mind and memory do make publish and declare this to be my last Will and testament hereby revoking all other Wills heretofore made by me. I wish and direct that after my funeral expenses is (are) paid out of the money I may leave and all my indebtedness to my son, William, and his family for their care and attention to me is fully paid to his satisfaction, I give and bequeath to my said son, William, all the sums of money he now owes me for his care and expenses in taking care of me up to this time. I also give and bequeath to my daughter, Lucy Caldwell, my bed and bedstead, my trunk and wearing apparel. After the above bequests and expenses are paid as aforesaid, I give and bequeath the balance of my Estate to my heirs at law, share and share alike that is to say that each of my living children: William, Joseph, Benjamin, Edward and Lucy, have his share and each set in family of my Grand children, have the share that would be coming to their Mothers if living, to be divided equally between them.

       And I hereby make, constitute and appoint my said son, William Fontaine, as my Agent and Executor of this my last Will and testament. And he is hereby fully authorized to collect all money due me and receipt for the same and do all things necessary to carry out this Will according to the tenor thereof. And I do not require that he give Bond or Surety for the performance of the task imposed upon him. Signed in the presence of J. W. Ellis and Will Weaver, subscribing witnesses this 30th day of September AD1878. Matthew Fontaine


Signed in our presence and in the presence of the testator and we subscribe our names as Witnesses at his request this 30th September 1878.

                                    J. W. Ellis

                                    Will Weaver


 Matthew Fontaine's Obituary


       The oldest paper in the state will not hesitate, I am sure, to publish a short notice of the death and precious life of one of the oldest men of the state, who was a citizen before the Gazette was born.  Matthew Fontaine died at the residence of his son William in this Hempstead, County on Wednesday, the 23rd.,inst., aged ninety-two years, two months and one day. He was born in the state of Virginia, and descended from an ancient family, which had numerous and illustrious representatives, among whom was Commodore Matthew Fontaine


, who was his cousin.  When quite young his father removed to the state of Kentucky, where the subject of this sketch grew to manhood and married.  In the early part of the year 1819 he removed to the then territory of Arkansas, and located in the vicinity of "Mound Prairie," then the most important settlement in the southwestern part of the territory.  In this neighborhood he has continued to live to the day of his death.

       But few men have ever lived in this or any day other country a more blameless and of praise-worthy life.  From the day of his arrival to that of his burial his name and fame were as spotless as purity itself. In all his long life of sixty years here among us, no human ever uttered a breath against him as a man or as a Christian.  His word was his bond, and his honesty of that Roman kind that he would have sacrificed his life sooner than his integrity.  Previous to the war he had accumulated quite a number of slaves, and had a very comfortable home, with all that was necessary to make his early live pleasant. This went with the results of war, yet he was not a man to murmur. His Christian character was so pure and humble, and so after the pattern of the savior he loved so well, that he could smile at the afflictions of life, and look upon them as the dispensations of a wise Providence sent to chasten and refine.

Mr. Fontaine was a man of strong and vigorous intellect, and well informed on all general subjects.  In the history of our country, and especially of Arkansas, his memory was rich in story and reminiscence.     

He knew personally nearly all the prominent man of the early days of the territory. I think he was present when Stephen B. Austin, held the first court in this County, near where the venerable Judge Cross resides.  He knew the first governor, Miller, and Izard, Pope, and Fulton.  He personally knew and was a supporter of Bates, who was the first member of the Congress from the territory, and afterwards supported Ambrose B. Sevier for the same place, and was his staunch friend and admirer to the days his death.  In the old-time see was Democrat of the strictest sect.  He remembered and talked to the latest with warmth animation of the early days in Arkansas.  He told me last year that when he crossed the Arkansas River there was only one cabin where the city of Little Rock now stands.  He crossed at a placed three miles below the point of the rocks, and came up the south bank to where the town now is.  He had seen Arkansas in all or phases, and was satisfied to remain and have his bones buried in the land he loved so long and well.

       He was a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and had been from a period beyond my recollection, probably sixty or seventy years.  He was twice married, all his children have long ago reached and passed middle-aged.  A son and daughter having the same disposition for frontier life that characterize their father, when the gold fever first broke out on Pacific Coast migrated to California, and have never returned.  His descendents are numerous and highly respectable, and not one of them but can refer, with pride, to Matthew Fontaine as his ancestor, and derive credit for it.

       Few men have lived a more blameless life; not one more respected and esteemed by his neighbors.  Of a strong mind and great practical common sense, and always regarded as a kind of seer in the neighborhood, whose judgment and opinion were held in the highest possible esteem, yet he never held an office.  He belonged to that species now nearly extinct (he may probably be the last of his kind) who believed and felt that" the post of honor was a private station."  His highest ambition was to so live that he should have the good will of his fellow man and approving smiles of his God and savior.  He saw life in all its phases, and amplified most beautifully the fact that one could live a holy Christian life through all the circumstances, and at last peacefully lie down in that eternal slumber which shall know no waking till the chiming of the resurrection morn shall arouse the slumbering nations to judgment.


Written by A. B Williams

Arkansas Gazette July 28, 1879


Matthew's will was taken from microfilm located at the Arkansas Historical Commission, Little Rock, Arkansas. Matthew's obituary can be found at the Southwest Regional Archives in Washington, Arkansas.








Ancestors and Descendants of  JOSEPH EDWARD FONTAINE


By, Sarah Jo Fontaine Milner 7th child of Joseph Edward and Lillie Hopie Dossey Fontaine


     This paper is dedicated to the memory of my father, Joseph Edward Fontaine, his ancestors and descendants. I think he wanted very much to live forever. This is one reason he was such a fervent Christian. Also, I believe he wanted to be remembered in this world. He even tried to create a perpetuity in his Last Will and Testament to keep his land in the family, hopefully for generations yet to come.

To those who have no interest in the past nor persons they didn't know, the importance of a genealogy is questionable. Genealogy and birthright were important in Biblical times, evidenced in the Old Testament and in Matthew and Luke's account of the genealogy of Christ. Genealogy is also a way to be remembered. Throughout the ages, mankind continually seeks a way of extending his time, a desire for immortality. Only God can give eternal life--a genealogy gives evidence of having existed and a sense of belonging to a particular family group.

It is regrettable that there is no biographical sketch of many of these person's lives. They are remembered by their contemporaries and maybe by a few stories passed down. Yet in a few generations, a person's interesting and productive life becomes only a statistic--a name with beginning and end dates. This paper is to pay tribute by acknowledging the lives of our family members and to record our pedigree.

This genealogy will never be finished. As long as there is tomorrow and next year and another generation is born, there will be names and dates to add. As I gain additional information in my lifetime, I may add to it. I hope those who follow me will continue adding and keep the listing current.


Sarah Jo Fontaine Milner


June 1992




            Knowledge is often built on preceding knowledge; additional data being incorporated into an existing foundation. Knowledge researched and written by others is the foundation for this paper. James (Jacques IV) Fontaine's "Memoirs of a Huguenot Family" written in 1722 is an important work both historically and for our genealogy. The manuscript has been translated from French into English and is available from The Fontaine/Maury Society library.

Vida Leola Vance's "The Missouri Fountains" (available through The Fontaine/Maury Society library) was an excellent source of information. Ms. Vance did a fine job of research and presentation of information obtained from courthouse records, libraries, cemeteries and from family members to trace the ancestral line up to 1967.

            A faded photocopy entitled "Source History of the Matthew Fontaine Family" by Clarence M. Wallace provided additional information of Joseph I's son, Matthew Maury Fontaine. This interesting account stopped with Matthew's son, Edward, grandfather of Joseph Edward Fontaine, the subject of this genealogy.

            This paper is not intended to be a literary work with proper form. Footnotes will not be used to document each reference. Instead, this is a tapestry woven from facts presented in the sources credited above combined with newly acquired information.

            In order to target our direct line of descent and make it concise, I chose not to list all the siblings of each descendant. The Missouri Fountains and the Arkansas Fontaines descended from brothers, sons of Joseph I, son of Reverend Peter Fontaine. The Missouri Fountains descended from Joseph II, born one year before Matthew Maury Fontaine, who settled in Arkansas Territory. The genealogy contained in the "Missouri Fountains" traces Joseph II's descendants but does not trace Matthew Maury Fontaine's descendants. To establish our line of descent from Matthew Maury Fontaine, I have listed all his children and the children of the ancestral line up to Joseph Edward Fontaine and all his descendants. With appreciation to my sister, Hazel Fontaine for information she provided and my gratitude to family members Rose Crawford, Doris Dillard, Courtney Flowers, Earnesteen, Juanita and Ruby Fontaine, Bobbie Hilek, Betty Jackson, Sherry Kitchens, Annabel Hess Rice and Barbara Turner for additional information.

            Perhaps this paper will make it easier for interested persons to find the spot where they can dig deeper for hidden treasures of the past. I've had fun learning and reminiscing. To our family members who knew many of these people, to those who have only heard of some of them, and to those yet to come and discover, "God bless you all."


Sarah Jo Fontaine Milner





Ancestors of Joseph Edward Fontaine

 Listed by generation and direct line of descent


 Jacques de la Fontaine                                                                Born before 1475

1st Generation

Jean (John) de la Fontaine                                                           1500-1563      

 2nd Generation

 Jacques de la Fontaine II                                                            1549-1633

3rd Generation

 Jacques de la Fontaine III                                                          1603-1666

 4th Generation

 Jacques de la Fontaine IV (Anglicized name to James Fontaine) 1658-1728

 5th Generation

 Reverend Peter Fontaine                                                           1691-1757

 6th Generation

 Joseph Fontaine I                                                                      1748-1813 

 7th Generation

 Matthew Maury Fontaine                                                          1787-1879

 8th Generation

 Edward Fontaine                                                                       1838-1888

 9th Generation

 Matthew Ewing Fontaine                                                           1869-1894

 10th Generation

 Joseph Edward Fontaine                                                           1893-1953

 Submitted by Sarah Jo Fontaine Milner



Ancestors and Descendants of  JOSEPH EDWARD FONTAINE


By, Sarah Jo Fontaine Milner 7th child of Joseph Edward and Lillie Hopie  Dossey Fontaine


        Fontaine family members can be proud of their noble heritage which began in 12th century France with documentation from the Renaissance to the present. The name “de la Fontaine” (English translation “of the fountain”) was derived from the lovely fountains in the region of France where the family originated. The “de la” denoted nobility. During the 12th century, the Fontaines joined the third Crusade under their king Philip Augustus and Richard “Cour de Lion” (the Lion Hearted) of England. Members of the family achieved victory in battle and recognition at Court.

       In 1500 Jacques de la Fontaine was living in the Province of Maine on the borders of Normandy. That year his son Jean (John) de la Fontaine was born. Jacques (James) obtained for young Jean a commission in the court of Francis I, in what was called, “Les Ordonnances du Roi” (The Laws of the King). While living at court and before 1535, Jean married Guyonne le Royer, daughter of nobleman, Jean le Royer and Magdalaine de Lannay. They had four sons.

        In 1535, both Jean and his father, Jacques were converted to Protestantism. Jean’s faith in the new and unpopular religion was known at court yet he was retained because of his honorable conduct and rare abilities through the reigns of Francis I, Henry II and the first two years of the reign of Charles IX. He was in a position to give support to his fellow Huguenots. This was during the Valois dynasty, which ended with Henry III in 1589 when the Bourbon dynasty began rule of France until 1792.

        When the Edict of Pacification was pronounced on January 17, 1562, Jean thought that persecution of the Huguenots would end. He resigned his commission at court and retired (he was 62) to his estates in the province of Maine. One year after his retirement, a band of zealous anti-Protestants forced their way into his home. They murdered him, his wife, 7 or 8 months with child, who tried to intercede on his behalf and his valet. During the attack, fourteen-year-old Jacques II, born 1549, led his three younger brothers from the home and they fled on foot to Rochelle, a Protestant stronghold on the coast. Abraham Fontaine was about twelve years old at the time. They were taken in by a shoemaker who taught Jacques II how to make and repair shoes. He was able to support himself and his brothers and soon established his own business. It is not known what became of the other two brothers. Jacques II married in the early part of 1603 (at age 54) and his first son; Jacques III was born the same year.

       After Jacques II’s wife died, he married again and the second wife tried to poison him to inherit his fortune. Efforts to silence the poison attempt failed and his wife was tried and condemned to death. Jacques II appealed to King Henry IV for a pardon for his wife but King Henry IV “wanting to judge from the man’s appearance whether there was an excuse for the wife’s act”, after seeing Jacques II shouted, “Let her be hanged ... He is the handsomest man in my Kingdom”. When Jacques II died in 1633 (age 84) he left his family 9,000 livres, a considerable fortune at that time.

         Jacques III, born 1603 (died at his home of apoplexy in 1666) married Miss Thompson in 1628. They had 6 children. After she died in 1640, he married Marie Chaillon in 1641 and they had 5 children. Jacques Ill's eleventh child, Jacques IV was born April 7, 1658 at Royan, France. He obtained a Master's degree from the College in the province of Guyenne. He also managed both of his inherited paternal estates successfully. He served as minister to his father's congregations but was imprisoned and stopped by the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in October 1685. King Louis XIV decreed the death penalty for any Protestant minister who remained in France fifteen days after the Revocation. Rather than relinquish his faith, he left his estates at Jenouille and Jaffe and fled France on a fishing vessel sailing for England. His sister, Elizabeth, his fiancée, Anne Elizabeth Boursiquot and his niece, Janette Forestier accompanied him. Jacques IV's estates in France were confiscated and given to his nearest Catholic kin. This was the second time in four generations that the Fontaine family lost all of its wealth because of religious persecution by anti-Protestants whose political power influenced the Monarchs of France. February 8, 1686 Jacques IV married Anne Elizabeth Boursiquot and they had 8 children. Their 4th child, Peter, born 1691 in Taunton, England, (later known as Reverend Peter Fontaine of Westover Parish, Virginia) is the line of descent of Joseph Edward Fontaine. Jacques IV took the English version of his name and became known as James Fontaine. He died at age 70 in 1728, 6 years after writing his "Memoirs of a Huguenot Family"

            Reverend Peter married Elizabeth Forreau and they had a daughter Mary Ann and a son, Peter, Jr. After the death of Elizabeth, Reverend Peter married Sarah Wade and had 6 more children. His 4th child of this marriage, Joseph, was born in 1748. He was 9 years old when his father died in Charles City Co., Virginia in July 1757. In this century (20th), excavation under the alter of the Westover Church revealed two bodies. It is thought that one of them is that of Reverend Peter, as it was the custom at that time to bury important persons, under the Church's alter. Joseph went to live with his half-brother, Peter, Jr., who was 28 years older than Joseph. In 1763 Joseph was bound over to George Donald, Cabinet Maker of Richmond in Henrico County. In Mecklenburg Co., VA on February 8, 1773, Joseph married Mary (Polly) Goode. They had 10 children. Matthew Maury Fontaine was born May 22, 1787, their 7th child. Joseph died August 18, 1813, age 65. Mary (Polly) Goode Fontaine died August 12, 1812, age 58.

            Matthew Maury Fontaine moved to Kentucky in 1812 and married Pauline (Patsy) Johnson December 17, 1815. He and Patsy moved to Arkansas Territory in 1818 (Mound Prairie). They had 9 children. She died February 11, 1834. He sold his home at Mound Prairie and moved to Ozan where he married Rachel Wallace (born Jan. 1, 1808) on November 20, 1834. They had 5 children. After Rachel died, he lived with his son, William. Matthew Maury Fontaine died July 23, 1879 at age 92.


Beginning with Matthew Maury Fontaine, all children will be listed and those in the direct line of Joseph Edward Fontaine will be underlined.


Children of Matthew Maury Fontaine and Pauline (Patsy) Johnson Fontaine:

1.Parmelia Jane Fontaine, born Nov. 4, 1816, died Dec. 17, 1816

2.Margaret Ann Fontaine, born Nov. 3, 1817, died March 31, 1834 

3.Icy  Pheny Fontaine, born Nov. 8, 1819, died Dec. 8, 1840

4. Jane Fontaine Wallace, born Feb. 10, 1822, married Andrew Jackson Wallace June 24, 1840, died March 19, 1860. Mr. Wallace died same year.

5. Pauline K. Fontaine, born Jan. 21, 1824

6. William Fontaine, born April 4, 1826, died October 1895, buried Ozan

7. Elmina Fontaine Yates, born May 7, 1828, married John Yates Dec. 17, 1848, died Nov. 4, 1853

8. Joseph Fontaine, born June 9, 1830, married Feb. 10, 1850

9. Benjamine Hawkins Fontaine, born Aug. 31, 1832, married Lauretta Clark

(born 1833) Oct. 30, 1850. Lauretta died in 1889, Benjamine in 1905.


Children of Matthew Maury Fontaine and Rachel Wallace Fontaine:

1. Patsy Fontaine, born Sept. 23, 1835, married John M. Allen, May 11, 1854

2. Edward Fontaine, born April 17, 1838, died April 19, 1888  married Sarah Jane Caldwell ,  Dec. 16, 1858,  born Feb. 16, 1843, died Jan. 4, 1887. 

 There is an  inscription  on Edward's tombstone that reads, "Gone to Heaven".   Also engraved on the stone is an open Bible testifying to his faith in God's Holy Word. The inscription on the grave marker further reads, "There remains therefore a rest to the people of God". And let us not be weary in well doing for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." Galations 6:9. He is buried at Buckrange Cemetery  located in  Arkansas. Sarah's grave inscription reads, "Come on, husband, children, relatives. and friends. I am only waiting on the other shore where we may meet to part no more." She is buried at Buckrange Cemetery. (Note Edward Fontaine is Sarah Fontaine Milner's great-grandfather)

3. Rachel Fontaine, born April 22, 1840, died April 2, 1860

4.Infant born June 16, 1842, died same date.

5. Lucy Ann Fontaine Caldwell, born Aug. 14, 1848, married Newt D. Caldwell. Lucy died Nov. 1887.

Picture of Edward and Sarah Jane Fontaine with daughter Sarah

Children of Edward Fontaine and Sarah Jane Caldwell Fontaine:

1. Elmina Catherine Fontaine, born June 27, 1861, died July 18, 1941 - no


2. Elizabeth Francis Fontaine Whitworth, born January 28, 1864, married William Whitworth, had one child, Willie Whitworth, died January 23, 1885

3.Jacques de la Fontaine, born June 30, 1866, married Irene Coleman, had 2 children, died February 12, 1894

4.  Matthew Ewing Fontaine, born January 2, 1869, married Sarah Frances

Smith. They had 2 children: Joseph Edward Fontaine, born Feb. 1, 1893, Hempstead County, AR and Mattie Ewing Fontaine McCullough, born October 12, 1894. Matthew Ewing Fontaine died July 17, 1894, age 25.

Sarah Frances remarried Aaron Columbus Hess. They had Annabel Hess Rice, Harold and Jack Hess. Sarah died of cancer at St. Vincent Hospital, Little Rock, AR., February 14, 1926 and is buried at Mineral Springs, AR.

Mattie Ewing Fontaine McCullough, born October 12, 1894, married Charles O. McCullough November 20, 1920. They had 3 children, Alonia, Doris and Sarah Lou McCullough. Mattie Ewing died January 23, 1985, age 91. (Daughter of Matthew Ewing Fontaine).

5. Anna Fontaine Kolb, born April 27, 1871, married Dr. James S. Kolb, They had no children, but she was stepmother to his children, died January 4, 1946.

6. James McAdow Fontaine; born June 7, 1873, died December 21, 1889.

7. Sarah Fontaine (Willis, Metheny), born February 11, 1876, no children, died 1957.

8. Gracie Fontaine Sissel, born August 25, 1878, married George Sissel.

9. Edward Fontaine, born October 26, 1880, married Betty Allen. They had 2 children. He died February 14, 1940.

10. Naomi Fontaine, born April 14, 1883, died June 1978 married George C. Bullock, December 24, 1905, in Clark County, Arkansas. They had three children, Kathryn, born about 1907, George born about 1910 and Charles.

The Ancestors and Descendants of  JOSEPH EDWARD FONTAINE was submitted by Sarah Jo Fontaine Milner, many thanks for her contribution.  For questions concerning Sarah's research you can reach her at 





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