104. Dominique (baptized Dominicus) BALDUINI dit COCO was born on 27 June 1750 in (Alpes Maritimes) (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Region), France.1,886,887 Our first Coco ancestor was baptized as Dominicus Balduini on 22 July 1750 at La Chapelle de La Trinité in Ville de la Sainte-Trinité and it was recorded in Eze (Alpes Maritimes) (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Region), France. The small chapel at la Sainte-Trinité was built in 1617 in order to provide a place for locals to attend mass and receive the sacraments without being forced to go to Eze. Once built, the chapel was served by the Priest from Eze and was not considered to be a Catholic parish until 1818 although records were recorded there beginning in 1792. It appears that the small chapel collapsed in 1841 and was replaced with a larger church.
Note: Some of the baptismal records (and some marriages) of the Balduini family indicate that they were baptized at "La Chapelle de Sainte-Trinité". It is unknown, however, if the family lived at Sainte-Trinité or in Èze (or somewhere in between). The baptisms (and marriages) were recorded in the registers at Èze because Sainte-Trinité was not a parish until 1818. However, it is still possible that the family lived at Èze and had to travel to the small chapel at Sainte-Trinité because there was no place in Èze in which to worship or celebrate the sacraments. The parish church at Èze, originally built in the 12th century, was in ruins by the 1700s - and, very likely, much earlier than that. A new one was built at Èze between 1764 and 1778 and was consecrated in 1772. (The fact that the family may have lived closer to Èze is supported by the fact that Dominique's youngest sister, Angelica Francisca Maria Balduini, was married at Èze in 1782 - 10 years after the church was consecrated. If she had been living in another location such as Sainte-Trinité and had the opportunity to avoid traveling to Èze for her marriage, it would seem that she would have done so.)
The surname of Coco was a product of his life in the new world - likely Louisiana. One of the legends that has been passed down as to how he acquired the Coco surname is that he peddled coconuts along the Red River (among other items) and the Indians called him "L'homme de Coco". We do know, however, that he was using the Coco surname by 1783.1,886,887 Legend claims that Dominique Coco accompanied the Marquis de Lafayette to America and that he was, possibly, a crew member of Lafayette's vessel "la Victorie" on a trip to America from Bordeaux in 1777. According to research and documentation located at the American Univ. in Washington, D.C. covering Lafayette’s stay in America, none of the passengers who arrived on Lafayette’s ship "la Victorie" in 1777 (which landed at Georgetown, S.C.) used their real names so no verification of this story has been found. It is known, however, that his name does not appear on the 22 March 1776 "Pointe Coupée Poste Census of Masters & Slaves" nor does his name appear on the 22 June 1777 Pointe Coupée Militia list which indicates that he was likely not yet in Pointe Coupée by these dates. Therefore, Dominique's participation in the American Revolution has not been proven since no records have been found to substantiate this claim. According to "The Mansura French and other familes of Ward 3, Avoyelles" (DeCuir/Mayeux), Dominique Sr. was in Avoyelles by 1783 because he name appears in Avoyelles Post records. There is speculation that he built (or had built for his use) the DesFossé house that still exists in Mansura. The DesFossé home dates to c1785. The home sat on the Dominique Coco plantation which basically composed what is now considered to be the heart of Mansura. He appeared in the census in 1785 at Avoyelles Post in (Avoyelles Parish), Louisiana, USA with his wife and 1 child. He had 10 arpents of land and 1 slave. He died between October 1787 and September 1790 at the age of 37 but documentation of his death has not been located nor is his burial location known. Elizabeth RABALAIS and Dominique BALDUINI dit COCO560,842 were married on 10 August 1784 at St. François d’Assise Catholic Church & Cemetery in (Pointe Coupée Parish), Louisiana, USA. (Note: "Diocese of Baton Rouge Catholic Church Records, Volume II" documents that they married in 1783 but the actual marriage record shows the year as 1784.)1,888
105. Elizabeth RABALAIS was born on 26 August 1761 in (Pointe Coupée Parish), Louisiana, USA.862 She was baptized on 6 September 1761 at St. François d’Assise Catholic Church & Cemetery in (Pointe Coupée Parish), Louisiana, USA.862 She died before 10 March 1809 at the age of 47. This is the date of her probate. Also, Volume XV, No. 1 of "Le Raconteur" (April 1995, Page 2) shows that two colonial documents exist in a two-reel collection of miscellaneous colonial documents dated between 1765 and 1810 involving the sale of the estate of Elizabeth Rabalais, wife of Guillaume Gauthier. These two documents in the collection are dated c1810. Guillaume Gauthier was her 2nd husband whom she married in 1792 after the death of Dominique Balduini dit Coco. Also, an inventory of her estate was taken on 12 March 1809.863,864 Elizabeth had her estate in succession.1,864
[Note: Elizabeth was married twice. The first marriage was to Dominique Balduini dit Coco as outlined on this page. Her 2nd marriage was to Guillaume René Gauthier on 31 January 1792 at Opelousas.]
NOTE: The entire lineage and supporting documents of Dominique Coco family is covered in "Long Journey Home: The Ancestry of the Bret, Coco, Drapeau, Goudeau, Gremillon and Tassin Families in France" by Cathy Lemoine Sturgell.