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Coutu Family Pages

Little Known Facts About The "COUTU" Name

  • Did you know that COTTU is the original spelling of the name? The name changed in Canada sometime  in the 1700's due to pronunciation of the name, then the spelling in which became COUTU.
  • Did you know that we descend from the french title of de la Valtrie?
  • Did you know that Francois Cottu de la Valtrie is the ancestor of all COUTU's in North America?
  • Did you know that COTTU is the occupation of making armor?
  • Did you know that YOUSO is latin for COUTU?
  • Did you know that the COUTU name is not related to the COUTURE family? With the exception of one family in Ontario who did change their name to COUTURE in the 1920's.
  • Did you know that over the generations the COTTU - COUTU spelling has been changed to COUTCHIE (Alexis Coutchie and his wife Marie Medrose Bourdon in the late 1850's in Muskegon, MI.), COUTURE (Jack Couture and his wife Daisy Clement in the 1920's in Montreal, PQ), CONE (Edouard Cone and his wife Elisabeth Ladouceur in the 1850's in Milbury, MA.) and GOOCHER (Julius Goocher and his wife Mary Saunter in the 1850's in Worcester, MA)? Also, for YOUSO (Zephirin "Frank" Youso and his wife Louise George in the 1870's in Franklin, MA., the family is mainly located in the Minnesota area. The Youso family is not found in the book. The information was discovered after the publication. Zephirin is the son of Lousi Coutu and Lucille Gilbert-Comtois. He married his first wife Hermine Routhier in St. Rhomas, PQ then his second wife Louise George in Woonsocket, RI.
  • Did you know that the first female Rhodes Scholar was a COUTU? Her name is Diane Louise Coutu, daughter of Clarence Coutu and Gertrude M. Shields of West Warwick, RI.
  • Did you know that we are descendants of CHARLEMAGNE through the marriage of Jeanne de Roucy Cottu on 25th Jan 1583.

The Cottu family originated from the city of Soissons in the Picardie region of Northern France, situated on the Aisne River. The family belongs to the ancient nobility of Soissons, France, which has produced distinguished personages, nobility kings, councillors and members of parliament.

It formed three principle branches:


1. The branch stemming from the oldest which carried the title Count and enjoyed the peaceful and constant possession of the title Baron for more than  one-hundred years.

2. The branch of nobles and lords of Valtries which emigrated to Canada.

3. The branch stemming from the youngest of the Cottu, Baron which established itself in Paris at the end of the eighteenth century.

-A BRIEF HISTORY OF SOISSONS, FRANCE-
The Cottu family originated from the city of Soissons in the Picardie region of Northern France, situated on the Aisne River. The family belongs to the ancient nobility of Soissons, France, which has produced distinguished personages, nobility kings, councillors and members of parliament.

It formed three principle branches:

1. The branch stemming from the oldest which carried the title Count and enjoyed the peaceful and constant possession of the title Baron for more than one-hundred years.

2. The branch of nobles and lords of Valtries which emigrated to Canada.

3. The branch stemming from the youngest of the Cottu, Baron which established itself-A BRIEF HISTORY OF SOISSONS, FRANCE-

SOISSONS, city, Aisne departement, Picardie region, northern France, situated on the Aisne River in a rich agricultural valley surrounded by wooded hills. Although the city was severely damaged during World War I, and to a lesser extent in World War II, most of the old buildings for which it is famous have been restored.


Soissons derives it name from the Suessiones, a Gaulish tribe that made the town its capital in the 3rd century. A garrison town under the Romans, it was evangelized and became a bishopric in the 3rd century. Clovis the Frankish king, seized the town in AD 486; and it became the capital of his descendants, the kings Neustria (the west part of the Frankish kingdom). The last king of the Merovingian dynasty, Childeric III, was deposed there in 752; and Pepin the Short, his successor, was crowned in Saint-Medard abbey. Battles fought around Soissons in the 10th century led ultimately to the accession of Hugh Capet to the French crown (987). Under the Capetian dynasty (ruled 987-1328), the town was held by the hereditary counts of Soissons. It suffered in the Hundred Years' War (1337-1453) and also in the Wars of the Religion in the later 16th century. During most of World War I it was just behind the Franco-British lines and was heavily bombarded before being captured by the Germans in May 1918. It was recaptured in August of the same year.

The facade of the 12th and 13th century Gothic cathedral of Saint-Gervais-et-Saint-Protais was modified in the 18th century stained-glass window. The abbey of Saint-Jean-des-Vignes (founded 11th century) was one of the richest in medieval France. The great abbatial church was largely destroyed under Napoleon I, but the magnificent facade (13th-14th century) was spared. Its two unequal towers are mounted by stone spires (the higher is more than 230 ft), can be seen from those dominating the city. Other parts of the towers still standing include remains of two chambers and a 13th century refectory. The remaining buildings of Saint-Leger abbey and its 13th century church house a museum with crucifications of paintings and sculptures. The building includes vestiges from Saint-Medard (founded c. 560), one of the most important medieval French abbeys; only a 9th century crypt remains.


Soissons is a market town for produce from the surrounding area. Its industries include iron and copper foundries and plants manufacturing mechanical equipment, glass and rubber goods. Population (1982), 29,871.

"The New Encyclopedia Britannica, vol. 10, 15th Edition, Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., Chicago 1985, p.938."

Courtesy: Coutu, David R. "COUTU - COTTU DE LA VALTRIE GENEALOGY" WH Wolf Associates, Alpharetta, GA., 1993

This site is maintained by Richard A. Coutu. Should you have any questions or comments please contact the author.

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