Dominique Coco, I, (ca1760-ca1790) is the Avoyellean of the Year 1786. He was a very early settler of Avoyelles Parish, and patriarch of the Coco family which has produced prominent descendants in political and business circles. He may have been the builder of the DesFossé home museum, which still stands in Mansura today on land Dominque owned in the 1780s.

Dominique Baldony COCO I
Birth: ABT 1760 in Nice, Italy
Death: ABT SEP 1790 in Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana

The marriage record of Dominique BALDONY and Elizabeth RABALAIS was signed "DOMINIQUE COCO". This sobriquet was always used instead of the surname BALDONY, by this family in all records and documents of the future.

This marriage record reveals that Dominique BALDONY was a native of "Nice en Provence". Nice was at that time, and had been for four centuries, under the control of the Princes of Savoy. Hence it can be said that Dominique BALDONY was from Italy. There is a Baldoni family in Italy which may be descended from the prominent House of Baldoni of Venice. More research is needed to see if Dominique is from this family.

It is not known just how and when or why Dominique COCO come to Louisiana and Avoyelles. Family legend which was recorded in Corinne Saucier's History of Avoyelles Parish claims that he accompanied the Marquis de Lafayette to America. However this story can not be documented. The name Dominique BALDONY is not found on the passenger list of Lafayette's vessel "LA VICTORIE" for its trip to America from Bordeaux, France in 1777. No record of the crew list has been found for this voyage. Dominique may have been a crew member. The vessel was wrecked and sunk on the bar of the Charleston, South Carolina harbor as it was returning to France in June 1777. Accordingly the crew had an enforced stay in America. The name BALDONY is not found on the rosters of any of the regular French Army and Naval forces participating in the Revolutionary War. Coco was probably given to Dominique as a nickname because he sold coconuts.

Father: Dominique BALDONY b: in Italy
Mother: Jeanne BOUQUIERRE b: in Italy
Marriage 1 Elizabeth RABALAIS b: 26 AUG 1761 in Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana
Marriage recorded: 10 AUG 1784 in St. Francis, Pointe Coupee, Pointe Coupee, Louisiana
Dominique COCO II baptized 14 MAY 1785 in Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana
Joseph COCO I baptized 1789 in Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana

For a list of past recipients of the Avoyellean of the Year award visit: Avoyelleans of the Year