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Jimmo vs Guimond and more about 'dit' names
Posted by: Janet Manseau (ID *****2030) Date: October 07, 2006 at 21:53:25
  of 14

I just received a message by someone that read an old reply of mine about the 'dit' names at this forum. This was in part her message: "Wanted to also tell you that "dit" names are not because of trees,fruits nor veggies, LOL. They do have a rhyme and reason but that is not it."

For those of you that are interested in the 'dit' French names, I offer a few quotes and an e-mail address if you want the entire article.

The article is called "The Military Roots of the 'dit' Names" by Luc Lépine. If you want a copy of the article e-mail ACGS@acgs.org and for a small fee you may request Issue #98, Vol.. 29, 4th Quarter 2003.

Part of the article was the work of André Corvisier.
"André has studied the nickmanes of 100,000 French soldiers who were in Paris' Invalides Hospital".
He went on to say, "The five most popular nicknames are: Saint-Jean, Larose, Lafleur, Lajeunesse, and Laviolette. These are all family names that are found in Québec."
Another part of the article: "The officers of the Régiment de Carignan became seigneurs. The former soldiers became militiamen. The new seigneurs continue to call the tenant farmers by their non de guerre. The soldier-censitaires hand down their nicknames to their wives and children."
One more quote: "In 1716, French military rules require a nom de guerre for all regular soldiers".
Quote: "Lafleur, René Jetté has found more than 60 family names with this nickname." The article goes on to name the soldiers who carry the nickname of Lafleur and who came to New France."

By the way, I myself had never referred to 'dit' names as a nickname till I read this article, for fear that there are those out there that would tell me that I am crazy or at best wrong. For those that do not read French "non de guerre" translates to "war name". It was a name assigned to soldiers much like a serial number today. Some units were given the name of flours, trees, animals, etc. It is my understanding that every regiment had units with names of flours, trees, animals, etc. and that was one of the reasons that the name were repeated a lot. It is a great 5 page article.

The surname Guimond was not changed to Jimmo till after 1799. I just looked it up at PRDH and they have no records with this spelling variation. This was done a lot for several reasons. Back then people did not care how their names were spelt and most could not read and depended on the clerks to spell their name hence the many spelling variations. Another good reason was that once the French moved to America, they wanted their names to sound more like the English names in order to increase their chances to get a job.

When doing genealogy I enter the names that are truly 'dit' names like this: Robidas-dit-Manseau. When the name is a new spelling variation I enter it as: Jimmo/Guimond. By keeping both names it helps others find their ancestors. The New France pioneer Louis Guimond/Guimont (as I have it in my file)was my 7th great-grandfather. I will not be adding the Jimmo to my file because this surname ends for me in the mid 1700s.

I have written more on 'dit' names if anyone is interested just e-mail me direct at rctfdd@att.net

Have a great day, Janet



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