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Home: Surnames: Lachappelle Family Genealogy Forum

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Check here too! Also "dit" names
Posted by: Mike LaChapelle Date: December 07, 1999 at 14:41:52
  of 13

You should check the GenForum page for "LaChapelle" (spelled with 1 "P."). If you are looking for a Langlois dit LaChapelle you should also check the "Langlois" Genforum page.

For people not framiler with "dit" names- read the following....

Dit NamesCourtesy of Ignatius Lacombe
The "Dit" Name
by Mark Gauthier
This short explanation is not intended to answer the specific reason for your
ancestor's name change but rather to explain what a "dit" or "second name" is.
"Dit" is translated into English as "say" or "also known as". There is no
negative connotation implied which sometimes is the case with the English
"alias". And since last names (surnames) came into being for the purpose of
identification, we can say that the "dit" name came into being for the purpose
of further identification of a person or family.
The reasons or explanations for the name changes are infinite, at least as
infinite as there are actual individual changes. However, there are some general
sources for these changes or identifications. Some of them are:
a. Occupation/Guild f. Heroic deed/accomplishment
b. Place of origin g. Description of some object
c. Physical description h. Easily pronounce names
d. Character description i. Seignorial identification
e. Natural identification j. Military

The two surnames used can be interchanged at any time, e.g. CLEMENT dit LABONTE
may appear as Labonte dit Clement. Since one form of the name, or both forms
together, may appear at birth, baptism, marriage, in a census record, or at
death, each individual document may be checked to determine its use. An
individual man might have been born as Jean Clement, married as Jean Clement dit
Labonte, found in a census as Jean Labonte, and died as Jean Labonte dit
Clement. The marriage repertoires that we primarily use as guides for the
marriage date should therefore be read with care for they usually give us some
clue as to a possible name change or double identification.
At the end of Tanguay's "Dictionnaire (Vol. VII)", you will find a listing for
most "dit" names that appeared in Canada from the earliest settlement until
around 1750. Changes after that time period must be checked in county, parish,
or town records. Repertoires often indicate for you when a change is possible
for the individual family.
Enjoy your search but do not expect to find an explanation for the change in
your name. Many simply are not explained, while others are guesswork.
It is wise for the researcher to record all "dit" names in his personal records.
Even misspellings should be kept since they stand in the records as a certain
family flavor. All such variations add spice to genealogical research and assist
us in the knowledge of our origins.

Mike LaChapelle Bonney Lake, Washington USA


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