Tag Archives: French

French Dit Names

Are you doing any French genealogy work? Have you found some mysterious relatives who seem to have 2 last names with the little word “dit” tucked in the middle? Well, now you can figure out what that means.

In my own family, I have a woman named Emilie Montpellier dit Beaulieu and she makes a good example to work with. First of all, the word “dit” means “called” (at least in this context) and it’s pronounced “dee”. Basically, a dit name is more like a nickname as it represents what they were actually called rather than an actual given name. They were used to help differentiate between people with similar names in really large family groups. (more…)

19 Dec 2012

Tanguay’s Dictionary

Since my father’s family is French-Canadian, I’ve been looking into resources that target this genealogy area. My most recent purchase as been a digital copy of the Dictionnaire genealogique des familles canadiennes, complied by Rev. Cyprian Tanguay. In English, the title of this collection is The Genealogical dictionary of Canadian families. It’s really better known just as Tanguay’s Dictionary (or dictionnaire Tanguay).

It’s a 7-volume work filled with vital record information (including dates and names for births, deaths and marriages) spanning the time between 1608 and 1760. It’s limited to the Quebec region of Canada, though that shouldn’t be much of a limitation since that is where most French-Canadian families lived at that time. (more…)

18 Dec 2012