American-French Genealogical Society: Dit Surnames etc. Surname Index  
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American-French Genealogical Society

Surnames French-Canadian :
Variants, Dit, Anglicization, etc.

 Given Names French-Canadian: English Variants, Anglicization's, Latin

  The "American-French Genealogical Society" are pleased to present this collection of name variations to French-Canadian genealogical researchers  .
Surname Menu
A-Ama A-Arg A-Aub A-Azu B-Bar B-Bau B-Bea B-Bea B-Bel
B-Ber B-Ber B-Bir B-Bo B-Bon B-Bou B-Bou B-Bou B-Bre
B-Bro B-Bu C-Cap C-Cas C-Cha C-Cha C-Cha C-Che C-Cho
C-Clo C-Con C-Cot C-Cou C-Coy D'A-Da D-Dav D-De D-DeB
D-DeF D-DeL D-Del D-Den D-DeR D-Des D-Desl D-Des D-DeT
D-Dit D-Dra D-Dub D-Dug D-Dup D-Dur D-Dy E-Enf E-Ez
F-Fav F-Fil F-Fon F-Fou F-Fra F-Fyd G-Gam G-Gau G-Geb
G-Ger G-Gir G-God G-Gou G-Gre G-Gru G-Gui G-Gyo H-Har
H-Hen H-Hil H-Hou H-Hyv I-Izo J-Jan J-Jen J-Jol J-Jou
J-Jut K-Kue L-Lab L-Lac L-Lac L-Laf L-Lafo L-Lafr L-Lag
L-Laj L-L'A L-Lam L-Lan L-Lan L-Lap L-Lar L-Laro L-Las
L-Lau L-Lav L-Lavo L-Leb L-Led L-LeG L-Lem L-LeP L-Les
L-Let L-Lev L-Lis L-Lor L-Lyo M-Mai M-Man M-Mar M-Mar
M-Mat M-Méd M-Mer M-Mic M-Min M-Mon M-Mon M-Mor M-Myv
N-Nev N-Nus O-Ost O-Ozo P-Paq P-Pat P-Pem P-Per P-Phi
P-Pin P-Plo P-Pom P-Pot P-Pre P-Puy Q-Qya R-Rat R-Rel
R-Rib R-Riv R-Roc R-Ron R-Rou R-Rya S-Sai S-Sal S-San
S-Sau S-Sel S-She S-Sor S-St.A S-St.J S-St.M S-Sta S-Syr
T-Tér T-Thi T-Tou T-Tre T-Tyr U-Use V-Val V-Vég V-Vez
V-Vil V-Vyt W-Wri X-Xim Y-Yvo Z-Zou       


What are Surname
Include your Surname
What are
the ( )

We are now collecting given or first name French-Canadian variations and translations.
These translation and variation will be added to the website.
Please send the variations and translations in an e-mail to [email protected]
or include the variations on the Include your Surname Variations form.

"dit" Names etc.
Rita Elise Plourde (10)

  • There are two reasons why there are so many variant spellings of some names.
  • First: most of the citizens of the 1600-1800 were illiterate. Of these, a precious few could sign their names.  However, the priests,seminarians,missionaries, monks & nuns were the most educated groups in the citizenry.  Only an elite few were educated beyond what we, today, would consider a basic elementary education.
  • Consequently, many of the clerics & notories, who under the French system of  administration were charged with recording "vital statistics" wrote the names as they knew them to be in France, as a precious few of the immigrants/colonists signed them, or as they heard them (phonetically).
  • That is why one sees Garau, Garrault, Gareau,Garo, etc... even amongst the sons of a   particualr ancestor.  A good example are the descendants of Louis Houde...some of the   variant spellings found are: Houd,Houle, Ould,Houde,Hood,etc.
  • The second reason for variant spellings is: As the colonists migrated within  Nouvelle France/New France & eventually beyond the areas of French-speaking Canada ( ex. to current-day USA, the Caribbean, the West Indies, etc.) recorders of "vital statistics" who were not French speakers, usually spelled names phonetically, or changed  them because they didn't have a clue how to write them.
(Ex. Rochefort became Rushfort in the Carolinas, Champagne became Shampang, Thibodeaux became Thibodo, or Tibodo. LeBrun was changed to Brown & Leblanc to White, etc.etc.) 
  • The "dit" names have an interesting origin. The English translation of "dit" is "said".  The Colonists of Nouvelle France added "dit" names as distinguishers. A settler might have wanted to differentiate their family from their siblings by taking a "dit" name that described the locale to which they had relocated ( ex: since the Colonists followed the customs of the French feudal system, land was divided amongst the first born sons [primogeniture] . Soon there was not enough land to divide any further.
  • Perhaps an adventurous younger son would decide to establish himself, with or without a  family, in another area... say a fertile piece of land near some streams... he might add des ruisseaux (streams/creeks/rivulets) to distinguish himself from his brothers.  When he married,or died, his name might be listed as Houde dit DesRuisseaux, or Desruisseau(s).
  • The acquiring of a "dit" name might also be the result of a casual adoption, whereby the person wanted to honor the family who had raised them. Another reason was also to   distinguish themselves by taking as a "dit" name the town or village in France from which they originated... ex: Huret dit Rochefort.
Rita Elise Plourde (10) is a member of AFGS and contributer of cultural, or historical comments in response to the queries posed by volunteers in the AFGS Volunteers mailing list. 
She is a bilingually educated ( K thru college) Franco-American anthropologist, who was raised in a multicultural environment.  Rita continues to explore, examine &extol the culture of her French/Acadian/Quebecois ancestors & contemporary relatives. 
Her primary aim as an AFGS member is the sharing of information & research regarding her French/Acadian/Quebecois ancestors, their culture & their legacy. 

Including your Variations 

We are planning on adding to the listing presented here. If you're aware of Surname variations and would like to have them included in our list please fill out the Surname Variation Form. 

Also Given or First name variations can be added to the form, but please identify them as given names so they are not confused with Surnames. This identification of the Given or First name variations can be placed in the comments section.

Thank you

Surname Variation Form



New Code

These Names were compiled from a large number of sources. We have included a few of the sources to help identify the areas the names came from..
(1) Are names listed in the book "French-Canadian Names: Vermont Variants - by Véronique Gassette" published by the "Vermont Historical Society" Montpelier, VT.
(5) Are name variations listed in Drouin film of St. Charles, Richelieu for 1740
(6) Are names variations submitted by visitors to this name variation website or to the "American French Genealogical Society. We would like to thank these researchers who given us thier name variations.
(7) Anglicized French surnames, Compiled by Robert E. Chenard and available at his website the "The French Connection". With his permission we have included them in our list. NOTE: Most of his list of Anglicized names are found in Maine but not all. Some are found in New York, Ontario, Indiana, NH, etc.

This List

AFGS would like to thank all volunteers from around the world who help convert the Surname data into a format that allowed the producing of this Surname Variations list.

The original list published on the AFGS website in 1999 involved the converting of over 35,000 names. This is the first update and now includes a large number of new names from new sources. One source is from the names submitted by researchers to us by way of this website. Over 38,000 names were reviewed sorted and duplicates removed to produce this listing.

This listing includes the name variations as they were found. We have included some names with accents. 


Updated March 10, 2003

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