County WIGenWeb Project
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Anyone doing French-Canadian family research will at one point or an other discover that one or more of their ancestors had dit names and then ask, "Where did dit names come from? When did they begin? Why is it that some families had dit names and others did not?" Before we even start to discuss dit names--we should make clear what dit names are not--and they are not the following:
A dit name is definitely not a nickname.
A dit name is positively not an alias
A dit names is assuredly not an a.k.a. (also known as).
All three of the above tell you that a dit is not a replacement for an existing name, i.e. used instead of. A dit name, in fact, was an extension to an existing name, and became part and parcel of the original basic name. The custom of having dit names first began amongst the nobles and kings. It was a matter of positive identity. As an example: Guillaume, Duke of Normandie--because of his many exploits in military battles and conquests--had the name "Guillaume dit le Conquerant." Then, in 1066 when he invaded and conquered England, the English people had difficulty in pronouncing his French name of Guillaume and they called him "Gillium" but that quickly became "William". His French dit name of Guillaume dit le Conquerant then became "William the Conqueror."
The use of dit names did not come into common usage until the late 1500's, it was at this period in history that dit names became very popular in France. Families of 14, 16, and/or 18 children were not uncommon. Those large families, sedentary in nature, produced enormous numbers of duplications of names. For the authorities it created a problem of proper identification, there were too many people with the same first and last names. such people as Judges, police chiefs, priests, and others in authority had to know definitely whom they were dealing with, and this is when dit names came into common usage.
The custom of dit names was extended to the military. In the early 1600's, under the French Regime, any young man entering the service was assigned a "soubriquet" (a dit name). Usually the dit name assigned was taken from an attribute of the man. As an example: Romain Becquet was a huge man, he was given the dit name of La Montagne (the mountain man). Therefore he became Romain Becquet dit Lamontagne. The custom of the use of dit names persisted and was carried to Canada. There are some families, in the Province of Quebec, that at this late date, are still using a "double" family name. It was when the numbers of family members diminished that dit names began to disappear from the scene.
Generation No. 1
1. JOSEPH5 FAFARD-LAFRAMBOISE (JEAN-BAPTISTE4, JEAN-BAPTISTE3 FAFARD, JEAN-BAPTISTE2, BERTRAND1) died 1806. He married MARGUERITE-MADELEINE MARCOT(TE) 11 Jul, 1804 in Michillimackinac, Mackinac Co., MI, daughter of JEAN-BAPTISTE MARCOT(TE) and MARIE NESKESH/NESKETH/SARRASIN.
Children of JOSEPH FAFARD-LAFRAMBOISE and MARGUERITE-MADELEINE
i. JOSEPH6 LAFRAMBOISE.
ii. JOSETTE FAFARD-LAFRAMBOISE, b. 24 Sep, 1795; d. 24 Nov, 1820; m. BENJAMIN KENDRICK PIERCE.
Generation No. 1
1. JOHN3 MENDOSKIN (ANTOINE SHAWAN2, CHIEF JOHN1 SHAWAN) was born
December 25, 1859. He married (1) ELIZA LOUIS, daughter of CHARLES
LOUIS and LOUISA SMITH. He married (2) SOPHIA ALECK SAILOR.
Children of JOHN MENDOSKIN and ELIZA LOUIS are:
i. DAVID4 MENDOSKIN, b. Abt. 1892.
ii. JAMES MENDOSKIN, b. Abt. 1893.
iii. ANNIE MENDOSKIN, b. Abt. 1897.
iv. CHARLES MENDOSKIN, b. 1901; d. 1955.
v. JENNIE MENDOSKIN, b. Abt. 1904.
vi. NOAH MENDOSKIN, b. March 02, 1908.
Children of JOHN MENDOSKIN and SOPHIA SAILOR are:
vii. DAVID4 MENDOSKIN, b. Abt. 1890.
viii. JAMES MENDOSKIN, b. Abt. 1891.
ix. ANNIE MENDOSKIN, b. Abt. 1895.
x. CHARLES MENDOSKIN, b. Abt. 1898.
xi. JENNIE MENDOSKIN, b. Abt. 1902.