Thursday, November 29, 2012

French Canadian surnames - Part 1

My great grandfather was born George Arthur Deschamps in Nashua, NH in 1885. He later Anglicized his name to Fields (because Deschamps means Of the Fields in French.) I know a lot of families with more ethnic sounding names change their names to a more Anglicized version, but for those that didn't, I wanted to know what the surnames meant. So I started researching some of the French names on my maternal side.

Desmarais = of the marsh
Bougy/Bougie = (possibly) a candle
Royer = a meadow
Lapointe = nickname for a soldier and/or It was used of a worker with a kind of lace used to fasten  together the doublet and hose
Trahan = one who pulled the silk, a trahandier.Giroux means 'the son of Geri', a personal name introduced to Britain by the Normans during the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. The name is composed of the element GERI (spear) + the second element meaning 'hardy, brave and strong'.
Lachance = lucky
Drapeau = a flag
Doironsomeone from Oiron in Deux-Sèvres
Metayer = sharecropper
Toupinfrom toupin, which in medieval French meant ‘spinning-top’, possibly a nickname; in Occitan, however, it denotes a small earthenware pot and was probably a metonymic occupational name for a potter.
Dumont = of the mountain
Pepin = seed of a fruit
Fontaine = fountain or natural spring
Chabot = (possibly) person with a large head
Lille = a French town in northern Flanders France (on the Dutch border)
Poulet = chicken or Paulet = from latin paulus = small
Messier = harvester (someone involved in harvesting crops)
Petit = small person (or the smaller of two people with the same given name)
Roy = old French roi, meaning king
Meunier = miller (or someone from Meunet)
Mezeray = a town in northwestern France



Death in the Family

My mother's cousin passed away last week on the way home from visiting his daughter and two of his grandchildren. John Richard Fields was only 66 years old and certainly much too young. My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, two children, and three grandchildren. Rest in Peace Johnny.

John RFields, 66 of No. Reading and formerly of Stoneham died suddenly November 22. Born in Everett on June 23, 1946 he was the son of the late Robert A. & Eileen (Murray)Fields. Mr. Fields was raised in Stoneham and was a graduate of Stoneham High School and later from Northeastern University in Boston. He was a retired accountant and was an avid Boston sports fan. He was active in earlier years as an assistant Boy Scout Leader and coach in youth soccer and softball. He also enjoyed bowling. Mr. Fields is survived by his wife Maureen T. (DiCarlo) Fields, his daughter Amy Liberto and her husband Sal of River Ridge, LA and his son John RFields, Jr. of No. Reading. He was the brother of Robert, Thomas, James, Richard and Eugene Fields, Carolyn O'Keefe, Dorothy Harkins, Margaret O'Neil, Bernadette Lyall and the late William Fields. He was the grandfather of Lilly & Emery Liberto and Kaleb Fields. He was the brother in-law of Deborah and Brian Krenzer and the son in-law of the late Matthew & Louise (Cataldo) DiCarlo. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews. His funeral will be held from the McDonald – Finnegan Funeral Home 322 Main St. Stoneham Thursday at 9am followed by a funeral mass in St. Patrick Church 71 Central St. Stoneham at 10:00. Visitation for relatives and friends will be held at the funeral home Wednesday 4-8pm. Memorial contributions may be made to the North Reading Dollars For Scholars Citizen's Foundation, P.O. Box 529, North Reading, MA 01864


“By some chance, here they are, all on this earth; and who shall ever tell the sorrow of being on this earth, lying, on quilts, on the grass, in a summer evening, among the sounds of the night. May God bless my people, my uncle, my aunt, my mother, my good father, oh, remember them kindly in their time of trouble; and in the hour of their taking away." - James Agee A Death in the Family

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday

DSC_0048 by Barresi3
DSC_0048, a photo by Barresi3 on Flickr.

This is the tombstone of my 2nd great grandfather Louis Deschamps. He was born in Quebec, but lived most of his life in Nashua, NH. He was a skilled carpenter by trade and a few of the houses he built and lived in, still stand today over 100 years later. He is buried in St. Louis de Gonzague Cemetery, Nashua, NH.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

When Did You Get Here?

I do my research from a number of different computers and workstations, so I decided to write down some notes for myself to have on hand at all times. The first list I wanted to come up with was an Ancestor's Arrival list. I'm not sure how this note will help me going forward, but I feel like I'm always looking for these dates as I try and make connections and solidify facts. Here is what the list looks like:

From France
Nicholas Joseph Deschamps, arrived in Nova Scotia before 1730
Paul Desmarais, arrived in Quebec before 1681

From Ireland
Ellen Moynihan, arrived 1881
Mary A. Slattery, arrived before 1864
Mary J. Ennis, arrived 1882
William Driscoll, arrived 1888/9
Mary Murphy, arrived 1880

From Italy
Diomina Tammaro, arrived 1905
Antonio Beatrice, arrived 1894
Carmela Bochicchio, arrived 1897
Stefano Belmonte, arrived 1893
Rosa Ledda, arrived 1893
Francesco Barresi, arrived 1906
Caterina Nolfo, arrived 1906

From Germany (likely Germany)
Huff, arrived before 1747
Carolus Charles Volck, arrived 1708


From England
James Paul Slater, arrived before 1864