French names in the 1860 US Census of Aroostook County, Maine

First names | Last or family names
One of the biggest challenges of using the 1860 US Census to find people in the French-speaking parts of Aroostook -- in other words, in the entire valley of the Upper St.John River -- is the spelling of the names. The census takers in 1860 seemed to know more French than the ones in 1850, but since many of the names were unfamiliar to them, and since many of the people were not literate, they had to guess at the spelling. For example, many names ending in an -on or -an sound he rendered with the ending -eau.

Another complication is that the pronunciation of French in northern Aroostook county (as well as in neighboring parts of Québec and New Brunswick) has its own specificities.

Another thing to keep in mind is that in 1860 there was no single, standardized way to spell many names, so even if people could read and write they may have spelled their name differently from others with the same name. This explains much of the variation.

This is only a guide to deciphering the names. For those names for which I have definite information, I have included the correct spellings of the names in the annotations that show up in the popup boxes. This page is meant to be a guide, that is, to suggest possible ways that some common names were spelled; and to suggest possible correct spellings for some of the more common names found in the census to help point you in a direction for further research. Before you assume that the equivalents given here are correct for a specific individual, you should find other evidence for that spelling of his/her name.

If you have any other examples, or know specific names in the census, please Thanks.

Please note: This is only a guide. You should always check other sources to confirm the actual spelling of names.

Last Names

In addition to the problem of spelling French names, there is also the challenge of what are known as "dit names"; that is, in some families two different last names were used either together or separately. Thus, someone with the last name of Roy may have been listed under Roy, or under Voisine, or under both. Following the list of misspelled names is a list of dit name equivalents. For more information on dit names see FrancoGêne's page on Dit Names and Linda Jones's page on dit names.

Please note: This is only a guide. You should always check other sources to confirm the actual spelling of names.

"Real names"---> 1860 census version

Auclair = O’Clair

Audibert = Adubert

Baron = Boreau

Beaulieu = Boleau

Bélanger = Belonge, Belongir

Bérubé = Burebie, Berraby

Bois = Wood

Bonenfant = Bonfan

Bouchard = Bushaud, Buchaud

Boucher = Bushy, Bushaud, Buchaud

Boulé = Bullie, Bulie

Boutot = Butotte

Caron = Coreau

Charette = Chorette

Charron = Choreau

Clavette = Clovite

Cloutier = Cluky

Collin = Cully

Corbin - Curbie

Cormier = Comir

Côté = Coutir

Couturier = Courtior, Couturia

Daigle = D’Aigle

Dastous = Deusta

Deschênes = Deshane

Desrosiers = Derosie

Devost = Deveau

Dionne = Young

Dubé = De’Be

Dubois = De’Be, Wood

Duperré = Du’Pira

Émond = Amour

Fongemie = Forjimi

Fortin = Firteau

Fournier = Fornier

Gagnon = Gonyou, Gagnon

Gaudreau = Gutreau

Gauvin = Gover, Govah

Grivois = Grenway

Guédry = Jedry

Guérette = Yourette

Guimond = Diemon

Hughes = Hewes

Gervais = Jervis

Labbé = Le’Be

Labrie = Labre

Labonté = LeBonti

Lafrance = France

Lagacé = Legasse

Lajoie = Lovejoy

Lamarre = L’Amour

Lang = Long

Langlois = English

Lauzier = Lougir

Lebel = Bell

Leclair = Clare

Leduc = Duke

Levasseur = Vassieur

Lévesque = LeVique

Marquis = Marque, Marqui, Markee

Mercure = Markee

Morneau = Murno

Nadeau = Nado

Pelletier = Peltier

Paradis = Perodie

Picard = Picore

Pinette = Penit, Penite

Plourde = Plude

Quinn = Queen

Raymond = Romain, Rimon. Remo

Rossignol = Rosinal

Roy = King

Roy-Lauzier = Lasie

Ruest/Ruais = Elui

Saucier = Soucier

Soucy = Soucier, Suci

St.Amant = St.Amond, St.Thomas

St-Germain = Squirrel*

St.Pierre = St.Peter

Sylvain = Sylvin, Sylvie

Tardif = Terdis

Thériault = Tarreo

Turgeon = Torgeau

Vaillancourt = Villeancourt

Voisine = possibly Ouissin

1860 census version ---> "real names"

Adubert = Audibert

Amour = Émond

Bell = Lebel

Belonge = Bélanger

Belongir = Bélanger

Berraby = Bérubé

Boleau = Beaulieu

Bonfan = Bonenfant

Boreau = Baron

Bullie, Bulie = Boulé

Burebie = Bérubé

Bushaud, Buchaud = Bouchard, Boucher

Bushy = Boucher

Butotte - Boutot

Choreau = Charron

Chorette = Charette

Clare = Leclair

Clovite = Clavette

Cluky = Cloutier

Comir = Cormier

Coreau = Caron

Couturia = Couturier

Courtior = Couturier

Coutir = Côté

Cully = Collin

Curbie = Corbin

D’Aigle = Daigle

De’Be = Dubé, Dubois

Derosie = Desrosiers

Deshane = Deschênes

Deusta = Dastous

Deveau = Devost

Diemon = Guimond

Duke = Leduc

Du’Pira = Duperré

Elui = Ruest/Ruais

English = Langlois

Firteau = Fortin

Forjimi = Fongemie

Fornier = Fournier

France = Lafrance

Gonyou = Gagnon

Govah = Gauvin

Gover = Gauvin

Grenway = Grivois

Gutreau = Gaudreau

Hewes = Hughes

Jedry = Guédry

Jervis = Gervais

King = Roy

Labre = Labrie

Lasie = Lauzier (Roy-Lauzier)

L’Amour = Lamarre

Le’Be = Labbé

Lebonti = Labonté

Lefelieur = Laferrière

Legasse = Lagacé

LeVique = Lévesque

Long = Lang

Lougir = Lauzier

Lovejoy = Lajoie

Markee, Marque, Marqui = Marquis

Markee = Mercure

Murno = Morneau

Nado = Nadeau

O’Clair = Auclair

Ouissin = possibly Voisine

Peltier = Pelletier

Penit, Penite = Pinette

Perodie = Paradis

Picore = Picard

Plude = Plourde

Queen = Quinn

Remo = Raymond

Rimon = Raymond

Romain = Raymond

Rosinal = Rossignol

Soucier = Saucier, Soucy

St.Peter = St.Pierre

St.Thomas = St.Amant

Squirrel = St-Germain-Cureux*

Sylvin, Sylvie = Sylvain

Tarreo = Thériault

Terdis = Tardif

Torgeau = Turgeon

Vassieur = Levasseur

Villeancourt = Vaillancourt

Wood = Bois, Dubois

Young = Dionne

Yourette = Guérette

*This is one name that had me stumped, until I found out that a "dit" name for St-Germain is Cureux; the French for squirrel is écureuil; thus perhaps the census taker merely "translated" the dit name of the St-Germains. Or perhaps the census taker heard the English word "squirrel" when the French speakers said "Cureux".

Dit names


First Names

First names, if they were common ones, were put down in their English equivalents. Thus Jean became John (and the common name Jean-Baptiste was usually written down as John B.), Édouard - Edward, François - Francis, Michel - Michael, Antoine - Anthony, Henry - Henri, Marie - Mary, etc. Others were written down phonetically according to how the census taker heard them. They were rarely consistent in spelling. Included here are common abbreviations used in this census.

1860 census version ---> "real names"

Alair = Hilaire

Alexy = Alexis

Amabe, Amebe = Amable

Angelic = Angélique

Annri = Henri, Honoré

Artans = Hortense

Benj. = Benjamin

Brineau = Bruno

Calasty = Scholastique

Cetey = Docithé

Chas. = Charles

Christmas = Noël

Damus = Damase

Demrise = Demerise

Deusta = Augustin

Dinah = Délina

Doriman = Dorimène

Dumas = Damase

Dussite = Dosithe

Elexee = Alexis

Eli = Hilaire

Elway = Éloi

Emay, Emey = Aimé (men's name)

Exeause = Elzéar

Fearah = Zéphirin

Febrance, Frebrance = Fébronie

Felemon = Philomène

Femmie = Euphémie

Fermin = Firmin

Flerent, Flerante = Fleurent

Flevy, Flevie = Flavie

Flora = Fleurent

Frisine = Euphrosine

Geo. = Georges

Harriett = Henriette

Henry = Honoré

H.N. = Étienne

Israel = Isaïe, Israel

Jere. = abbrev. for Jeremiah

Jeremiah = Germain, Jérémie

LeCarte = Léocade

LeNoire = Eléonore

Lodie = Élodie

Metied, Metiet , Mitaite = Méthaïde

Osime = Onézime

Patk. = Patrick

Paul = Hyppolite

Pauline = Appoline

Perpha = Parfait

Philoman, Philamen = Philomène

Placey = Placide

Prudhon = Prudent

Prudun = Prudent

Regeste = Régis

Richard = Régis

Rosimo = Rosimond

Salomy = Salomée

Saml. = Samuel

Samuel = Ansèlme

Sélina = Céline

Talie = Nathalie

Taline = Vitaline

Tazie, Tarsie, Torsie = Anastasie

Thadeus = Thadée

Thomas = Damase (also Thomas)

Twin = Antoine

Zavier = Xavier, usually short for François-Xavier

Zazee = Isaïe

Zedore = Isidore

Zite = Ozithée

Return to 1860 US Census of Upper St.John River Valley

Last revised 6 Apr 2007
© 2004-2007 C. Gagnon