Friday, October 15, 2010

What's In A Name?

This week I re-started a very old project.  It's been sitting in a plastic tub in my bedroom closet for the last 10 years.  I've thought often of this project and wished I could return to it.  I just knew it would be too time consuming for a working mom with three kids and no real time to devote to the project.  So, there it sat, waiting for me.  I bet you all think it's some gigantic afghan that I never finished crocheting.  It's not, but much like yarn becomes an afghan with patience and lots of hard work, the subject of my project evolved over centuries with love, dedication, and hard work.  This project is all about my family.  My father's family to be exact.  This week I re-opened my genealogy files.  I'm very excited to see what new information develops since my last quest.  Many things have changed over 10 years.  Not the least of which is the fact that I am no longer a busy mom.  That has been a much lamented theme of this blog.  Well, maybe now I've found that something extra to keep me busy.  Also, the internet has so much more to offer these days than it did 10 years ago.  So off I go in quest of the Dion ancestry.

I've always been fascinated by my French-Canadian heritage.  I don't know why exactly.  I'm really a Heinz 57 mixture of nationalities.  Some German, Irish, English and yes, even a little Polish (this explains a lot about me, doesn't it?).  But whenever someone asks what nationality I am, I always say French-Canadian.  Maybe because it has a more exotic and romantic sound to it than saying you're German.  Or maybe it's because those people to the north are just so darn nice, eh?  In all reality, it probably has a lot to do with the stories my grandmother told.  The ones where we are related to the famous Dionne quintuplets.  The first surviving quintuplets in history.  What little kid wouldn't be fascinated by that?  So, I grew up being fascinated with being French-Canadian and loving my last name.  I had a very hard time giving it up when I got married but I was too much of a traditionalist to keep it.  I'm so looking forward to finding all my Dion ancestors and finding out if they are as fascinating as I've always imagined they would be.

Here are a few pictures of my father and his family:

This is my dad, Art (right) and my Uncle Ted (left).  There are no dates on these pictures so I have to guess.  I'm thinking this one is probably around 1934.  There are pictures of my youngest brother John at around this same'd think it was the same person.

This one I'm guessing is probably around 1939 or 1940.  Again my dad on the right and my uncle on the left.  They really were cute boys!

Here's one of the whole family.  Again my dad is on the right.  Was there some kind of picture rule back then that the oldest had to be on the right?  I wonder.  I'm going to guess this picture is somewhere between 1945 and 1947 give or take.  See that great wave in the front of my dad's hair....he gave that to me.  The wonders of DNA.

So there you have it.  The beginnings of my ancestry hunt.  I'll keep you posted from time to time on how it's going.  Wish me luck!

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

Quote for the Week:

We inhereit from our ancestors gifts so often taken for granted...Each of us contains within...this inheritance of soul.  We are links between the ages, containing past and present expectations, sacred memories and future promise.

~Edward Sellner~


  1. Thank you Ger for taking this on!

    Wow, that middle picture of my dad looks exactly like Nic!

    I've always heard that one of the Dion dudes dropped the "ne" from Dionne. It would be nice if you could verify this and if true - why? From what I understand, Dionne is pronounced with a long O and Dion is pronounced with an "ah" like Celine. My boys have always pronounced our last name with an "ah" 'cause they think it sounds cooler ;)

    Thanks again - Ted J.

  2. Yay! I'm very excited by this. I can't wait to see what you find out...and I super <3 the pictures of grandpa and Uncle great!

  3. This should be very interesting. I'll be excited to hear what you find out. Love the pictures too.