Is Voilet a dit name for Ouellet?

+7 votes
in Genealogy Help by Dawn Ellis G2G6 Mach 8 (85.3k points)
edited by Dawn Ellis
Well what I understand from what my father has told me is that before a certain time (unsure of the dates, pre-1900's) a lot of French names had a "pre-last name". eg: Voilet Dit Ouellet or Roy Dit Ouellet. Eventually many shortened their last name to Ouellet or Violet.

Here is a link I just found for you. Interesting read.

PRDH database statistics, covering up to 1799, for standard names Ouellet & Violette:

Names   Sub-total Total
1 Ouellet 18773 18773
10 Variants  Bet. 101 & 2740 6725
108 Variants  Bet. 1 & 98 1887
119 Total 27385 27385
1 violette 46 46
1 violet 16 16
1 viollette 2 2
3 Total 64 64

That is, no Violet variant included in Ouellet standard name, with Violet variant included in standard name Violette.

Actually the name would be more like OUELLET(TE) -/dit VIOLET, except that VIOLET would not be considered a dit name, it is a transliteration.  For a listing of early dit names see Tanguay's set, vol. 7 lists dit names up to approximately 1760. Tanguay has the following for OUELLET: AUCLAIR, CROCHET, HOELET, HOUALLET, LESPERANCE, and OYLET, as you can see he includes spelling variations.

PRDH shows the following counts for 2nd & 3rd most common variants of standard name Ouellet:

Ouelette   2740
Ouellette   1389

My table in above comment is, for simplification purposes, a summary of detailed count and name variants for all variants that PRDH includes in its database. That is, spelling and count for each name variant is readily available in PRDH database. The overwhelming advantage of PRDH data is that PRDH has a computerized database and the benefit of University of Montreal resources, which Tanguay did not have over a century ago.
Also, PRDH does not show the dit name (what PRDH calls nickname) Violet for the standard name Ouellet.
Dawn, do you have an exemple or your Voilet Ouellet ?
I have seen Wellet once or twice, and in French W is actually pronounced V, so that may be where the confusion stems from.

PRDH shows no dit name Ouellet for standard name Violette:

2 violette carabin
1 violette coutras
1 violette dorange
4 violette guermier
1 violette pauschould
1 violette ranger
the name mentioned is Voilet, not Violet.  Voilet can sound like Ouellet/Wellet

Violet is also mentioned. So which is it violet or voilet?

Bingo? PRDH says Voilet is a variant, and not a dit name, of the standard name Ouellet mentioned in 23 documents of the database.

PRDH : List of variants for the standard name Ouellet

1 Answer

+6 votes
The names are written phonetically.
The spelling is different but the pronunciation is the same.
by E Martin G2G6 Mach 7 (73.5k points)
Ok, Thanks
yeah, the name gets mangled any which way you can think of.
I have found two children so far who have been called Voilet in at least one PR entry. Makes sense to me though what you are saying. Thanks

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