rare name Nérée - is it a nickname for Honoré?

+1 vote
Dear WikiTree-ers who like the history of names and know French: What is the derivation of this boy's name Nérée? There are very few on WikiTree.  I'm getting a slight whiff of a possible connection to the name Honoré - any chance of that being real?



editted to spell it correctly as Nérée rather than Néré
WikiTree profile: Néré Rochon
in Genealogy Help by Shirlea Smith G2G6 Mach 9 (93.1k points)
edited by Shirlea Smith

PRDH - Std. First Name and Associated Variant(s)

 Std FN



Abs. %

Cum. %












10 others









Based on this PRDH summary table:

  • Proper FN & Preferred Name = Nérée

7 Answers

+4 votes
Best answer
I agree with the Greek mythology origin. Related to the sea and the Nereids. Curiously in university i met the only Nerea i have ever known of, and she studied Oceanography!
by Laura Lopez Van Dam G2G5 (5.5k points)
selected by Danielle Liard
+3 votes
Néré ou Nérée  is rare but not unheard of.  I am personally familiar with a Nérée Curé whose father was Nérée Curé.

PRDH says Nérée occupies the 316th rank in terms of given name popularity.

First name Alone With
Rank (sexes
NEREE 201 324 525 316
+5 votes
My husband has an ancestor whose name was Nere as well. Nere Rancourt from Quebec. Please pretend that the name I just typed, has the appropriate accent marks.

Anyway, this fellow with the rare name (Nere Rancourt) was my husbands 2x great grandfather. We have no idea who his parents or family were.

by Robynne Lozier G2G6 Pilot (685k points)
According to his Find-A-Grave profile Nere's parents were Joseph  Rancourt and Therese Labbe. He remarried after Helene's death. Her name was Justine Bourdon.


Both Joseph's parents and Therese's parents have profiles on Wikitree.

Joseph's parents were Joseph Rancour (Joseph-2182) and Marie Marguerite Turcot (Turcot-266).

Therese's parents were Louis Andre Labbe (Labbe-89) and Therese Poulin (Poulin-234).
filled in some data for you on his profile, and added some notes also.
the Find-a-Grave site has to be in error, Joseph Rancourt married with Thérèse Queret dite Labbé died in 1835.
+4 votes

Néré or Nérée seem to be French versions of the Greek name Νηρεύς (Nereus).

by Jessica Key G2G6 Pilot (120k points)

Nereus means water - or at lkeast the name is associated with water and possible also with the sea gods called Nereids

Thank you for that Jessica.

behindthename.com does not include an entry for Néré but does say:

  • Nérée is a submitted name contributed by user of their website the definitional accuracy of which cannot be guaranteed.
  • Nere is a feminine name that means "mine" in Basque.

filae.com says the origin of the last name Neree is a masculin Greek first name celebrated on the 12th of May the etymology of which comes from nereus, god of the sea in greek mythology.

(Origine et étymologie du patronyme NEREE — 

Origine : Neree est un prénom du genre masculin l'origine de ce nom est grecque sa fête se célèbre le 12 mai son étymologie vient de nereus : dieu de la mer dans la mythologie grecque .)

Lastly, see fr.wikipedia.org :

Dans la mythologie grecque, Nérée (en grec ancien Νηρεύς / Nêreús, de νέειν / néein, « nager ») est un dieu marin primitif, surnommé le « vieillard de la Mer ».

+2 votes

yes, Nérée is rare, found his marriage and baptism for you so those are now entered, his wife's given name isn't much better frankly.  cheeky

by Danielle Liard G2G6 Pilot (253k points)

Very true about his wife's name, too!

Thanks again!  I was able to find that Nérée's parents were in the tree, and get them reunited as a family!

good show  laugh

+3 votes

In New France, all catholic first names had to be named for saints such that Néré Rochon should actually be named Nérée Rochon, Saint-Nérée was the enoch or chamberlain of Domitille, niece of the emperor Domitian, who was baptised by the apostle Peter. 


Thanks!  very helpful!

he is after New France days by some 50 years, and I don't know where you get that all catholic first names had to be named after saints.  I've seen some names that have no saint of any kind even remotely similar.

In 1813, you would likely not be able to be baptised in roman catholic rite without a given name based on a saint. I would be interesting to find out when the catholic church allowed baptism not named for a saint.

See for example, Calendrier des prénoms de saints pour les garçons et les filles:

  • Jusqu’au XIXe siècle, la règle était simple pour choisir un prénom. Le parrain donnait son prénom à son filleul et la marraine le sien à sa filleule. Les parents n’arrivaient pas à se décider ou se mettre d’accord ?

Bishop François de Laval started the rule requiring priests to baptize newborn infants with a first name based on a saint.

Danielle, it was a general rule among Catholics that there had to be a saint's name given at baptism, and in some times and places they may even have tried to specify that it be the first one if several names were given, but of course nobody could enforce any rules about which name(s) people actually ended up using and in what order.

Selon Un brin d'histoire - le choix du prénom en Nouvelle-France:

  • C’est ainsi que dans son «Rituel du Diocèse de Québec», Monseigneur de Saint-Vallier énonçait les règles à suivre pour la rédaction des actes d’état civil dans les termes suivants: «L’Église défend aux Curez de permettre qu’on donne des noms profanes ou ridicules à l’enfant, comme Apollon, Diane, etc. Mais elle commande qu’on lui donne le nom d’un Saint ou d’une Sainte selon son sexe, afin qu’il puisse imiter les vertus et ressentir les effets de la protection auprès de Dieu…» 
Edit: Note English translation of above excerpted from PRDH page at First and Last Names.
lol, children so often received the name of the godparent of same gender that we wound up with several siblings of the same name fairly often.  The bishop may have issued such an order, doesn't necessarily follow that it was enforced by anybody.  Possibly in New France days it was, but in latter days it would have lost force.  Never heard of a saint by the name of Danielle, the name stems from the biblical Daniel as far as I know, who isn't canonized.
The issue is about Nérée Rochon born in 1813. The answer to that question is evidently multi-faceted and the use of the first name Nérée based on a saint looms large in this issue.

At this remove, we cannot know if this was a family name handed down or was picked for some other reason.  

Le nom de la paroisse rappelle la mémoire de Joseph-Nérée Gingras (1825-1893), curé de Saint-Gervais, qui contribua activement à l'ouverture de la mission de Saint-Nérée et la desservit de 1881 à 1883. Le saint patron Nérée et son frère Achille furent soldats romains; ils comptent parmi les premiers martyrs de la Chrétienté. À Rome, une basilique leur est dédiée.

All might as well benefit from post of Wikipédia article Nérée et Achillée.

For the record, PRDH's rankings among the baptised in Quebec before 1800 for the first names 'Daniel' & 'Danielle' are respectively 220 & 955, which is consistent with the Wikipedia article Daniel (biblical figure) to the effect that "The Roman Catholic Church commemorates St. Daniel in the Roman Martyrology on July 21."

+1 vote

The question asks if Nérée is a nickname for Honoré and the answer clearly shows that Nérée is not only not a nickname of Honoré but that the etymology of the first name Nérée as used in the Nérée Rochon profile includes two main aspects:

  • As defined in two answers herein in regard to Greek mythology, Nérée is the French form of the ancient Greek term Νηρεύς / Nêreús.
  • As also defined  herein, Nérée also derived meaning in the early 19th century when Nérée Rochon was baptised from the practice in the Roman Catholic rite of basing the first name Nérée on the saint of the same name, Saint-Nérée.

Edit, Dec 5: Here is what PRDH has to say about First Names and their popularity:

  • "Among Catholics, choice of first name  wasn’t left to chance or parents’ imagination. On the contrary, the church liked to control the attribution of first names to ensure that on the day they were baptised, children received the name of a saint who would guide them throughout their life. In the Rituel du Diocèse de Québec, which laid out the rules to follow for writing baptismal, marriage, and burial certificates in Quebec, Monsignor de Saint-Vallier stipulated, "The Church forbids Priests from allowing profane or ridiculous names to be given to the child, such as Apollon, Diane, etc. But it commands that the child be given the name of a male or female Saint, depending on its sex, so that it can imitate the virtues and feel the effects of God’s protection." A list of accepted names – 1,251 for boys and 373 for girls – was published in an appendix to the Rituel. ... As well as a strong religious flavour, these rules resulted in a high concentration of relatively few first names in New France." [bold emphasis added]

Edit2, Dec 5: Hence, a first name based on a Greek mythology god alone (such as Apollon, Diane, etc.) was forbidden; only if also used as a saint could the Greek mythology god name Nereus be allowed as first name. 


Page 585 of TABLE ALPHABETIQUE DES NOMS DE SAINTS ET DE SAINTES que l'on peut donner aux Enfans, au Baptême, & à la Confirmation included in annex of Rituel du diocèse de Québec : publié par l'ordre de Mgr de Saint Valier (sic), évêque de Québec (BAnQ digitized book, published in 1703) shows the entry 'Nêrée M. 11 M. Nereus', where the 1st M. stands for martyr and the 2nd M. stands for May, the month when the name of saint was commemorated.

There is also on p. 577 of this annex the entry 'Daniel Proph. 12 Jl', where Proph. is abbreviation presumably for prophet and Jl stands for July.

Edit: Above should read

  • "... the entry 'Nêrée M. 11 M. Nereus', where the 1st M. stands for martyr, the 2nd M. stands for May, and 11 M. stands for 11 May."  
  • "... the entry 'Daniel Proph. 12 Jl', where Proph. is abbreviation presumably for prophet, Jl stands for July, and 12 Jl stands for 12 July.

I'm a January baby myself, the name had been reserved by my mother for any girl she would have, the women in the family made some sort of agreement not to have duplicate names for their children, there are 40 of us with all different names in my generation (siblings and first cousins).  laugh

Just to make clear, there was never any explicit or implicit religious obligation that any given saint's commemoration date (as originally indicated in the Rituel's saint list entry) should coincide with any given infant's baptism date.

Related questions

+6 votes
1 answer
+4 votes
2 answers
84 views asked Oct 11, 2017 in Genealogy Help by Yvonne Stevens G2G Crew (430 points)
+5 votes
2 answers
132 views asked Jun 20, 2017 in Policy and Style by Cindy Cooper G2G6 Mach 6 (61.2k points)
+3 votes
3 answers
+6 votes
6 answers
194 views asked Jan 22, 2018 in Policy and Style by Guy Constantineau G2G6 Pilot (341k points)
+4 votes
2 answers

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright