François Gamache and Osite Martin gave birth to their second son, David, on 29 Mar 1845. His birth and baptism is recorded as entry B.51 in the records for St. Cyprien in Napierville.
The Birth and Baptismal Record of David Gamache – 1845
SOURCE: Gabriel Drouin, comp. Drouin Collection. Montréal, Québec, Canada: Institut Généalogique Drouin. Birth and Baptismal Record of David Gamache, St. Cyprien, Napierville, Napierville County, Canada East, Province of Canada, 1845. Front of Folio 9, B.51.
Click on the link for a PDF copy of the Birth and Baptismal Record of David Gamache – 1845. Translated from the French, the record states:
B.51. [baptism 51]
On the thirtieth of March, one thousand eight hundred forty-five, I, the undersigned priest, have baptized David, born yesterday of the legitimate marriage of François Gamache, farmer, and Osite Martin of this parish. The Godfather was David Dropin dit Leblanc, and the Godmother was Olive Fortin, who did not know how to sign.
[signed] A. Morin, Priest
This record may be found in the Québec Vital Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967 as image 9 of 31 on Ancestry.com. The record is designated as entry B.51 on the front of folio 9 in Napierville St-Cyprien for the year 1845.
This is the first record in which I’ve seen a name that has a unique French-Canadian flair: a dit name.
Briefly, a dit name, or dite name for women, is an alternate name. Literally, dit means called. Thus, David Dropin dit Leblanc is David Dropin called Leblanc. The dit name could have been adopted for a number of reasons:
The individual wanted to distinguish himself from other family members,
The individual wanted to specify his origin in France,
The individual wanted to identify himself with the place where he relocated,
The individual wanted to identify himself with a family that adopted him.
The exact reason someone assumed a dit name may never be known. To make matters more confusing for genealogists, a dit name wasn’t always used consistently, and it may not have been used by successive generations.