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How Lucky Are We? What's in a name?
That which we call a rose

The Lachance Name            
From whence it came . . .

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose,
by any other name would smell as sweet."
From Romeo and Juliet, we learn... what matters is what something is, not what it is called.
See the REAL story below

What's in a NameWhat's in a Name?
Happy farmers name their cows. Why? Because new research out of Newcastle University shows cows with names produce more milk than those without.
In January 2009 - a study suggests that unpopular names may be linked to juvenile delinquency.
In June 2004, the Supreme Court handed down a decision in the case of Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada that says, when a police officer suspecting you of a crime stops you in the street and asks your name, you can be prosecuted for refusing to answer.

Obviously, there's a lot in a name!
So what's the story of ours?
  The Pépin Name
As found on, the name is French (Pépin) and English: from the Old French personal name Pepis, oblique case Pepin (introduced to Britain by the Normans). Of uncertain origin, it was borne by several Frankish kings, most notably Pepin le Bref, father of Charlemagne, and remained popular throughout the early Middle Ages. Reaney and Wilson suggest that late-formed examples of the English surname may alternatively be from Old French pepin, pipin ‘seed of a fruit’, and thus a metonymic occupational name for a gardener or grower of fruit trees. This surname is also established in northwest Germany, around Cologne. Ancestry cites the source as: Dictionary of American Family Names, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508137-4

Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863) - Shipwreck of Don Juan - Oil on canvas, 1840 First This Bit of Info Sometime in the late 1970's I heard a story about how Antoine Pépin came to be known as "Lachance" (the lucky one). As it was told to me, and the story was sketchy at best, Antoine Pépin was said to have arrived off the coast of Île d'Orléans during a violent storm. The ship wrecked before making landfall. As the group from the ship made their way on shore they were greeted, and subsequently slaughtered, by the native population. Antoine escaped and was, from that day forward, known as Pépin "called the lucky one" Lachance.

Perhaps a little of both - please read on.

The Pépin Name In HistoryThe Pepin Name In History Book - Available at Amazon
A book is available that is part of the “Our Name in History” series, a collection of fascinating (Larry's note "NOT so fascinating") facts and statistics, alongside short historical commentary, created to tell the story of previous generations who have shared this name. The information in this book is a compendium of research and data pulled from census records, military records, ships' logs, immigrant and port records, as well as other reputable sources. The book is available from Amazon for $29.95 (as of February 2009). Of course, I ordered the book to add it to my library. I've provided a link to this book at amazon below. See the book at Amazon.comClick on the Amazon logo to visit (in a new window).
LARRY OPINES: The book arrived Feburary 11th, 2009 - interesting facts, yes, but can be found anywhere...and my advice, don't waste your money!
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Louise Guertin, with husband Leo - to whom the story was passed. Louise Guertin In January 2009, Louise, the granddaughter of Alfred Philéas Lachance sent me an email, with the longhand version of the story that Alfred had passed on to his children and grandchildren as had been passed to him by his father, Alexis Pépin dit Lachance.

My thanks to Louise for passing this story on and keeping it alive. And, my thanks to Louise for all of the help with her line of the family.

After reading the story, and recalling what I had heard more than 30 years ago, I'd like to believe...
THIS is the "real story".
Alfred Philéas Lachance
Alexis (baptized Pépin 22 April 1843) Lachance, was the 4th great-grandson of Antoine, our ancestor. He married Octavia Forand in Webster, MA, Jun 6, 1862. Dr. Alfred P. Lachance - grandfather of Louise and keeper of the story.His son (pictured here), Alfred Philéas was born May 17, 1878 at Saint-Alphonse (de Shefford), Québec, Canada and died in Massachusetts in 1971.

Alfred would be the one who passed what he was told by his father down to the next two generations.

The photo of Alfred (above), which replaces one I found on a passport application, was generoulsy sent to me by Louise. She also sent me her own photo (left), taken with her husband Leo, both received in February 2009.
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The Real Story? Certainly there seems to be a common thread of Indian involvement between the two stories and this story, since it has been passed down from generation to generation, certainly makes perfect sense and, to me at least, is something that is very likely to have occured. This is the story as it was spoken and later written...

Antoine Pépin dit Lachance Story
The REAL story!

Snare trap of the type likely to be used by AntoineIt seems that Antoine Pépin positioned his animal traps too close to the traps of a particular Indian so the Indian attacked and stabbed Antoine fourteen times and left him for dead. Amazingly, Antoine was able to crawl to the hut of an old Indian woman, who nursed him back to health. Sometime later, the Indian and he met at the Trading Post where they recognized each other and a fight ensued. Antoine killed the Indian. The angry members of the tribe set out to find Antoine and when they caught up with him, he surrendered and was brought before the chief.
This could very well be the REAL story!After relating this story to the Chief, and showing him his scars, the Chief released him. Thus, when Antoine returned to his home and village, he became known as Antoine PÉPIN DIT LACHANCE - in English this would be, “Pépin say the lucky one”
Origin of French Surnames
Click on the BBC logo to see the BBC storyThe BBC has an article on line called “Family History – Getting Started”and it includes “What’s in a name.” While it discusses surnames of British origin the article is very informative. (Click on the logo to open in a new window)
One part reads:   The sources from which names are derived are almost endless: nicknames, physical attributes, counties, trades, heraldic charges, and almost every object known to mankind. (Larry's Note: Politically Incorrect use of "mankind", now known as humankind). Tracing a family tree, in practice, involves looking at lists of these names - this is how we recognize our ancestors when we find them.
This article is well worth the read.
From the Ancestor Search website we find, and I have copied, the following:

French surnames were first used in the 11th century to distinguish people who had the same given name, but surnames for all didn't become common until centuries later.
As in other countries, French surnames developed from four major sources:
  • Patronymic Surnames - A surname based on the first name of the father is the most common category of French last names. A French prefix or suffix is sometimes added to a given name to form a patronymic surname.
    • French suffixes, meaning 'son of', is attached to the end of given name:
      • -eau Moreau - son of the Moor.
    • French Prefixes, meaning 'son of', is attached to the beginning of a given name:
      • De- Depaul - Son of Paul
      • Fitz- Fitzroy - Son of the King
    • Most French patronymic surnames do not have a prefix or suffix:
      • Girard
      • Martin
  • Occupational Surnames - A surname based on the person's job or trade is also common.
      • Chevalier - Knight
      • Fournier - Baker
      • Lefevre - Iron Smith
  • Descriptive Surnames - A surname based on the person or personality, usually a nickname.
      • Brun - A person with brown hair or complexion
      • Petit - A small person or a junior
      • Lachance - A lucky or fortunate person
  • Geographical Surnames - A surname based on a person's residence or former residence
      • Desmarais - lives by the marsh
      • Dupont - lives by the bridge
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The Story of Antoine - PDF Version - CLICK HEREI've taken the liberty of writing this out so that if you want a copy you can have one for your own files. Please "click on the image" for a PDF version of the story of Antoine Pépin dit Lachance and how we became "Lachance".
Finding Lachance
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We find that it was not LACHANCE at first, rather is was Pépin and it became LACHANCE after the arrival of our original immigrant ancestor, André, it was his son, Antoine who was the first to be known as Pépin dit Lachance.
Then, our name began to change, thanks to our ancestors reliance on a priest, notary, or someone else to spell for them resulting in corruptions of the spelling. Then, we moved on, from Canada to the US where English was spoken and again, someone else had to write down, what they thought they heard. Some of the changes we made ourselves, to better assimilate with the American English speakers.

Since I started researching our family, I've found our name in many forms, I have listed some here:
Pépin dit Lachance, Pépin, Pappan, Pippin, Lachance, Loucke, Lucky, Lashus, Lewis, Lashanse, Lachanse, Chance, Chaunce, Chase, Chace, and a few others.
So you see, what really matters is who we are, not what we are called.

Today Is March 24, 2018 - This page was last reviewed or updated 3315 day(s), 22 hours ago.
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