What's in a Name Banner
Pepin dit Lachance
At least 20 different surnames are associated with the name Pépin and, as a minimum, 10 different surnames are associated with the name Lachance!
What's In a Name - Romeo and Juliet
And from this we learn
What matters is what something is, not what it is called.
The name "LACHANCE"
From whence it came!
It's not from France!
Pet Shop Boys Name Change
I’m not sure about the “smell as sweet" part, barring a generous application of petunia juice, but I do know - A Lachance is a Lachance is a … Lashus or a Pépin or a Luck or…(huh?)

While PETA may not have liked the name of the Pet Shop Boys and asked them to change it, our name does come from somebody, somewhere making a choice or being told to choose. 
That choice may have been the decision of one of our own, or it could have been a representative of the church, a misspelling on a document or even a customs official who couldn’t speak French and wrote down the name as he heard it.  Adding to the difficulty of finding our ancestors is the fact that in Québec, the name started as Pépin. Then there is the name Caillot dit Lachance (a completely unrelated family most often from Missouri).
KNOWN NAME ASSOCIATONS
PEPIN - Barolette, Barolille, Cardonnet, De la Fond, Descardonnets, DuCardonnet, Lachance, (see below) Lashanse, Lachaussée, Lafond, Laforce, Laforge, Papin, Peppan, Phipin, Piper, Pippin, Refort, Senet, and  Tranchemontagne
LACHANCE - Lashon, Lashua, Lashus, Lewis, Pépin, (see above) Pépen, Sanche, Luck, Lashanse, Locke, Lucky
What's in a Name?
Happy farmers name their cows. Why? Because 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
Ancestry.com says 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.
The Lachance Name
French: secondary surname for Pepin, from la chance ‘luck’, hence a nickname for a lucky person (or ironically, an unlucky one).
Lachance I Am
And So The Search Begins!
The Shipwreck of Don Juan - Eugene Delacroix
The Shipwreck of Don Juan - Eugene Delacroix - 1840
Location: Louvre, Paris, France
A Story I Heard (at the time) I Thought Beliveable
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 allegedly 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.
Pepin Name In History Book
"The Pépin Name in History"
no longer available?
The Pépin Name in History
The book pictured above WAS available at Amazon. It was a part of the “Our Name in History” series. It was described as "a collection of fascinating facts and statistics, alongside short historical commentary, created to tell the story of previous generations who have shared this name".  (Larry's note: "It was NOT fascinating").

This book is was $29.95 (in February 2009), and of course, I ordered the book to add it to my library.  As of June 2018, it appears it is only listed at Ancestry UK and is possibly "out of print".

LARRY OPINES: My copy of this book arrived Feburary 11th, 2009. It does have interesting facts, but these facts can be found anywhere.  If you get a wild hair and decide you might want a copy, my advice would be, don't waste your money!
The Source For The Most Likely Explanation (my opinion of course)
Léo & Louise (Guertin) Plamandon
Léo and Louise (Guertin) Plamandon
Alfred Philéas Lachance would pass on what he was told by his father down to the next two generations.

In January 2009, Louise Guertin, the granddaughter of Alfred Philéas, 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 (born 1843).

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
(1878-1971)
Photo - Alfred Phileas Lachance
Alfred Philéas Lachance

Alfred, the son of Alexis Lachance ((baptized Pépin 22 April 1843) and Octavie Forand,  was the 4th great-grandson of Antoine, our ancestor.

He married Octavie Forand in Webster, MA, Jun 6, 1862.  His son, Alfred Philéas (pictured here) was born May 17, 1878 at Saint-Alphonse (de Shefford), Québec, Canada and died in Massachusetts in 1971.

The photo of Alfred (left), replaces one I found on a passport application and was graciously sent to me by Louise.  She also sent me her own photo (far left), taken with her husband Leo.

Both were received in February 2009. Léo has since passed away.
And Now..."The Rest of the Story"
The Real Story?
Certainly there seems to be a common thread of Indian involvement between the story I heard in the mid-1970's and this story from Alfred Lachance. 

Because it has been passed down from generation to generation, it makes perfect sense, to me at least, that this is something that is very likely to have really occurred.

Following is the story as it was spoken and later written...
Photo - Primative Trap
The Story of Antoine Pépin dit Lachance
Whether fish, bird, squirrel, beaver or moose, we must assume that in the days before farming, one had to rely on trapping to survive.
It 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 Antoine 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.
coureur de bois
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 called the lucky one
PDF Antoine Pepin dit Lachance
I'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".
EXTRA - The Origin of French Surnames
From a BBC article:  “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 list of these names - this is how we recognize our ancestors when we find them.”

From the Ancestor Search website, we find, and I have copied, the following: French Surname Origins

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: (listed below)

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  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 (my addition)

Geographical Surnames

A surname based on a person's residence or former residence
Desmarais - lives by the marsh
Dupont - lives by the bridge
FINDING LACHANCE
What we find is that it was not LACHANCE in the beginning, rather is was PÉPIN and it became LACHANCE following the arrival of our original immigrant ancestor, Antoine.  We know that it was  Antoine who was the first to be known as Pépin dit Lachance.

After Antoine, our name began its transformation, thanks to our ancestors reliance on a priest, notary, the government or somebody else to spell for them.  The result are the numerous corruptions of the spelling and choices in the original name. As our ancestors migrated from Canada to the US, where English was spoken, somebody else had to write down, what they thought they heard resulting in yet more changes.  And some of these changes we even made on our own because we wanted to assimilate with the American English speakers.
So you see, what really matters is who we are, not what we are called!
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