Author’s Notebook – History and Genealogy of the Doyon Family

Just when I thought I had all my research under control, a new item pops up and changes everything.  The story I am going to relate to you in the pages of this blog will begin with my father’s family.  I have been able to uncover a vast amount of information about the Doyon clan, going back to 13th century France. CoverPageThen, a few weeks ago, I stumbled upon Histoire et Généalogie de la Famille Doyon, by Père Dominique Doyon [1], written after he retired in 1953 and published in Lewiston, Maine in 1978.  Scanned by the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, UT in 1991, it has been hiding (at least from me) on a microfilm reel on the other side of the country.  I had it sent to my local Family History Center and was able to scan it to a thumb drive (a day-long project using equipment at least as old as I am …) so I could work on it at home.

Siegfried Doyon Family Photo: René-Claude Greron

It is 256 pages long and covers the story of Jean Doyon, the first Doyon ancestor to emigrate from France and considered the father of all the Doyons in North America. It is a detailed story of the family from Jean’s arrival in “New France” in 1644 until 1978 when Père Dominique completed his work.  If that didn’t constitute enough of a research coup, this comprehensive history and genealogy is a treasure trove of new information, revealing insights, citations and a bibliography, presenting me with dozens and dozens of new references to cross-check.  Because it is written in French, I am typing up the (my) English version as I read and translate. 

Père Dominque has led me to new sources, photos I didn’t know existed, and eventually to websites and blogs I missed in my original research, mainly because I never think to type my search queries in French.  My bad!  A great deal of the information contained in la Histoire adds to or, in a few cases, contradicts information I previously thought to be solid, proven and well documented.  Consequently, I am doing further research in addition to the reading and translating. As of today, I have translated all of the text (the first 90 pages). The remainder of this treatise is a list of all Doyons born in North America from 1644-1978 and who they married. Thankfully, no translation required – but a great resource for filling in some of the twigs on my family tree.

Any of you who are also chasing down the rabbit holes of your family history will understand the thrill (goosebumps) of finding one’s own name among the research. scan of meTwo hundred and twenty-eight pages into La Histoire I found proof of my own existence. It lists my father (Henri-Guy aka Joseph Henry) as being a member of the tenth generation of Doyons in the Americas (Jean Doyon 1619-1664 being the first generation). It shows his father, Irénée (Joseph Napoleon Irénée). It indicates that my father was married to my mother, Barbara Voigt, and goes on to list their “Issue”. Seems strange to see myself categorized as “issue”, but generations from now that is how some ancestor in my own family will see me. Kind of a “moving into the future” experience, if you know what I mean. So that makes me and my sister (and my first cousins) part of the eleventh generation since Jean. I noticed that my sister’s name was missing from this list. Her name was also missing from some of the very extensive family information available in the Centre de Généalogie, des Archives et des Bien Culturels de Château-Richer in Quebec, Canada when I visited there to do some research in 2015. I contacted the folks who produce and publish these evolving volumes of genealogy and made sure they had the information on my sister and her children. Having done this I now realize how much of what we find (or don’t find) in our research is dependent upon others keeping sources informed and information up-to-date.

So the lesson learned here is that one’s research is probably never really done and some of what we find can be incomplete or misleading. There is always something new and interesting waiting around the next corner.  More about La Histoire and Pere Dominique later.


Père Dominique Doyon Photo from “Patrimoine Beauceville”

[1]  A very interesting man in his own right, I will tell you all about him in a future post.


12 thoughts on “Author’s Notebook – History and Genealogy of the Doyon Family

  1. Congratulation on your first ‘real’ post, Denise (as opposed to the teaser you posted a couple of weeks ago). Your story of the new resource you have found shows that our research is always ongoing and never really complete. It makes me smile when I hear people say that they have now ‘done’ their family tree. There’s always something new to find.


  2. Hello, Denise, Congratulations on your new blog. Your posts are interesting and what a find regarding the Doyon family genealogy! I will follow your blog with interest.


  3. Hi Denise
    I am glad I found your blog. I am related to the Doyon Family in Quebec Canada. I am Joseph Ovide Doyons Grandaughter. I have been looking for information about my relatives for 13 years. I was adopted in Orlando Florida And I live in Tennessee. If you would like to contact me here is my e-mail address.


    1. Gloria –

      Here is a link to the AMICUS catalog listing for Dictionnaire Doyon 1644-2006 by Guy by Guy Letourneau. You can get a copy of the CD-ROM version of this catalog of the Doyon family from the Association des Doyon d’Amerique. The contact there is Lise Doyon (

      You can also obtain a lot of information at the Centre de Genealogie, des Archives et des Biens Culturels de Chateau-Richer where there are extensive resources on the founding families of Quebec and their descendants. The website has a list of resources you can purchase. If you can get up to Quebec – you will find a visit to the center worth your while.

      There is a good book entitled Un Bel Heritage by Diane Lessard-Doyon. It isn’t easy to find, but you may be able to locate a copy through the Canadian library system. Also, in 1978, F. Dominique Doyon, o.p. (1902-1991) published a history of the Doyon family complete with a breakdown of each Doyon born in each generation from 1640 through 1976. You can obtain access to this document through your local Family History Center (part of the Church of the Latter Day Saints) associated with – which is where I first found it. It is also included, in total, in Un Bel Heritage.

      FYI – all of the above is in French, and I have to warn you that the librarians at the Genealogy Center in Chateau-Richer do not have the best English language skills.

      These resources may help you to trace your Doyon roots and find some living relatives.

      Hope you find this helpful.


  4. Hi Denise — I am really perplexed as to how your page on the Doyon family appeared when I clicked on an icon on my computer desktop. (History and Genealogy). I have a Facebook account but never use it. But your page is VERY interesting since my mother was a Doyon and her father lived in Maine. My brother’s name is Jean, my mother had a sister named Ida, and we used to have TIRE every winter after a snowstorm. My mother was married to a Dupont, a very common name in France. Like you, I have translated my parent’s journals from French to English so that others would know what was written in them. (I couldn’t speak English until I was 5 years old. The translating was easy to do.) My brother, Jean Dupont, has a daughter named Karen who is very interested in ancestry and has done extensive research. Although Karen has it in her paperwork, the only genealogy I have on the Doyons is from the Institut Drouin in Canada. It says that my ancestor Jean Doyon married Marthe Gagnon in Quebec on November 19, 1650. His father was named Jacques Doyon, originally from Bernay, Saintonge in France. I don’t know if this reply will ever reach you, Denise, but I am interested if you are. I’ll have to keep an eye on this site to see if you leave a reply. Or send me an e-mail. “Je me souviens aussi!” — Jacqueline

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jacqueline – Thank you for getting in touch. It appears, like all Doyons in North America, we can trace our ancestry back to Jean Doyon who emigrated to Nouveau France in 1644. I am currently working on the chapter of this story about Jean’s travel to Nouveau France. Hopefully, you will see it here soon! My research is fairly extensive – much of it I got from Centre de Généalogie, des Archives et des Biens Culturels de Château-Richer (Centre Olivier Le Tardif (salle Léo Laplante) 277, rue du Couvent Château-Richer (QC) G0A 1N0) (418) 824-3079 (email: Worth a visit if you are ever in that area. I spent a lot of time there in 2015 doing research. Fabulous resource on the original settlers of that area – one of which was Jean Doyon. If you can get your hands on a copy of Un Bel Heritage-Jean Doyon by Diane Lessard-Doyon (published in 1985 in French), it is a gold mine of information. I have just finished the first draft of an English translation (which still needs some work). My French is not as good as it could be. Un Bel Heritage contains Pr. Dominic Doyon’s 1978 genealogy of the Doyon clan. Please feel free to stay in touch (I receive an email notification each time someone posts a comment on the blog) and I hope you will subscribe to my blog so you can follow along with the story.
      Jusqu’à la prochaine fois!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Denise, I chanced on your blog today and was really intrigued by all the Doyon family information on there. I also am related to Jean Doyon through my Fathers’s family. His name was Henry Doyon, born in Manchester, NH in 1922. I have traced the Doyon’s all the way back to Jean Doyon, born in 1619 in France. Loved reading about the Saint Marcelline connection. Have been to Provence and now wish that we knew about the connection in that part of France. Maybe next trip we will drive to Saint Marcelline. I look forward to reading more. Thanks, Carol Doyon Doherty


    1. Thanks, Carol. I am working on this! A number of years ago, a book was published in Quebec to celebrate the anniversary of Jean Doyon’s arrival in New France called Un Bel Heritage. It covers the entire history of the Doyon family in North America included a comprehensive family tree done by Pere Dominic Doyon in the 1970s. I contacted the publisher and found that both authors were deceased – it was a private publisher and I was looking for permission to translate this into English – so permission was granted. I am now working on this and hope to make it part of the Braided Branches. I hope you will subscribe to the blog and keep up with the story. Please let me know if you have any interesting information about your branch of the Doyon family you would like to contribute! Best regards, Denise


      1. Hi Denise — Thanks for sending me the e-mail. I wrote to you around two years ago and was very interested in learning about the Doyons. My mother was Berthe Doyon. She was born in Maine (1904) but her family moved to Manchester, NH when she was young. But I don’t think she was related to Carol’s family(Henry Doyon) because my Mom was the youngest of a large family of girls with only one brother. Still, I can’t be sure. Her father was Louis-Adolphe Doyon. The reason that I’m writing is that I’m getting along in years (83) and I’m downsizing and came across 3 genealogical books. My father’s side of the family did a lot of research through the Institut Genealogique Drouin of Montreal and Paris. My father’s ancestor, Guillaume Dupont,was born in Brittany (Bourcouc) and his son Gilles emigrated to Canada in 1666.). My three large books were published by the Institut Drouin–two of them have much genealogical information for the years 1608 to 1760. One book lists people with last names A to K, the second is L to Z. You have to do a lot of work to trace families going from one book to another since it gives only names and dates and you have to search for info. The third book is all historical accounts of individuals–some families have a Coat of Arms. I’m presuming that with all of your research, you’re familiar with the Institut Drouin. If you’re at all interested in the books, let me know. — Jackie Dupont Linder


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