Thursday, December 6, 2012

Today I would like to introduce the first French website with a surname-distribution mapping functions:

It can locate all surnames in France between 1891 and 1990. Thanks to Napoleon, French Republic does possess a national register that is now available. In Germany, we don't have any and all we have is to use the projected phone directories. In Austria, they created a "Melderegister" in 2002. As we can state France provides a lot opportunities to research on surnames distribution. Thank you, Napoleon!!!!

For instance, I will try to trace the surname of my doctoral supervisor Prof. Jean-François Jeandillou.

Photo from here:

Morphologically, it could reasonably be argued that this is the most famous name and surname of the Christian World. In its heart, we recognize the stem "Jean". It was recorded from the 12th century a.d. onwards in every European country, and in a vast range of spellings, of which there are believed to be over fourteen hundred in total. These range from the base forms such as Jon or John (England & Wales), Evan (Wales), Ian (Scotland), Shane (Ireland), Ivan (Russia) and Jean (France), to the Italian Giovanni, Zanni and Zoane, the Polish Janus, the Czeck Jan, Janak and Jansky, to the diminutives Jenkin, Jeannet, Nannini, Zanicchi, and Gianuzzi, the patronymics Johnson, Joynson, Jenson, Jocie, Ivanshintsev, and Ivashechkin. However spelt, all have derived from the biblical Hebrew "Yochanan", which translates as " He who Jehovah has favoured (with a son)".

Read more:

But if we read here we can be surprised by the following statement: "The meaning of Jeandillou come may come from a profession, such as the name "Gardener" which was given to people of that profession".

Statistically, in France of 1891-1915 there had been only 16 persons with JEANDILLOU as surname: 15 in the department Haute Vienne (with the highest concentration in Châteauneuf-la-Forêt ) and one in Paris.

The red dot to the right is Châteauneuf-la-Forêt. 

and the same with titles:

I have found some pictures from that time:

Let's imagine, maybe here the Jeandillou's grandfather walked through... But the downtown is actually looking like that:

For the period of 1916-1940, 14 persons had been given with the surname in question:  2 in Paris and 12 in Haute-Vienne department with the greatest frequency in Saint-Paul commune:

It looked very pretty:

or like that:

with the coat of arms like that:

and now:

Between 1941 and 1965, there were already 32 newborners named Jeandillou. My Professor was born in 1959 (like my father!!!). So, he is to be found in the number of 32: 1 in Vendee (85), 6 in Paris (75) and 25 in Haute Vienne department concentrated mostly in Saint Bonnet Briance:

An interesting photo of 1959 from one of the school in that place:

or photos from a college Châteauneuf-la-Forêt of 1958:

or in the 1960s

Maybe some of them are relatives of my professor!!! Who knows...

Among the actual bearers of this surname, Prof. Jeandillou is the most famous. You can find just some names on Facebook. Maybe another person named Jeandillou is Patrick Jeandillou - French karatist with 6th DAN and champion of France and Europe.

But there is no certainty that they are relatives.

So, we may conclude that roots of Prof. Jeandillou are coming from the department of Haute Vienne.  And if it's based upon the stem "Jean", it's not logic that this name is not to be found in other regions of France. Well, let's continue to research!!!!