Supplement on the article relating to the origin of the surname Proulx and his spelling

Supplement on the article relating to the origin of the surname Proulx and his spelling

2 April 2015 3 By Florian Proulx

In an article published in the “Mémoires de la Société généalogique canadienne-française” in the summer of 1989, Jean-Pierre Proulx wrote, after doing extensive research on the subject, that “the specialized dictionaries agree: this surname comes from the epithet “preux” in the language of oil (old French), which means, not ‘brave’, as in ‘modern’ French, but ‘wise’ or ‘cautious’.

As for the spelling of the surname, the same author adds that one observes “in the 17th century two main variants: Prou and Proux, but also Proust which would be a cacography”. He mentions that we find in the registers of two parishes of Poitiers the spelling Proux and Proust between the years 1661 and 1671.

By consulting the directories established by the Research Program in Historical Demography of the University of Montreal (PRDH – Programme de recherche en démographie historique) for the period from the beginning of the colony to 1765, we can see that in New France the Prou form was generally used, although the form Proux was used in 1729 (marriage of François Proux on October 24, 1729, in Montmagny and that of Jean Proux on April 29, 1729, in Lachine). The Proulx form that is common today will appear in the region of Deux-Montagnes in 1747 (marriage of Thomas Proulx and Marie Josephte Larocque May 15, 1747, in Oka). Between 1751 and 1765, the PRDH has six Proulx weddings in the Montreal, Yamaska and Rimouski regions. The reasons that led people to adopt the Proulx form are still unknown.

Source : Antonin Proulx – Origine du patronyme et sa graphie dans ‘Dictionnaire des Familles Proulx’ Volume 1 page vi Publication : Entreprises Jeanneville, Vanier, Ontario – ISBN : 2921167387

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