I have been looking recently into why our first ancestor to Canada (around 1700) (for most of us Robineau’s) chose Desmoulins as is “nom de guerre” (Michel Robineau dit Desmoulins). I have several theories at the moment, which do you like best?
1) it was randomly allocated to him by his military superiors;
2) It represents his character, perhaps he was a Don Quixote type;
3) Where he was born (St. Roch parish in Paris) there used to be a hill that was actually leveled about 20 years before he was born. That hill was called “Butte des Moulins”; or
4) There was a Desmoulins who was popular at the time around Paris and he chose that name .
Feel free to suggest other theories.
The one i liked the best until i shot it down was that he took the name of one of the three leaders of the French Revolution (Camille Desmoulins) becasue he was a fan. Unfortumately, the French Revolution happened 60 years after Michel Robineau dit Desmoulins died in 1737.
I am still a bit (maybe a lot) perplexed by “Noms de guerre”. They seemed to be common in the French military. Some say they were used because of the many people with common surnames?? If so, it begs the question why do we not run into “Smith dit” and “White Dit”, etc.