Attached is a picture of the St. Roch church in Paris. This is where Michel Robineau was born according to the Drouin records. Michel Robineau (dit Desmoulins) is the first Robineau of my genealogical line who came to Nouvelle France (Quebec) around 1700. His parents were apparently of this parish in central Paris. The church and all its records were burned during the French Revolution.
There is actually a town in France called Esmoulins. Is it possible that although Michel may have been born in Paris his family may have been from Esmoulins (about three hours from Paris). Thus Michel Robineau from Esmoulins would be Michel Robineau de Esmoulins or Michel Robineau d”esmoulins (Desmoulins). It is a stretch since in the 1600′s people did not generally move very far from where they were born..
Of course, Esmoulins is 3 hours from Paris… today!. The distance is about 300 kilometers. Travelling 300 kilometers in the mid 1600′s would have been considerably more than three hours of travel. This might be a case of “Theory…Busted”
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.
Two years ago my wife, daughter and i went to England. This is one year before i even thought of getting into Genealogy.
On this trip we took the train to Paris for one day. When we got there we thought: “let’s have wine and cheese at a cafe”. The picture is of of my wife and daughter at the cafe. Note the name of the street. (Cue the twilight zone music).
Now, go forward two years and i have found that our earliest link to France is Simon Robineau and Anne Larche who lived in St. Roch de Paris parish in central Paris. One of their children moved to Quebec and is the ancestor to my “line” of the Robineau’s. This child was Michel Robineau dit Desmoulins. The paragraph below gives a bit of background on MIchel. (Note the name of the street on which he was born). (Continue playing the Twilight Zone music).
“Michel Robineau Desmoulins, pionneer, was the son of Simon Robineau and Anne Larche who remained in France. He was born circa 1683 on rue Saint-Honoré in the parish Saint-Roch of Paris. He died in the Montréal Hospital on 27 October 1738 and was buried the next day by Father Dargent in the presence of Father Peigne and of the Ecclesiastic Guard.”
The St. Roch church is two blocks away from this Bistro.