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The Family Name Girouard

There are a number of spellings for the name Girouard, and as I found out at the 1999 Reunion in Louisiana, this is a HOT topic around the Girouard Family. One thing to remember is for the most part our ancestors could not read or write. So, if they were asked to spell their name they could not. I know in my case 5-6 generations back it is written on the church records of the time that they could not sign their name. So, with that said these are my thoughts on the subject. The spelling "Girouard" is used as far back as the 1600s and is thought to be the family name of Francois. This is the spelling that can be found in France and is used through out the French documents in North America.

The Giroir spelling is found to be used by the descendents of Prosper, after he was deported in 1755, and after he spent years in an English jail before being sent to France and then to Louisiana. If you only spoke English, as many of us do, and someone came to you and pronounced "Girouard" in French and you could only speak English, how would you spell it? The spelling Gerrior is found predominantly in Nova Scotia.

A number of names have changed over the course of history. For example, the Irish name Creighton has strong affiliation to Northern Ireland. Variations of the Creighton name can often be traced back to earlier influences of Scottish immigration to Ireland and the subsequent spelling alterations that were made on immigrant landing. It is believed that names such as Creichtown, Creaton and Crehan are synonyms of the original Crichton. It is believed that these spelling errors were made because of the individual immigrants' inability to spell their own name correctly and or the person who was taking the records used a phonetic system to identify the spelling of the names.

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