Assumptions & Genealogy

Genealogy requires assumptions…

Over the past few weeks, I have been working on discovering (perhaps rediscovering) a family line.  My Deyo family tree was incorrect, in a major way!

I had assumed that statements on the Deyo Association website implied (to me the great assumer) that North American Deyos were descended from Christian Deyo (the Hugenot). Here is what I read:

The history of the Deyo Family in America begins, fittingly enough, with a grandpere named Christian, an apt title, because the impetus for reaching these shores was religious persecution in Europe. It is a Christian account which begins in the New World with a man named Christian.

The story of this remarkable and durable clan goes back to the tenth century when a chieftain held a fortress in the Jura Mountains, and continues to the 1600’s when descendants were forced to flee across Europe to avoid martyrdom for Calvinist beliefs. The succeeding flight to America brought new adventures, a unique form of government, treaties with the Indians, and at last refuge in a tiny settlement on the banks of the Wallkill River in the shadow of the Shawangunks.


And for most Deyos in the new world they might be descend fro Christian Deyo, but not me and my Deyos.

We are descended from Quebec Catholics- not a Hugenot among us (that I have found). My grandmother Leona Deyo is descended from the Deyo/ Deo/ Dion family of upstate New York (the area around Altona and into Northern Vermont).  Most of her people came from Quebec but no one knew where or who they were.

So here comes another assumption…

That is no one knew or guessed who the Deo/Deyo/Dion ancestors were until this week when I received the following email from Gloria Cusson Pratt of the Northern New York- American Canadian Genealogical Society. She wrote:

John Married as Jean Baptiste Dion to Marie Bonin on 2 July 1866 at St. Ann’s
Mooers Forks, NY. Deo/Deyo/Dion are all dit names for Deo.
Most of their children are listed in the St. Ann Book, Moeers Forks, NY
His parent’s are Joseph Dion and Julia Lafaille/Faye.

Given this crucial additional and ‘official information’ (meaning it came from a reliable genealogical source), I began a search for papa Deo now Dion born in 1810 and I found ‘him’- I think.

Joseph Dion was born in Quebec in 1809 and baptised at St Mathias parish, St-Hilaire, Rouville, Québec, Canada. The location looks plausible, the time frame is accurate and the information about his parents, Benoit Dion and Marie Allain deCette seems to fit.

With that additional genealogical link in hand, I have been able to fit a puzzle together that leads back to France in the mid-1600s.

Now is that accurate you might ask.

Well I am not 100% certain; but it is plausible, fits circumstances and location nicely. I have placed the genealogy out for review by anyone who might care to comment. Perhaps the review will lead me down another path, perhaps not. In any event, this attempt at defining the Deyo line is much better than my earlier efforts which had the tree go through New Paltz and New Amsterdam.