The Dion – Deyo family from Quebec

It is with special gratitude, appreciation, and ‘apologies’ to the following individuals:

  • Barb Deyo,
  • Wilfred Deyo (deceased),
  • Linda Hayne,
  • Craig LaPine
  • Patti Gravel,
  • Gloria Pratt,
  • Carole Relation

that I can now tell the tale of our Dion Family (today most commonly known as the Deyo Family) and their migration from Quebec to the Clinton County area of upstate New York.

This story has long been muddled and unclear. But in concert with the efforts and information from the folks listed above, I am certain that we now have a much clearer and accurate picture of who we are and where we came from.

This story has its beginnings with two people who, we now know, were born as Joseph Dion and Julienne Denis; both came from humble roots.

  • Based upon circumstantial evidence, it appears that Joseph Dion was born Jean Baptiste Guyon on 24 Jun 1799, the second such named son of Ignace Guyon and his second wife Marie Suzanne Gervais. His birth is recorded in the Church registry of Saint Marc sur Richelieu parish in Quebec. The same church registry records Joseph’s first marriage as taking place on 24 November 1818 to Marie Normandin the adopted daughter of Francois Normandin and Judith Chatel. The registry records no children pf this union, nor does it record the presumed death of Marie Normandin before the 1828 marriage of Joseph Dion and Julie Denys.
  • Julienne (Julia) was baptised on 28 January of 1808 at Ste-Marguerite-de-Blairfindie, L’Acadie, Quebec, Canada. Her father was Ignace Denis a laborer; her mother was Julie LaFaye.
  • Their marriage took place 22 July 1848 in Napierville, Quebec (St Cyprien Parish). The marriage is noted as being between Joseph Yon & JulieDenys.
  • In 1851 we find the family living in St. Bernard, Lacolle, Quebec. They are living, according to the 1851 Census in Canada, in a log home with a second family (Augustin & Polini Marier). Joseph is earning a living as a joiner (carpenter).

  • Based on the Baptisms of the Dion children appearing on the 1851 Census, we know the following:
  • in 1832 the young family lived near St. Valetin parish in St. Jean Quebec (Aurelie’s baptism)
  • 1835 they were near St-Jean-Sur-Richelieu (St-Jean-L`Évangéliste), Québec (based upon the baptism of Adelaide)
  • in 1838 they were living near Rouses Point, New York (this based upon the death record of John Deyo) who in 1851 was enumerated using his middle name: Baptiste

It is my belief that the remaining children may have been been baptized at St. Joseph’s Corbeau, Coopersville, Clinton Co. N.Y Roman Catholic Church (if anyone has records of these baptisms, wherever they may have occurred, I would greatly appreciate a link or copy).

By 1860, we find most of the Joseph Dion/ Julienne Denis, now registered in the US Census of 1860 as Peter & Julie Deyo of Westport, Essex County New York. Joseph is working as a laborer; Frank (formerly Francois) is also a day laborer. The two older daughters, from the Canadian 1851 enumeration, appear to have remained behind in Quebec (they are not enumerated in the US in 1860). It is worth noting that there are numerous problems with the 1860 Census data including the fact that all of ‘these’ Deyos were born in the US. However, even given those problems, I still believe this indicates that most of the Dion/Deyo family was in Northern New York by 1860.
By 1870, both Joseph and Julia were in Altona.
Eli, Ralph and Adeline were all in Alburg Vt. by 1870 (according to the US Census)- although the birth date for Adeline could indicate she is not our Adelaide Dion. Further, as Wilfred Deyo’s report further indicates:


1850’s: The records would indicate that Joseph and Julia(Faye) Deyo immigrated to the United States of America in the 1850’s following the birth of their last child- Eli Deyo. It appears that they entered. the United States at Rouses Point, New York and moved on to Champlain, New York; Chazy, New York; and then Altona, New York where they apparently settled permanently and, became farmers. Records of deeds shows Joseph Deyo owning a farm in the Altona, New York area around 1865. Later some members of the family migrated to Alburg, Vermont where some remained permanently while others returned to New York State and settled in Clinton County.

Citizenship-United States

  • 186l: Joseph DEYO Age 60 years-Living in Altona, New York, makes a declaration and is accepted as a citizen, on October 24, 1861.
  • 1868: Joseph DEYO Age 24 years-living in Altona, New York for the past 6 years makes a declaration and is accepted as a citizen- October 24, 1868.
  • 1868: Ralph DEYO Age 22 years-living in Altona, New York makes a y declaration and is accepted as a citizen on October 24, 1868.

Note: It is not known at this time where the other members of the family were admitted as citizens, if in fact they were.

Property purchased

  • 1871:-DEYO, Joseph of Plattsburgh purchased for $350 half of lot no.8 on West side of William St.
  • 1875:-DEYO, Joseph of Plattsburgh purchased half of lot no. 8 (other half of lot in no. 1)

Note: It is presumed that the Joseph buying the lot in Plattsburgh was the son of Joseph who at that time already was owner of a farm in Altona, New York.