This post is part of a series about genealogy in France. You can read the complete series HERE.
In some areas a second surname was likely adopted to distinguish between branches of the same wider family; this was especially so if the family had been in the same village for generations.
Alias names are often preceded by the word “dit”. In some instances, an individual adopted the “dit” surname and dropped the original name. Using wills is a useful way of identifying wider family, especially if the “dit” name was adopted.
Dit names were common in France amongst soldiers or those who made their living at sea.