Celine Dion Family History

Overview

The singer Celine Maria Claudette Dion was born on March 30th, 1968 to Adhemar and Therese Dion in Charlemagne near Montreal in Quebec.  She was the youngest of their fourteen children.  She was named after the song Céline that was recorded by the French singer Hugues Aufray two years before her birth.

There was music in the family.  Her mother was a violinist, her father played the accordion, and each of her siblings played an instrument as well.  At the age of five she sang in front of an audience for the first time at her brother’s wedding.  In 1980 when she was twelve, her mother sent a musical cassette of her singing to Rene Angélil, a figure in the Quebec music world.

Angélil was moved to tears by Celine’s voice and decided to make her a star. He mortgaged his home in order to fund her first record.

In 1986 when she was eighteen, he decided that he needed to improve her appearance.  She receded from the spotlight for a while, during which time she underwent dental surgery and was sent to Berlitz to polish her English.  Angélil continued to be her manager and in 1994 became her husband.

Celine’s international singing breakthrough arrived in 1991 when she sang the title track of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.  She is probably best known for My Heart Will Go On from the 1997 blockbuster film Titanic.

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Dion and Guyon

Celine Dion has in her ancestry Dion and Gyon, both French surnames that came to Canada in the 17th century when Canada was New France.  The two surnames had different origins:

  • Dion appears to have been a name for someone who lived at Dienne in Auvergne, a medieval French province on the Massíf Central in the south central part of France.
  • while Guyon was a pet form of the Old French personal name of Guy, itself derived from the Germanic Wido of uncertain meaning.  The Guyon name today is spread around France, with the highest proportion east in Franche-Comte on the borders with Switzerland.

Dions number around 5,000 in France, but almost 20,000 in Canada; while Guyons are 12,000 in France, but only 400 in Canada.  Why this difference?  The Guyon surname did remain in other French colonial outposts such as Ivory Coast and New Caledonia.

One factor was that in French Canada the pronunciation of the initial “G-” followed by a vowel came out as “D-.”  Spelling followed pronunciation and over time Guyon was spelt Dion. This tendency was reinforced by the military practice in the colony of referring to all new recruits by their surname plus as well a nickname or nom de guerre (the so-called “dit” factor).  As a result many Guyon recruits became known as Guyon dit Dion.

In Celine’s line, Louis Guyon who served in the military became Louis Guyon dit Dion sometime in the early 1700’s.  His descendants were generally recorded as Guyon dit Dion for the next hundred years or so until they decided to dispense with Guyon and adopt solely the Dion name.

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Jean Guyon du Buisson

The forebear of these Guyons and Dions was Jean Guyon du Buisson.  A respected mason by trade, he immigrated in 1634 to the New France colony on the St. Lawrence river with his wife Mathurine and six of their children.  They came in a convoy of four ships with a pioneering group of 300 Percheron colonists from the Perche region of Normandy near Chartres.

Jean Guyon fathered ten children in all, eight of whom got married, and he is known as an ancestor of very many French Canadians.  It is estimated that he had by the end of the 19th century close to 10,000 descendants (ranking second amongst all the New France pioneers in terms of the number of descendants).

The main line issued from his eldest son, also named Jean, who became rich as a royal surveyor of the colony. After his death in 1694, his heirs engaged in a protracted legal dispute over his lands.

Another notable line came via a younger son Denis.  His daughter Marie-Therese married Antoine Cadillac, the man who founded the settlement that would later become the city of Detroit.  Marie-Therese became known as “the First Lady of Detroit.”

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Celine’s Line

Celine is descended from Jean Guyon du Buisson, curiously on both her maternal and paternal sides.

Jean’s eldest daughter Barbe Marie, born in France in 1617 and married there to Pierre Paradis, had descent in New France.  From this line came Celine’s mother Therese Tanguay.

The eldest son Jean, born in 1619, married the 14 year old Elisabeth Couillard in Quebec City in 1645.  They had fourteen children, the same number as Celine’s parents.  Celine’s paternal ancestor Pierre-Paul, like Celine herself, came at the end of the line.  But Pierre-Paul died young, just twenty-seven and only three years after his marriage, and left little to his two young sons.

The Guyons at that time were to be found at Château-Richer, a small town on the north shore of the St. Lawrence river east of Quebec City where many of the early pioneers had settled.

It was Pierre-Paul’s younger son Louis who moved his family in the early 1700’s across the St. Lawrence to the community of Cap-Saint Ignace on the south shore.  Later Guyons/Dions migrated to Sainte-Anne-des-Monts on the Gaspe Peninsula.  Many of them worked in the fishing industry as pecheurs journalier (fishing day-workers).  They lived in tightly-knit communities (family names such as Gagne, Bernier and Fournier recur in marriages) and generally had large families.

Celine’s parents, Adhemar and Therese Dion, were both born on the Gaspe Peninsula, but met and married in the town of La Tuque in north-central Quebec.  In 1952 they moved to Charlemagne, a suburb of Montreal, where the fifth of their fourteen children was born.  Adhemar worked long hours at a factory so that they could buy their own home.  He would later work as a butcher and run a restaurant and piano bar.

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Celine Dion’s Family Tree
  • Jean Guyon (1592-1663) from Normandy m. Mathurine Robin (1595-1662) in Perche in 1615, came to Quebec in 1634
  • – Barbe Guyon (1617-1700) m. Pierre Paradis in Normandy
  • – Jean Guyon (1619-1694)
  • – Simon Guyon (1621-1682) m. Louise Racine
  • – Marie Guyon (1624-1696) m. Francois Bellanger
  • – Claude Guyon (1629-1694) m. Catherine Colin
  • – Denis Guyon (1631-1685) m. Elisabeth Boucher
  • Jean Guyon m. Elisabeth Couillard (1631-1704) in Quebec City in 1645
  • – fourteen children born beteween 1647 and 1674 (Pierre-Paul being their second-youngest child)
  • Pierre-Paul Guyon from Chateau Richer (1670-1697) m. Angelique Tetu (1675-1710) in 1694
  • – Jean-Baptiste Guyon (1696-1771) m. Marie-Catherine Tetreau
  • – Louis Guyon dit Dion (1697-1775)
  • Louis Guyon dit Dion m. Marie Gamache (1694-1759) in 1721; rem. Marie-Charlotte Guillet in 1761
  • – Marie-Anne Guyon dit Dion (1722-1776) m. Louis Gagne
  • – Louis Guyon dit Dion (1724-1791) m. Marie-Genevieve Richard
  • – Marie-Elisabeth Guyon dit Dion 1726-1801) m. Jacques Thibault
  • – Joseph-Joachim Guyon dit Dion (1728-1793)
  • – Antoine Guyon dit Dion (1731-1808) m. Marie-Charlotte Bernier
  • – Marie-Genevieve Guyon dit Dion (b. 1737) m. Pierre Gravel
  • Joseph-Joachim Guyon dit Dion from Cap-Saint Ignace m. Marie-Marguerite Fournier (1734-1801) in 1751
  • – Francois-Chrysostome Guyon dit Dion (1754-1830) m. Marie-Claire Durand
  • – Marie-Claire Guyon dit Dion (1762-1834) m. Jean-Baptiste Bernier
  • – Jean-Baptiste Guyon dit Dion (b. 1764) m. Anne Quellet
  • – Elisabeth-Victoire Guyon dit Dion (1765-1830) m. Ignace Lemieux
  • – Marie-Louise Guyon dit Dion (1769-1836) m. Louis Gagne
  • – Abraham Guyon dit Dion (1772-1808) m. Marie-Anne Vezina
  • – Charles Guyon dit Dion (1778-1849 ) m. Marie-Genevieve Bernier
  • – Joseph-Francois Guyon dit Dion (1781-1810)
  • Joseph-Francois Guyon dit Dion m. Marie-Modeste Bernier (1776-1865) in 1803
  • – Joseph Guyon dit Dion (1804-1876)
  • – Marcelline Guyon dit Dion (b. 1808) m. Augustin Fournier
  • Joseph Guyon dit Dion (1804-1876) m. Julie Chesnel (1806-1878) in 1833
  • – Joseph-Adelard Dion (1833-1905)
  • – Lucie Dion (1834-1909) m. Majorique Jovin
  • – Celina Dion (b. 1836) m. Noel Ross
  • – Catherine Dion (b. 1844) m. Firmin Pauze
  • Joseph-Adelard Dion m. Marcelline Letourneau (1845-1922) in 1867
  • – Adelard Dion (1868-1940)
  • – Charles-Ernest Dion (1871-1941) m. Amanda Malenfant and Theodora Gasse
  • – Adeline Dion (1872-1954) m. Paul Pelletier and Edouard Blanchet
  • – Antoine Dion (1880-1965)
  • – Celina Dion (b. 1882) m. Adolphe St. Laurent
  • – Charles-Edouard Dion (1898-1957)
  • Adelard Dion from Sainte-Anne-des-Monts m. Esther Levesque (1871-1934) in 1893
  • – Charles-Adelard Dion (1895-1957)
  • – Marie-Rose Dion (b. 1897)) m. Georges Levesque
  • – Charles-Antoine Dion (b. 1898) m. Eva Cyr and Lade Aube
  • – Louis Dion (1904-1968) m. Alberta St. Laurent
  • – Marie-Emilia Dion (1906-1992) m. Yvon Pelletier
  • – Marie-Laure Dion (1910-1973) m. Joseph Michaud
  • – Gertrude Dion (b. 1913) m. Cyrille Levesque
  • – Joseph-Oscar Dion (1915-1985) m. Yvonne Blanchet
  • Charles-Adelard Dion m. Ernestine Barrieault (1904-1980) in 1922
  • – Adhemar Dion (1923-2003)
  • – Jeannine Dion m. Lucien Jeffrey
  • – Irene Dion m. Jean-Paul Duclos
  • – Roger Dion m. Marie-Anne Boucher
  • Adhemar Dion m. Therese Tanguay (1927-2020) in La Tuque, Quebec in 1945
  • – Denise Dion (b. 1946) m. Yvon Dodier
  • – Clement Dion (b. 1947) m. Denis Dumont
  • – Claudette Dion (b. 1948) m. Rene Morin and Serge Gaudet
  • – Liette Dion (b. 1950) m. Guy Poirier
  • – Michel Dion (b. 1952) m. Daniele Corbeil
  • – Louise Dion (b. 1953) m. Pierre Tremblay
  • – Jacques Dion (b. 1955) m. Genevieve Garceau
  • – Daniel Dion (1956-2016) m. Ghyslaine Bujold
  • – Ghislaine Dion (b. 1958) m. Jacques Talbot
  • – Linda Dion (b. 1959) m. Alain Sylvestre
  • – Manon Dion (b. 1961) m. Gilles Hacala
  • – Paul Dion (twin b. in 1962) m. Lucie Hebert
  • – Pauline Dion (twin b. in 1962) m. Marc Martel
  • – Celine Dion (b. 1968)

 

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