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Name Variations
Variant Spellings of the de la Montagne Surname

When our ancestors lived in exile from France, first in Holland and later in a Dutch colony, which was occupied by the English (at war with the French), and eventually on the Indian frontier of an independent American nation, funny things happened to their French names. For a start, our name was really Mousnier de la Montagne, but the Mousnier and the de la parts went fairly quickly. The French pronunciation of Montagne confused non-French speakers, who used their own alphabet combinations to spell the sounds they heard. Spelling in any language was not uniform much before the 19th century, and until the arrival of dictionaries and spellers, all words were usually spelled phonetically by writers who didn't worry about being consistent. Even when individuals spelled their own names "correctly", clerks and census takers mangled the spelling of what seemed to them a foreign name. Finally, poor handwriting, minimal schooling on the frontier in the 19th century, and a conscious decision to make the name seem less foreign and more American all contributed to the development of even more variations.

Hence, the DE LA MONTAGNE surname over four centuries in America has developed over 50 variants, some eventually discarded, some more common than others today. The variant spellings are very useful to a genealogist since they often indicate historical periods, geographical areas, and specific branches of the family. However, when doing original research, many DE LA MONTAGNE descendants have trouble recognizing their own ancestors because they are expecting their surname to remain the same. Here is what you can expect to find:

  • What to expect in French (14th-17th centuries):
    Mousnier de la Montagne, Monier de la Montagne, La Montagne
  • What to expect in Dutch (17th and 18th centuries):
    Delamontanie, Lamontagne, de Lammontanje, de Lamontanje, de La Montagne, de Lamontagne, de la Montagne, de La montagne, de la montagne, de La Montagnie, de La Montagnie, de Lamontagnie, de Lamontangne, de Lamontanje, de la Montanye, de la Montanje, de la Montange, Montanie, Montanje, Montange, Montang, Montagnie, Montague, Montangie, Montangue, Mentanye, Montany, Montanye, Mantanye, Mountauncy
  • What to expect in English (19th and 20th centuries):
    Montanye, Montaney, Montany, Mintonye, Mantonye, Montaigne, Montana, Mantonya, Montanna, Metonye, Metone, Mountney, Monteney, Montanay, Montanya, Montney, Montny, Montonner, Montawney, Montayne, Montaine, Montonia, Mountanye, and full circle back to de la Montagne

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