As I wrote in an earlier chapter --- When I was a boy, my grandfather showed me a map of the United States hanging on the wall in the basement of his home in Inkster, Michigan. He pointed to the town of Séguin, Texas, approximately 30 miles northeast of San Antonio, and told me that the town was named for our ancestors. Initially I believed him to be correct but later came to the conclusion that such was not the case.....
The correct French pronounciation of our surname would be phonetically spelled “say-GEH.” Since Americans do not normally pronounce words with a French accent, the name came to have various Anglicized pronounciations. While my own father adopted the name sound of “SEEG-in,” his brother, Leo used “SEE-gwin.” I have even met families in northern Michigan who use “SAY-uh.” Regardless of how the name is spoken, most persons with the spelling of the name in Canada and the northern half of the United States are descended from Francois Séguin.
During Air Force basic training at Lackland AFB (San Antonio), Texas in 1969, however, my TI (Training Instructor), Staff Sergeant Jon Kidwell, continually mispronounced my name as “seh-GEEN,” and told me that it was a Spanish name. Not wishing to do anymore push-ups or clean anymore latrines than necessary, I did not bother to correct him on his error. While I was in the San Antonio area however, I learned that the city of Seguin, Texas, was only 30 miles away, and carried the pronounciation my TI gave it. Five years later, and married with a son, my wife and I moved to Texas. I discovered that Seguin, Texas, (previously called Walnut Springs) was re-named on 25 Feb 1839 in honor of Lieutenant Colonel Juan Nepomuceno Seguin (1806-1889). Lt Col Seguin, during the years of 1835-1837, had helped General Sam Houston defeat General Antonio de Lopez Santa Anna during the Texas battles for independence from Mexico, and was considered a Texas hero.
In 1995, on an even more curious note, after 21 years of other Texans telling me that I was mispronouncing my name, I learned that even this “Spanish” name truly had a French origin. It seems that around 1700, a Frenchman named Guillaume Séguin had traveled from Paris, France to Asquascalientes, New Spain (Mexico). He apparently married (although the name of his wife is not known to this writer) and had four sons. The direct descendancy from Guillaume, who came to be called Guillermo (the Spanish version of William), to his great-great grandson, Juan N. Seguin, is shown below:
I. Guillaume Seguin married (unidentified)
II. Bartolomé Seguin (born 1722 - ) married Luisa de Ocon y Trillo
III. Santiago Seguin (born Jun 1754 - ) married Guadelupe Fuente Fernandez
IV. Erasmo Seguin (born May 1782 - died Nov 1857) married Josefa Augustina Bercerra
V. Juan N. Seguin (born Oct 1806 - died Aug 1889) married Gertrudis Flores
As with the original six voyagers to Québec who may all be related but linking documentation cannot be found, this Guillaume Séguin of Paris, France, who began the branch in New Spain may be yet a seventh relation, all of them with a common ancestor in the unrecorded period of French history.