Jack Kerouac was born on March 12, 1922 in Lowell, Massachusetts. He is the third son of French Canadian parents, Léo-Alcide Kéroack and Gabrielle-Ange Lévesque.
There is some confusion surrounding his name, partly because of variations on the spelling of Kerouac, and because of Kerouac's own statement of his name as Jean-Louis Lebris de Kerouac.
His reason for that statement seems to be linked to an old family legend that the Kerouacs had descended from Baron François Louis Alexandre Lebris de Kerouac.
Kerouac's baptism certificate lists his name simply as Jean Louis Kirouac, and this is the most common spelling of the name in Quebec.
Research has shown that Kerouac's roots were indeed in Brittany (France), and he was descended from a middle-class merchant colonist, Urbain-François Le Bihan, Sieur de Kervoac, whose sons married French Canadians.
Urbain-François Le Bihan de Kervoach, the unique ancestor of the Kirouacs in New France
The paternal ancestor of Jack Kerouac is Urbain-François Le Bihan de Kervoach, son of a royal notary, born in Huelgoat in Brittany (France).
Unique ancestor of the Kirouac in New France, he identified himself and signed Maurice-Louis-Alexandre Le Bris de Kervoach, at his marriage to Louise Bernier, October 22, 1732, in Cap-Saint-Ignace, Quebec.
According to the association of Kirouac family, it was the discovery in Quebec of archival documents signed by these two names that resolved the enigma.
DNew genealogical research has allowed Patricia Dagier to explain the reasons for the change of patronymic of the ancestor of Jack Kerouac and to put an end to the confusion that surrounded this question. They also explained the fact that Jack Kerouac, born and baptized "Jean-Louis Kirouac", had himself opted for a change of name by declaring to be called "Le Bris de Kerouac". This information, hitherto ignored by most of his biographers, sheds new light on the writer and part of his work and forms the framework of the biography Jack Kerouac, Breton d'Amérique, by Patricia Dagier and Hervé Quéméner (Le télégramme, March 2009).
Jack Kerouac talks about his French-Canadian parents and his childhood
Interview of Jack Kerouac by Fernand Séguin on Radio-Canada "Le Sel de la semaine" March 7, 1967
Jack Kerouac, a cousin of Celine Dion, Madonna, Justin Bieber, Justin Trudeau, Hillary Clinton, Ryan Gosling, Angelina Jolie, Camilla Parker-Bowles...
perche-quebec.com has discovered that Jack Kerouac has many family ties with other celebrities in music (Celine Dion, Madonna, Justin Bieber), politics (Hillary Clinton, Justin Trudeau),
the film industry (Ryan Gosling, Angelina Jolie) and royalty (Camilla Parker-Bowles)! All those celebrities have in common French-Canadian pioneers, and in particular Percheron pioneers.
For instance, the Percheron pioneer Zacharie Cloutier, an ancestor of most of the celebrities mentioned before, who was born in Mortagne-au-Perche.
As strange as it may seem, there is nothing exceptional about those family ties. As the Percheron pioneers were among the very first French emigrants to settle in New France,
most of North Americans with French-Canadian ancestry have Percheron blood and are more or less related.
Famous cousins of Jack Kerouac
Minimum number of family links
source & infographicsperche-quebec.com
Jack Kerouac has many family ties with the famous descendants of those Percherons pioneers.
perche-quebec.com has explored the French-Canadian ancestry of Jack Kerouac. See details here.
The Percheron ancestors of Jack Kerouac
Even if his direct ancestor Urbain-François Le Bihan de Kervoach is from Brittany, Jack Kerouac has several ancestors whose the origin is Perche.
All immigrated in the 17th century. They came from the following villages (note that some ancestor pages are available in French only):