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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Where did the French Campeau family come from? What is the French Campeau family crest and coat of arms? When did the Campeau family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Campeau family history?

The name Campeau has a long French heritage that first began in the northern region of Normandy. The name is derived from when the family lived in Champeaux, in Normandy.

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Changes of spelling have occurred in most surnames. The earliest explanation is that during the early development of the French language, names were not yet fixed in spelling. Usually a person gave his version of his name, phonetically, to a scribe, a priest, or a recorder. This depended on accent, and local accents frequently changed the spelling of a name. Some variables were adopted by different branches of the family name. Hence, there are some spelling variations of the name Campeau, including Campeau, Campeaux, Champeau, Champeaux, Champel, Champels, Champart, Campaux, Compeau and many more.

First found in Normandy (French: Normandie), the former Duchy of Normandy, where they held a family seat. One of the first of this surname on record was William (Guillaume) de Champeaux who was Bishop of Salon-sur-Marne who is said to have died in January 1121. He was also a notable figure in philosophy in the first years of the 12th century. Metaphorically the name means 'liberty', although literally 'Campus' or 'Battlefield." Branches of the family were also found by the 13th century in the neighboring provinces of Picardy to the east and Brittany to the West.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Campeau research. Another 160 words(11 lines of text) covering the year 1909 is included under the topic Early Campeau History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Campeau Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Approximately 110 years after the first landings by Cartier, there were only about 300 people in Quebec. France gave land incentives for 2,000 migrants during the next decade. Early marriage was desperately encouraged amongst the immigrants. The fur trade attracted migrants, both noble and commoner. 15,000 explorers left Montreal in the late 17th and 18th centuries. By 1675, there were 7000 French in Quebec. Migration to New France (Quebec) continued from France until it fell in 1759. In the year 1675 the Acadian presence in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island had reached 500. In 1755, 10,000 French Acadians refused to take an oath of allegiance to England and were deported to Louisiana. The French founded Lower Canada, thus becoming one of the two great founding nations of Canada. The distinguished family name Campeau has made significant contributions to the culture, arts, sciences and religion of France and New France. Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Campeau were

Campeau Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Bernard Campeau settled in Windsor in 1784

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  • Frank Campeau (1864-1943), American actor who appeared in 93 films between 1911 and 1940 working many films with Douglas Fairbanks
  • Maurice Campeau, specialist in gastro-enterology, Buenos Aires
  • Robert Campeau (b. 1923), Canadian business magnate in real estate and development
  • Jean Campeau (b. 1931), Canadian businessman and former politician
  • Jean-Claude "Tod" Campeau (1923-2009), Canadian professional NHL ice hockey forward who played 42 games for the Montreal Canadiens
  • Brian Campeau (b. 1980), Canadian musician currently based in Sydney, Australia
  • Lucien Campeau (d. 2010), Canadian cardiologist, full professor at the Université de Montréal, recipient of the Research Achievement Award of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society
  • Rychard Campeau (b. 1952), former Canadian professional NHL ice hockey defenceman who played from 1972 to 1977
  • Charles-Édouard Campeau (b. 1916), Progressive Conservative party member of the Canadian House of Commons
  • Fleurette Campeau (b. 1941), Canadian fencer


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  1. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  2. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  3. Rupp, Daniel L. A Collection of Upwards of Thirty Thousand Names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French and Other Immigrants to Pennsylvania from 1727 to 1776. Baltimore. Print.
  4. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  5. Doyle, William. The Oxford History of the French Revolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0192852213).
  6. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  7. Rolland, and H.V. Rolland. Illustrations to the Armorial general by J. B. Rietstap 6 volumes in 3. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1976. Print.
  8. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  9. Guérard, Albert Léon. France: a Modern History. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1959. Print.
  10. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  11. ...

The Campeau Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Campeau Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 19 February 2014 at 07:55.

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