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

Origins Available: English, French

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

The surname Provost is a ancient French name. It was a name given to a person from Brittany who was a prefect or chief magistrate. Looking back even further, we found the name was originally derived from the Old French word prevost, which signified someone of that title.

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The many different spellings of French surnames can be partially explained by the use of local dialects and by the influence of other languages during the early development of the French language. As a result of these linguistic and cultural influences, the name Provost is distinguished by a number of regional variations. The many spelling variations of the name include Prévost, Prévoste, Prévosts, Prévostes, Prévaust, Prévauste, Prévaustes, Prévausts, de Prévost, du Prévost and many more.

First found in Britanny (Bretagne) where this noble family originated in ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Provost research. Another 243 words(17 lines of text) covering the years 1547, 1580, 1622, 1753, 1830, 1831, 1848, 1729, 1732, 1865, 1638, 1702, 1665, 1697 and 1763 are included under the topic Early Provost History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 87 words(6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Provost Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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France finally gave land incentives for 2,000 migrants during the 1700s. Early marriage was encouraged in New France, and youths of 18 took fourteen-year-old girls for their wives. The fur trade was developed and attracted migrants, both noble and commoner from France. 15,000 explorers left Montreal in the late 17th and 18th centuries, leaving French names scattered across the continent. The search for the Northwest passage continued. Migration from France to New France or Quebec, as it was now more popularly called, continued until 1759. By 1675, there were 7000 French in Quebec. By the same year the Acadian presence in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island had reached 500. In the treaty of Utrecht, the Acadians were ceded by France to Britain in 1713. In 1755, 10,000 French Acadians refused to take an oath of allegiance to England and were deported. They found refuge in Louisiana. Meanwhile, in Quebec, the French race flourished, founding in Lower Canada, one of the two great solitudes which became Canada. Many of this distinguished family name Provost were prominent in social, cultural, religious and political affairs in France and New France. Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Provost were

Provost Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • David Provost, who landed in New York, NY in 1639
  • Johannes Provost, who landed in New York in 1664
  • Elias Provost, who arrived in Virginia in 1691
  • Jonas Provost, who arrived in South Carolina in 1696

Provost Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • A. Provost, who landed in America, in 1904
  • A. S. Provost, who emigrated to the United States, in 1904
  • Arthemise Provost, aged 32, who settled in America from Paris, in 1905
  • Anorens J. Provost, aged 73, who landed in America, in 1907
  • Arthur Provost, aged 14, who emigrated to the United States, in 1908


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  • Étienne Provost (1785-1850), French Canadian fur trader active in the American Southwest
  • Claude Provost (1933-1984), Canadian professional NHL ice hockey player
  • Guy Provost OC, CQ (1925-2004), French Canadian actor
  • Stephane Provost (1967-2005), French Canadian NHL ice hockey official


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  1. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  2. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1978. Print.
  3. Vaillancourt, Emile. La Conquete du Canada par les Normands. Biographie de la premiere generation Normande du Canada. Montreal: G. Ducharme, 1930. Print.
  4. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  5. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  6. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  7. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  8. 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.
  9. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  10. Doyle, William. The Oxford History of the French Revolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0192852213).
  11. ...

The Provost Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Provost 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 4 September 2013 at 12:13.

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