Show ContentsArseneault History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Arseneault has a long French heritage that first began in the northern region of Normandy. The name is derived from when the family lived at Arcine, in the Canton of Haute-Savoie in Normandy.

Early Origins of the Arseneault family

The surname Arseneault was first found in Normandy (French: Normandie), the former Duchy of Normandy, where this ancient family has held a family seat since very early times.

The first record of the name was in 1257 and 1264, and has a connection with the noble name of Von-Locarno. The period of the time when the family name was Arcenium was perhaps the most rewarding period in that during this time and up to July 1657 this family branch was elected to be the Barons Arcenale de Langon of Orleans and Poitou, but this branch became detached from the main stem of the name of Arsenault.

The branch which spelt its name Arzegnio ultimately became Counts, but their history has disappeared into the mists of time. When the family arrived in North America it is thought to have first settled in the Canadian Maritimes in the late 1600's and the name became spelt with the traditional "lt" ending. The name flourished more during this period and until the 20th century, although the name is rarely found in the official records of the early French settlers. However, the name is still found in its original form of Arcegno (pronounced Arsenault) in Switzerland where many noble branches of the family exist.

François Arseneau married Suzanne Lecomte in 1665. Suzanne died due to complications from childbirth after delivering their first son, Michel, on 24th December 1666. François died on 10th Februrary 1669 from influenza in Batiscan, Quebec. [1]

Early History of the Arseneault family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Arseneault research. Another 65 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1257, 1264, 1347, 1452, 1600, and 1657 are included under the topic Early Arseneault History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Arseneault Spelling Variations

French surnames were subject to numerous spelling alterations depending on the region and time it was used. The early development of the French language relied heavily on borrowing elements and grammar from other languages. For example, Old French was infused with Germanic words and sounds when barbarian tribes invaded and settled in France after the fall of the Roman Empire. Middle French also borrowed heavily from the Italian language during the Renaissance. As a result of these linguistic and cultural influences, the name Arseneault is distinguished by a number of regional variations. The many spelling variations of the name include Arsenault, Arsenaul, Arsenaulte, Arsenauld, Arsenaud, Arsenaut, Arsenot and many more.

Early Notables of the Arseneault family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Arseneault Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Arseneault Ranking

In Canada, the name Arseneault is the 915th most popular surname with an estimated 5,907 people with that name. [2]

Migration of the Arseneault family

French settlers came early to North American, following in the wake of the explorers, and creating New France. Quebec City, founded in 1608 by Samuel de Champlain is said to have been the first American site founded as a permanent settlement, rather than as just a commercial outpost. But emigration was slow, in 1643, 109 years after the first landings by Cartier, there were only about 300 French people in Quebec, and by 1663, when the region was officially made The Royal Colony of New France, by Louis XIV, there still only around 500 settlers. Over 2,000 would arrive during the next decade. Early marriage was desperately encouraged amongst the immigrants. Youths of 18 took fourteen-year-old girls for their wives. The fur trade was developed and attracted immigrants, both noble and commoner from France. By 1675, there were around 7000 French in the colony, and by that same year 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. Despite the loss of the Colony to England, the French people flourished in Lower Canada. Among settlers to North America of the Arseneault surname were Pierre Arsenault (Pierre I) who was born in Rochefort in west-central France around 1646 and arrived in Acadia shortly after the 1671 census. In Acadia, Pierre I married twice and had 9 children. Pierre I, helped to found the Beaubassin settlement and several of Pierre I's children settled the Î.

Contemporary Notables of the name Arseneault (post 1700) +

  • Raynald Arseneault (1945-1995), Canadian composer and organist, an associate of the Canadian Music Centre
  • Guy H. Arseneault (b. 1952), Canadian teacher and politician, member of the Canadian House of Commons from 1988 to 1997
  • Donald Arseneault, Canadian politician in New Brunswick, Minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour (2008-2010), Minister of Natural Resources (2006-2008), Deputy Premier of New Brunswick (2006-2010)
  • Jean Arseneault (b. 1962), Canadian professional hockey player

  1. Olivier, Reginald L. Your Ancient Canadian Family Ties. Logan: The Everton Publishers, Inc., P.O. Box 368, 1972. Print
  2. "Surnames Meanings, Origins & Distribution Maps - Forebears." Forebears, on Facebook