Blais History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The surname is one of the oldest family names to come from that French region known as Languedoc. It is derived from the personal name Blaise. As such, it means "son of Blaise."
Early Origins of the Blais family
The surname Blais was first found in Languedoc.
This ancient family is recorded in 1459 when Robert de Blay was the Municipal Magistrate of Toulouse. His noble descendant, Philippe, was the Gentleman of the Chamber and personal bodyguard to the Duke of Orléans (Louis XII). Throughout the centuries, this family prospered and branched to several provinces where members of this celebrated family became prominent citizens holding titles and estates. Recorded in 1600, Raymond Blay settled at Perpignan where his son became consul in 1675 and was mentioned in the register of the Church of la Réal.
Due to their prominent position in society, this family formed many alliances with other leading families of the times and in this way, the family acquired many titles and lands. Among the more important alliances were the marriages between Antoine Blay and Candide de Vilar, June 18, 1707, and Jean Blay and Mathilde de Gaïx in 1844. The family acquired the castle of Gaïx from this marriage. Their son, Gabriel, received permission to continue the Gaïx name, but the House of Richard Ble acquired the barony of Gaïx in 1719.
Pierre Blais, born in 1639, son of Mathurin and Françoise, travelled from France to Canada in the 17th century. After arriving in Quebec he married Anne Perrot, born in 1643, daughter of Jean and Jeanne (née Valta), at Sainte-Famille-de-l'île-d'Orléans on 12th October 1669. He married again on 5th June 1689 to Elisabeth Royer, daughter of Jean and Marie (née Targer). They remained together in Quebec until Pierre passed away at Saint-Jean-de-l'île-d'Orléans in 1669. 
Early History of the Blais family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Blais research. More information is included under the topic Early Blais History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Blais Spelling Variations
There were a great number of spelling variations in French surnames. One reason for this was the wide variety of cultural influences present in France during the early development of the French language. The many spelling variations of the name include Blais, Blaies, Blay, Blaise, de Blais, de Blaies, de Blaise, Blaize, Blaison, Blaisot and many more.
Early Notables of the Blais family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Blais Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Blais World Ranking
In the United States, the name Blais is the 3,654th most popular surname with an estimated 7,461 people with that name.  However, in Canada, the name Blais is ranked the 138th most popular surname with an estimated 23,759 people with that name.  And in Quebec, Canada, the name Blais is the 49th popular surname.  France ranks Blais as 2,029th with 3,083 people. 
| Blais migration to the United States ||+|
France was active as a cultural leader in the early 16th century. One particular area in which they lead was the exploration of the New World. The explorers, like Jacques Cartier in 1534, led the way to North America. Champlain, in 1608, made the first of twenty voyages to France to attract settlers and brought the first migrant in 1617. By 1675, there were 7000 French in Quebec, and the French Acadian presence in the Maritimes had reached 500. The French founded Lower Canada, thus becoming one of the two great founding nations of Canada. The family name Blais has made many distinguished contributions in France and New France to the world of science, culture, religion, and education. Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Blais were
Blais Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Pierre Blais, who settled in the parish of Sainte-Famille in 1669
Blais Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Pierre and François Blais, who settled in the parish of St. François in 1720
Blais Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Lrig Blais, aged 35, who landed in New Orleans, La in 1826 
- C M F Blais, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 
- L. B. Blais, who settled in San Francisco in 1856
- Eugene Blais, who settled in the parish of Sainte Petronille in 1874
| Blais migration to Canada ||+|
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
- Antoine Blais, son of Jacques and Louise-Angélique, who married Marie-Agathe Alary, daughter of Jean and Louise, in Pointe-du-Lac, Quebec on 19th August 1747 
- Antoine Blais, son of Antoine and Jeanne, who married Marie Chartier, daughter of Michel and Marie-Anne, in Berthier, Quebec on 12th November 1731 
- Antoine Blais, son of Antoine and Jeanne, who married Marie-Anne Corriveau, daughter of Jean and Françoise, in Saint-Vallier, Quebec on 29th October 1743 
- Antoine Blais, son of Pierre and Anne, who married Ambroise Fournier, daughter of Nicolas and Marie, in Saint-Michel, Quebec on 10th February 1716 
- Charles Blais, son of Louis and Marguerite, who married Marie Desmoulins, daughter of Michel and Judith, in Sainte-Geneviève, Quebec on 17th May 1751 
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Blais Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
- Joseph Blais, who settled with his wife, Elisabeth, in the parish of Saint-Laurent in 1899
Blais Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
- Joseph-Adelard Blais, who settled with his wife, Philomène, in Saint-Pierre in 1904
|Contemporary Notables of the name Blais (post 1700) ||+|
- Dean Blais (b. 1951), American ice hockey coach
- Christopher Blais (b. 1981), American rally racing rider
- Richard Blais (b. 1972), American chef
- Mathieu Blais (b. 1983), French footballer
- François Blais (1973-2022), Canadian writer from Quebec who received the 2020 Governor General's Award for French-language children's literature for his novel Lac Adélard
- Marie-Claire Blais CC OQ MSRC (1939-2021), French Canadian writer, novelist, poet, and playwright, recipient of Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts Award
- Mimi Blais, French Canadian pianist, composer, and comedian
- Isabelle Sophie Emilie Blais (b. 1975), Canadian film and television actress and singer from Trois-Rivières, Quebec
- Aristide Blais (1875-1964), Canadian physician and senator
- Brigadier Edmond Alfred Blais (b. 1892), Canadian District Officer Commanding 5th Military District from 1943 to 1945 
- ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
|Historic Events for the Blais family ||+|
- Mr. Albert Edward Blais, American Radioman Third Class from New York, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking 
- Olivier, Reginald L. Your Ancient Canadian Family Ties. Logan: The Everton Publishers, Inc., P.O. Box 368, 1972. Print
- "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?". NameCensus.com, https://namecensus.com/last-names/
- "Surnames Meanings, Origins & Distribution Maps - Forebears." Forebears, https://forebears.io/surnames
- "The first 1,000 family names by rank, Quebec (in French only)" Institut de la statistique du Quebec, https://statistique.quebec.ca/en/document/family-names-in-quebec/tableau/the-first-1000-family-names-by-rank-quebec
- Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
- Internoscia, Arthur E., and Claire Chevrier. Dictionnaire National des Canadiens Français 1608-1760. Vol. 1, Institut Drouin, 1958.
- Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, September 8) Edmond Blais. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Blais/Edmond_Alfred/Canada.html
- Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html