Campeau History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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.

Early Origins of the Campeau family

The surname Campeau was 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 neighbouring provinces of Picardy to the east and Brittany to the West.

Between the 14th and 16th centuries they branched to Ille-et-Vilaine, Artois, de Tregouet, du Greis, Bonabry in Brittany, Champagne (the Seigneurie de Champagne), de la Boulaye, Bourgogne and Limousin. Perhaps the most important branch of the name was found in the south in Provence at Marseille, recorded there since the 15th century and found to be related to the Royal House of Monaco, the Grimaldi's. Valentine Grimaldi was adopted into the House of Campeau by an aunt, and it was ordained by the Prince of Monaco, chief of the House of Grimaldi, that henceforth from 1909, the family was to bear the name Campou Grimaldi-Regusse.

Étienne Campeau, born in 1638, son of Leonard and Françoise (née Mauge), was a French mason that travelled to Canada in the 17th century. After he arrived in Quebec he married Catherine Paulo, born in 1646, daughter of Pierre and Renée (née Cordetelle), at Montreal on 26th November 1663. [1]

Early History of the Campeau family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Campeau research. More information is included under the topic Early Campeau History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Campeau Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Campeau family (pre 1700)

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


United States Campeau migration to the United States +

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 United States in the 18th Century
  • Bernard Campeau, who settled in Windsor in 1784

Canada Campeau migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Campeau Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century
  • Estienne Campeau, who arrived in Montreal in 1662
  • Etienne Campeau, son of Léonard and Françoise, who married Catherine Paulo, daughter of Pierre and Renée, in Montreal, Quebec on 26th November 1663 [2]
  • Etienne Campeau, son of Etienne and Catherine, who married Jeanne Fouché, daughter of Louis and Hélène, in Montreal, Quebec on 3rd April 1690 [2]
  • Michel Campeau, son of Etienne and Catherine, who married Jeanne Massé, daughter of Martin and Jeanne, in Montreal, Quebec on 7th January 1696 [2]
  • François Campeau, son of Etienne and Catherine, who married Madeleine Brossard, daughter of Urbain and Urbaine, in Montreal, Quebec on 28th January 1698 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Campeau Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Jean Campeau, son of Etienne and Catherine, who married Élisabeth Bernier, daughter of Mathurin and Jeanne, in Montreal, Quebec on 25th October 1705 [2]
  • Etienne Campeau, son of Etienne and Jeanne, who married Louise Viger, daughter of Charles and Françoise, in Montreal, Quebec on 5th February 1724 [2]
  • Jacques Campeau, son of Jacques and Catherine, who married Madeleine Lart, daughter of Pierre and Marie, in Quebec on 13th November 1730 [2]
  • Henri Campeau, son of Jacques and Jeanne-Cécile, who married Marguerite Luillier, daughter of Charles and Marguerite-Renée, in Montreal, Quebec on 5th February 1731 [2]
  • Claude Campeau, son of François and Madeleine, who married Marie-Madeleine Audibert, daughter of Etienne and Catherine, in Saint-Jean-de-l'Île-d'Orléans, Quebec on 10th November 1732 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Campeau (post 1700) +

  • Frank Campeau (1864-1943), American actor who appeared in 93 films between 1911 and 1940 working many films with Douglas Fairbanks
  • Daniel J. Campeau (1813-1883), American politician, Presidential Elector for Michigan, 1852 [3]
  • Fleurette Campeau (b. 1941), Canadian fencer
  • Charles-Édouard Campeau (b. 1916), Progressive Conservative party member of the Canadian House of Commons
  • Rychard Campeau (b. 1952), former Canadian professional NHL ice hockey defenceman who played from 1972 to 1977
  • Lucien Campeau (d. 2010), Canadian cardiologist, full professor at the Université de Montréal, recipient of the Research Achievement Award of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society
  • Brian Campeau (b. 1980), Canadian musician currently based in Sydney, Australia
  • Jean-Claude "Tod" Campeau (1923-2009), Canadian professional NHL ice hockey forward who played 42 games for the Montreal Canadiens
  • Jean Campeau (b. 1931), Canadian businessman and former politician
  • Robert Campeau (b. 1923), Canadian business magnate in real estate and development
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ Olivier, Reginald L. Your Ancient Canadian Family Ties. Logan: The Everton Publishers, Inc., P.O. Box 368, 1972. Print
  2. ^ Internoscia, Arthur E., and Claire Chevrier. Dictionnaire National des Canadiens Français 1608-1760. Vol. 1, Institut Drouin, 1958.
  3. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 19) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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