Champeau History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Champeau 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 Champeau family

The surname Champeau 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.

In early years some of the family ventured to England. By example, "Whitchurch [Devon] was once an archpresbytery, on the foundation of Robert Champeaux, Abbot of Tavistock about the year 1300, the rector being archpriest and having three fellows." [1]

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. [2]

Early History of the Champeau family

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

Champeau 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 Campeau, Campeaux, Champeau, Champeaux, Champel, Champels, Champart, Campaux, Compeau and many more.

Early Notables of the Champeau family (pre 1700)

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

Champeau Ranking

In France, the name Champeau is the 6,251st most popular surname with an estimated 1,000 - 1,500 people with that name. [3]

Migration of the Champeau family

In 1643, 109 years after the first landings by Cartier, there were only about 300 people in Quebec. Migration was slow. The fur trade attracted migrants, both noble and commoner. By 1675, there were 7000 French in Quebec. By the same year 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 Champeau 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 Champeau were Bernard Campeau settled in Windsor in 1784; Charles Henri Basile Campeau settled in Montreal in 1763; Claude Campeau settled in St.Jean in 1732; Etienne Campeau settled in Longueuil in 1736..



  1. ^ Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital
  2. ^ Olivier, Reginald L. Your Ancient Canadian Family Ties. Logan: The Everton Publishers, Inc., P.O. Box 368, 1972. Print
  3. ^ http://www.journaldesfemmes.com/nom-de-famille/nom/


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