Champel History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Champel 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 Champel family

The surname Champel 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 Champel family

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

Champel 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 Champel is distinguished by a number of regional variations. The many spelling variations of the name include Campeau, Campeaux, Champeau, Champeaux, Champel, Champels, Champart, Campaux, Compeau and many more.

Early Notables of the Champel family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Champel family

In the 1700s, land incentives were finally given out by France to 2,000 migrants. 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, Acadia 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 Champel were prominent in social, cultural, religious and political affairs in France and New France. Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Champel 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. ^ Olivier, Reginald L. Your Ancient Canadian Family Ties. Logan: The Everton Publishers, Inc., P.O. Box 368, 1972. Print


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