Champels History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Champels 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 Champels family
The surname Champels 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." 
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. 
Early History of the Champels family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Champels research. The years 190 and 1909 are included under the topic Early Champels History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Champels Spelling Variations
Most surnames have experienced slight spelling changes. A son may not chose to spell his name the same way that his father did. Many were errors, many deliberate. During the early development of the French language, a person usually gave his version, phonetically, to a scribe, a priest, or a recorder. Prefixes or suffixes varied. They were optional as they passed through the centuries, or were adopted by different branches to signify either a political or religious adherence. Hence, there a many spelling variations of the name Champels, including Campeau, Campeaux, Champeau, Champeaux, Champel, Champels, Champart, Campaux, Compeau and many more.
Early Notables of the Champels family
More information is included under the topic Early Champels Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Champels family
France finally gave land incentives for 2,000 migrants during the 1700s. 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, the Acadians 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 Champels were prominent in social, cultural, religious and political affairs in France and New France. Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Champels 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..
- Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital
- Olivier, Reginald L. Your Ancient Canadian Family Ties. Logan: The Everton Publishers, Inc., P.O. Box 368, 1972. Print