Charais History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Charais is an ancient French name that was given to a person from Brittany who was a cart driver. Tracing the origin of the name further, we found the name Charais was derived from the Old French word "charetier," which means "carter."
Early Origins of the Charais family
The surname Charais was first found in Brittany, where this illustrious family was anciently seated.
At the end of the 14th century, the family settled in the region of Nantes. Louis de Charette, the marquis of La Gacherie, was born in Nantes in 1712 and died in 1787. Louis-François Charette, the lord of La Colinière, a nephew to Louis, was born in 1739. Several branches of the family were also formed in other regions. The branch Charest was established in Poitou, in a village of Vienne, in the district of Poitiers. The members of the branch Charette branched to a village in the department of Isère, in the district of La-Tour-du-Pin.
Etienne Charest, born in 1631, son of Pierre and Renée (née Merle), arrived in Canada from Sainte-Radégonde, France. He married Catherine Bisson on 27th November 1670. Etienne passed away in Lévis, Quebec but he left many descendents. 
Early History of the Charais family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Charais research. More information is included under the topic Early Charais History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Charais Spelling Variations
One can encounter great variation in the spelling of French surnames; in part, as spelling, and the spelling names was not yet standardized during the early development of the written French language. Later, there was much branching and movement of families, and spellings would change according to region. Variations of the name Charais include Charest, Charrest, Charet, Charret, Charets, Charrets, Charette, Charrette, Charettes, Charrettes, Charais, Charrais and many more.
Early Notables of the Charais family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst this name at this time was Athanase-Charles-Marin de Charette de la Contrie, a politician, who was born at the chateau La Trémissière in 1796, and...
Migration of the Charais family
Immigration to New France was slow; therefore, 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. By the same year 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 Charais 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 Charais were Étienne Charets, who married Catherine Bissot in Quebec City in 1670; Jacques Charets, who married Jeanne Dubois in Lévis in 1693; Étienne Charets, a merchant, who married Anne-Thé.