Chestnut History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The first people to use the distinguished Chestnut family name were found n France, and was a Huguenot surname. It was brought to England, in the 15th and 16th centuries when the Huguenots fled France because of the religious persecution that threatened their survival there. The Chestnut family originated in Touraine, France. Their name, however, indicates that they once lived near a prominent chestnut tree or grove of such trees.

Early Origins of the Chestnut family

The surname Chestnut was first found in Touraine in France, where they were Lords of Breaux, Montay and la Doucinier, where they held a family seat for many centuries. Conjecturally, the Chestnuts were derived from this source, as we shall see. The Chesneaus were known as the Chesneau (du) de la Haugreniere and had branches in Maine and Lorraine. Guillame (William) Chesneau was Chamberlayn to King Charles VII of France. The family fled France when the revocation of the Edict of Nantes was effected in 1685, disallowing protestants the right to worship.

Early History of the Chestnut family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chestnut research. Another 262 words (19 lines of text) covering the years 1800, 1803, 1790, 135 , 1743, 1813 and 1800 are included under the topic Early Chestnut History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Chestnut Spelling Variations

Huguenot surnames were only slightly Anglicized, and they remain to this day a distinct group of surnames in England. Nevertheless, Huguenot surnames have been subject to numerous spelling alterations since the names emerged in France. French surnames have a variety of spelling variations because the French language has changed drastically over the centuries. French was developed from the vernacular Latin of the Roman Empire. It is divided into three historic and linguistic periods: Old French, which developed before the 14th century; Middle French, which was used between the 14th and 16th centuries; and Modern French, which was used after the 16th century and continues to be in use today. In all of these periods, the French language was heavily influenced by other languages. For example, Old French was infused with Germanic words and sounds when the barbarian tribes invaded and settled in France after the fall of the Roman Empire. Middle French also borrowed heaviliy from the Italian language during the Renaissance. Huguenot names have numerous variations. The name may be spelled Chesneau, Chesnoit, Chestnoit, Chestnit, Chestnitt, Chestnet, Chestnett, Chestnut, Chesnut, Chestnutt and many more.

Early Notables of the Chestnut family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Chestnut family to Ireland

Some of the Chestnut family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Chestnut migration to the United States +

Discovered in the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Chestnut:

Chestnut Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Chestnut who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1802
  • Samuel Chestnut, who arrived in New York State in 1803
  • Sand Chestnut, aged 30, who arrived in New York, NY in 1803 [1]
  • Samuel Chestnut, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1811 [1]
  • Samuel Chestnut, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1811
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Chestnut migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Chestnut Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mary Chestnut, aged 65, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the ship "Samuel" from Liverpool, England
  • Agnes Chestnut, aged 16, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the ship "Samuel" from Liverpool, England

Contemporary Notables of the name Chestnut (post 1700) +

  • Joseph "Joey" Christian Chestnut (b. 1983), American competitive eater, currently ranked first in the world by Major League Eating, known for Katy Perry Feat. Nicki Minaj: Swish Swish (2017), The Amazing Race (2001) and Hell's Kitchen (2005)
  • Morris L. Chestnut (b. 1969), American Image Award winning film and television actor, known for Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995), Boyz n the Hood (1991) and Kick-Ass 2 (2013)
  • Cyrus Chestnut (b. 1963), American jazz pianist, songwriter, and producer
  • Clyde Chestnut Barrow (1909-1934), American gangster, half of the notorious Bonnie and Clyde outlaws

  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8) on Facebook
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