An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
Origins Available: English, French-Alt, French
The Anglo-Saxon name Chevalier comes from when its first bearer worked as a knight. The surname Chevalier is derived from the Old French word chevalier, which means knight, but horseman and rider are more literal translations. This is derived from the Late Latin word caballarius, which is a derivative of the word caballus, which means horse. In medieval times, only men of wealth could afford the upkeep of a riding horse. In most cases, the surname Chevalier was originally an occupational name applied to a knight's servant, rather than to the knight himself, since most members of the knighthood belonged to noble families which bore surnames derived from their estates.
The surname Chevalier was first found in Suffolk, where they held a family seat at Aspal from ancient times.
Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Chevalier include Chevalier, Chivaler, Chevaler, Cheveler, Cheualer and others.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chevalier research. Another 397 words (28 lines of text) covering the years 1221, 1273, 1332, 1500, 1540, 1546, and 1805 are included under the topic Early Chevalier History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Chevalier Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the Chevalier family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 111 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.
Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Chevalier or a variant listed above:
Chevalier Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Chevalier Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Chevalier Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Chevalier Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century
Chevalier Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
Chevalier Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Fidei coticula crux
Motto Translation: The cross is the test of truth.
The Chevalier Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Chevalier Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.
This page was last modified on 12 February 2015 at 11:15.