Compeau History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Compeau 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 Compeau family

The surname Compeau 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." [1]

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. [2]

Early History of the Compeau family

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

Compeau Spelling Variations

History has changed the spelling of most surnames. During the early development of the French language in the Middle Ages, a person gave his version of his name, phonetically, to a scribe, a priest, or a recorder. Some variables were adopted by different branches of the family name. Hence, there spelling variations of the name Compeau, some of which include Campeau, Campeaux, Champeau, Champeaux, Champel, Champels, Champart, Campaux, Compeau and many more.

Early Notables of the Compeau family (pre 1700)

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


United States Compeau migration to the United States +

By 1643 there were only about 300 people in Quebec. Since immigration was slow, 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 Compeau 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 Compeau were

Compeau Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Rufino Compeau, aged 14, who landed in America, in 1921
  • Rufuis Compeau, aged 20, who settled in America, in 1923


  1. ^ Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital
  2. ^ Olivier, Reginald L. Your Ancient Canadian Family Ties. Logan: The Everton Publishers, Inc., P.O. Box 368, 1972. Print


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