Coutance History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The French family name Coutance is a patronymic name, derived from the Christian name of the bearer's father. The name is ultimately derived from the Latin name "Constans," which meant "steadfast" or "faithful." As a surname it seems to have developed independently in various regions of France including, Languedoc, Brittany, Anjou, Touraine, and Poitou.
Early Origins of the Coutance family
The surname Coutance was first found in Languedoc, where the earliest known bearers of this name are thought to have originated. However, the Coutance name was found in several regions from quite early times, with several different, perhaps even unrelated families taking on the surname. There was a noble family of feudal lords bearing the name in Poitou in the thirteenth century, and later, in the fifteenth century, there was another prominent family of that name among the nobility who held large fiefs in Brittany.
Walter Coutances (de Constantiis), (d. 1207), was "Bishop of Lincoln and Archbishop of Rouen, and is said to have been of English birth, the son of Rainfred and Gonilla; John de Schalby, in his compilation from the Lincoln records, states that he was a native of Cornwall. He may have been called of Coutances as he was sprung from the house of Corineus, the fabulous Trojan immigrant into Cornwall. He was clerk to Henry II and his eldest son, and is styled chaplain of Blythe. " 
Early History of the Coutance family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Coutance research. Another 214 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1770 and 1800 are included under the topic Early Coutance History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Coutance Spelling Variations
French surnames were subject to numerous alterations in spelling because of the various cultural groups that inhabited specific regions. Eventually, each region possessed its own local dialect of the French language. The early development of the French language, however, was also influenced by other languages. For example, Old French was infused with Germanic words and sounds when barbarian tribes invaded and settled in France after the fall of the Roman Empire. Middle French also borrowed heavily from the Italian language during the Renaissance. As a result of these linguistic and cultural influences, the name Coutance is distinguished by a number of regional variations. The many spelling variations of the name include Constans, Constan, Constant, Constanc, Constance, Consten, Constens, Constense, Constence, Constanse, Constane, Constene, Constante, Contans, Contan, Contant, Contance, Conten, Contens, Contense, Contence, Contanse, Contane, Contene and many more.
Early Notables of the Coutance family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Coutance Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Coutance family
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 Coutance 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 Coutance were Elizabeth Constant, who settled in Virginia in 1663; Louis Constant, aged 8; settled in New York in 1820; Martial Constant, aged 45; settled in New Orleans in 1820.
- Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print