Defay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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The region of ancient France known as Auvergne, is where the name Defay was born. Defay was a name for someone who lived near a grove of beech trees. It is associated with the Auvergne region of France, on the Massíf Central, which is located in south-central France.
Early Origins of the Defay family
The surname Defay was first found in Auvergne, a historic province located in south-central France.
Early History of the Defay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Defay research. Another 454 words (32 lines of text) covering the years 1145, 1220, 1360, 1309, 1393, 1400, 1500, 1669, 1764, 1757, 1806, 1814, 1700, 1709, 1674 and 1731 are included under the topic Early Defay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Defay Spelling Variations
Changes of spelling have occurred in most surnames. The earliest explanation is that during the early development of the French language, names were not yet fixed in spelling. Usually a person gave his version of his name, phonetically, to a scribe, a priest, or a recorder. This depended on accent, and local accents frequently changed the spelling of a name. Some variables were adopted by different branches of the family name. Hence, there are some spelling variations of the name Defay, including Fay, Fait, Fais, Faie, Faite, Faies, Fez, Fée, Faye, De Fay, De Fait, De Fais, De Faie, De Faies, De Fez, De Fée, De Fé, Fé, De Faye and many more.
Early Notables of the Defay family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family was Claude-Florimond De Fay, Captain of the Ponthieu Regiment during the 1700's.
Jacques de la Faye was a 17th-18th century French writer whose Defensio Religionis ('Defense of Religion') a 251-page critique of the pantheism of John Toland, was...
Another 40 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Defay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
In France, the name Defay is the 5,169th most popular surname with an estimated 1,000 - 1,500 people with that name. 
Migration of the Defay family
In the 1700s, land incentives were finally given out by France to 2,000 migrants. Early marriage was encouraged in New France, and youths of 18 took fourteen-year-old girls for their wives. The fur trade was developed and attracted migrants, both noble and commoner from France. 15,000 explorers left Montreal in the late 17th and 18th centuries, leaving French names scattered across the continent. The search for the Northwest passage continued. Migration from France to New France or Quebec, as it was now more popularly called, continued until 1759. 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 the treaty of Utrecht, Acadia were ceded by France to Britain in 1713. In 1755, 10,000 French Acadians refused to take an oath of allegiance to England and were deported. They found refuge in Louisiana. Meanwhile, in Quebec, the French race flourished, founding in Lower Canada, one of the two great solitudes which became Canada. Many of this distinguished family name Defay were prominent in social, cultural, religious and political affairs in France and New France. Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Defay were C. Fay, aged 31; settled in New York in 1823; Eugène Fay settled in Philadelphia in 1876; Gabriel Fay settled in Philadelphia in 1865; John Fay settled in Philadelphia in 1838.
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