The surname Degas is generally believed to be derived from the Old French word "gast," which means "untilled" and accordingly, the original bearer must have owned unused arable land. A French family in the ancient region of Auvergne was the first to use the name Degas.
Early Origins of the Degas family
The surname Degas was first found in Auvergne, a historic province in south central France where this distinguished family held a family seat
in the seigneurie of Chassagny in the arrondisement of Beaune, in the Lyonnaise region of Auvergne.
Early History of the Degas family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Degas research.Another 201 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1615, 1675, 1789, 1673, 1736, 1615 and 1675 are included under the topic Early Degas History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Degas Spelling Variations
There were a great number of spelling variations
in French surnames. One reason for this was the wide variety of cultural influences present in France during the early development of the French language. The many spelling variations of the name include Dugas, Dugaz, Duguè, Ducas, Duguet, Dugay, Duguay, Dughet, Duguet, Duguie, Dugue, du Gas, du Guay and many more.
Early Notables of the Degas family (pre 1700)
Another 24 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Degas Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Degas family to the New World and Oceana
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 Degas 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 Degas were Abraham Dugas, of Brittany
, whose marriage to Marguerite Doucet was on record in Port Royal in 1645; Michel-Sydrac Dugay of Brittany, who was on record in Quebec in 1665.