The name Degraves has a long French heritage that first began in southern region of Languedoc
. The name is derived from when the family lived in Languedoc
but the name could have also been derived from the Old French word "grave," which meant "gravel."
Early Origins of the Degraves family
The surname Degraves was first found in Languedoc
, where the family has held a family seat
since very early times.
Early History of the Degraves family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Degraves research.Another 260 words (19 lines of text) covering the years 1096, 1150, 1248, 1669, 1788, 1651 and 1708 are included under the topic Early Degraves History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Degraves 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 Degraves is distinguished by a number of regional variations. The many spelling variations
of the name include Grave, Grève, de Grèves, Grauve, Greive, Le Grave, de Grave, Graves and many more.
Early Notables of the Degraves family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family name at this time was Hugues, a Lord of Villegly and of Félines; and Jacques Gravier (1651-1708), a French Jesuit missionary in the New World from Moulins, Allier... Another 32 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Degraves Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Degraves family to the New World and Oceana
Immigration to New France was slow; therefore, 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 Degraves 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 Degraves were George Grave settled with his wife Elnor and son, John, aged 10; in Virginia in 1620; Hermon Up De Grave settled in Germantown, Pa. in 1693; Joan Grave, aged 30.
Contemporary Notables of the name Degraves (post 1700)
- William Degraves (1821-1883), Australian merchant and politician who settled in Melbourne from Hobart, Tasmania in 1849, eponym of Degraves Street, Melbourne