Show ContentsDemey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Demey family name dates back to the time of Medieval France. It comes from an early member of the family from Normandy who was a person born in the month of May. A May birth was considered lucky as the month was a festive time in which the beginning of the growing season was celebrated.

Early Origins of the Demey family

The surname Demey was first found in Normandy (French: Normandie), the former Duchy of Normandy, where the family anciently resided at Leme, a village in the department of l'Aisne, in the arrondisement of Vervins. By the 12th century the family name also moved south to Aquitaine and Languedoc. A branch was formed in Anjou at Poitiers.

Michel Lemay, born in 1630, son of François and Marie (née Gaschet), travelled from Chenehutte-les-Tuffeaux in Anjou to New France in 1659. He settled in Quebec and married Marie Dutaut, born in 1640, daughter of Pierre and Jeanne, at Trois-Rivières on 15th June 1659. His second marriage was to Michelle Ouinville on 12th April 1677. [1]

Early History of the Demey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Demey research. Another 103 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Demey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Demey 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 Demey is distinguished by a number of regional variations. The many spelling variations of the name include LeMay, Lemay, Lemais, Lemaise, Lemmais, Lemmaise, Lemaises, Lemet, Lemez, Lemait, Lemaits, Dumay, Dumais, Dumez and many more.

Early Notables of the Demey family (pre 1700)

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

United States Demey migration to the United States +

French settlers came early to North American, following in the wake of the explorers, and creating New France. Quebec City, founded in 1608 by Samuel de Champlain is said to have been the first American site founded as a permanent settlement, rather than as just a commercial outpost. But emigration was slow, in 1643, 109 years after the first landings by Cartier, there were only about 300 French people in Quebec, and by 1663, when the region was officially made The Royal Colony of New France, by Louis XIV, there still only around 500 settlers. Over 2,000 would arrive during the next decade. Early marriage was desperately encouraged amongst the immigrants. Youths of 18 took fourteen-year-old girls for their wives. The fur trade was developed and attracted immigrants, both noble and commoner from France. By 1675, there were around 7000 French in the colony, and by that 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. Despite the loss of the Colony to England, the French people flourished in Lower Canada. Among settlers to North America of the Demey surname were

Demey Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Geo Demey, who arrived in Virginia in 1650 [2]
  • Joan Demey, who landed in Virginia in 1650 [2]
Demey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Abraham DeMey, aged 29, who landed in New York, NY in 1847 [2]

  1. Olivier, Reginald L. Your Ancient Canadian Family Ties. Logan: The Everton Publishers, Inc., P.O. Box 368, 1972. Print
  2. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8) on Facebook