Deschenes History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The proud French name Deschenes was formed in Normandy when the family resided in Normandy, at the town of Quesney or Chenay. The family name is a local form of this place name, meaning of Quesney or Chenay.
Early Origins of the Deschenes family
The surname Deschenes was first found in Normandy (French: Normandie), the former Duchy of Normandy, where the family dates back to the Gauls in the sixth century when their root name of Cassanus was used according to the French historian Morlet. After the 9th century the family allied and intermarried with the Vikings or Northmen, when they were recorded as an ancient Norman family with seats and estates. Today Chassaing is a settlement in Guadeloupe in the commune of Saint-François, on the island of Grande-Terre.
By the 13th century the family were well established in many regions and several bearers of the family name were rewarded with lands, titles, and letters patent confirming their nobility. Rogiers De Chaigne is recorded as holding lands in Picardy in the 1200's, Jehanot Du Chesne is mentioned in the royal cartularies in 1342, Matheus Cassien of Morcourt in 1340, Jobertus Chenet appears in Picardy in 1227.
By the end of the 1500's the family could also be found as Chenay, Chesnay, Chesnaie, and Cassou in the north, and Cassagne-Lacassagne, Chassagne, Cassan, Chassang, and Chassaing in the south.
The Duchesneau or Le Chesnot were Lords of Brittany until the 1700's when the title was transferred to the Le Forestier family. The LeChene or Duchene's were the Lords of Normandy until 1710 with the marriage of the heiress to a De Prie. Showing their prominence, the Duchesne or Le Chesne were Lords of Brittany, Poitou, Normandy, l'île-de-France, and Sologne. Due to their great wealth, the Deschene family held the lands and manor of the Canton of Belfont. 
Pierre Duchesne, born in 1621, son of Jean and Catherine (née Poulet), travelled from Picardie, France to the New World in the 17th century. He married Catherine Rivest on 7th January 1666 and they settled in Sainte-Famille, Quebec, where they remained until his death on 11th March 1697. 
Early History of the Deschenes family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Deschenes research. Another 214 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1227, 1340, 1342, 1500, 1584, 1640, 1700, and 1710 are included under the topic Early Deschenes History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Deschenes Spelling Variations
French surnames were subject to numerous spelling alterations depending on the region and time it was used. The early development of the French language relied heavily on borrowing elements and grammar from 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 Deschenes is distinguished by a number of regional variations. The many spelling variations of the name include Duchesne, du Chesne, Duchèsne, Duchès, Duchène, Duchêne, Duchêsne, Chisne, Chauny, Chesne, Chesneau, Chenay, Chesnaie, Lequesne, Duquesne, Chene, Chaine, Chand, Chesnot, DuChaine, Duchesneau, Duchesnaux, Descheneaux, Duquesne, LeQuesne, Chassaing, Duchand and many more.
Early Notables of the Deschenes family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family in this period was André Duchesne (1584-1640) French geographer and historian, often called the father of French history; Abraham Duquesne, Marquis du Bouchet (c.1610-1688), a French naval officer; Guillaume Chesneau, chevalier, seigneur, cup-bearer to...
Another 38 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Deschenes Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Deschenes family
In 1643, 109 years after the first landings by Cartier, there were only about 300 people in Quebec. Migration was slow. The fur trade attracted migrants, both noble and commoner. By 1675, there were 7000 French in Quebec. By the same year the French Acadian presence in the Maritimes had reached 500. The French founded Lower Canada, thus becoming one of the two great founding nations of Canada. The family name Deschenes has made many distinguished contributions in France and New France to the world of science, culture, religion, and education. Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Deschenes were Madame Duchesne, aged 40, who settled in New Orleans in 1823; J.B. Duchesne, aged 44, who settled in New Orleans in 1822; André Duchene who settled in Philadelphia, Pa. in 1795.
Contemporary Notables of the name Deschenes (post 1700) +
- Louis N. M. DesChenes, American Republican politician, Member of Massachusetts State House of Representatives Twelfth Worcester District, 1923-24; Candidate for Mayor of Fitchburg, Massachusetts, 1939 
- John Joseph Deschenes (b. 1910), American Republican politician,Member of Vermont State Senate from Chittenden County, 1947 
- Jules Deschênes CC FRSC (1923-2000), Canadian Chief Justice of the Quebec Superior Court (1973-1983), President of the Royal Society of Canada (1990-1992)
- Georges-Honoré Deschênes (1841-1892), Canadian farmer, businessman and politician, Member of the Legislative Assembly of Quebec for Témiscouata (1875-1890)
- Bruno Deschênes (b. 1963), Canadian fencer in the team sabre event at the 1988 Summer Olympics
- Marcelle Deschênes -Harvey (b. 1939), née Price, a Canadian multi-media artist, music educator and composer
- Frederic "Freddie" Deschênes (b. 1976), Canadian professional ice hockey goaltender
Related Stories +
- ^ Hozier, Charles D, and Antoine Bachelin-Delforenne. État présent De La Noblesse française (1883-1887): Contenant Le Distionnaire De La Noblesse Contemporaine Et Larmorial général De France, Dapres Les Manuscrits De Ch. D Hozier. Librairie Des Bibliophiles, 1884. Print.
- ^ Olivier, Reginald L. Your Ancient Canadian Family Ties. Logan: The Everton Publishers, Inc., P.O. Box 368, 1972. Print
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2017, April 12) Louis DesChenes. Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2017, April 12) John Deschenes. Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html