Show ContentsDesvignes History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the Desvignes family goes back to the Medieval landscape of northwestern France, to the regions known as Brittany and Normandy. The name Lavigne is derived from the Old French word "vigne," meaning "vine," and as such it is likely that the first bearers of this name owned or worked on a vineyard. [1]

Early Origins of the Desvignes family

The surname Desvignes was first found in Brittany where they held a family seat in the seigneury of Haute Morays.

They later branched to Houle in that same province. They were closely allied to this latter House of Houlle de Kermassonet. Branching to the region of Tournai they intermarried with the family of Hennebert. Branches were later found in Maine, Le Mans, Bourbonnais, Guyenne, and Artois. In the south of France they held a family seat in the region of Languedoc at Puylaroque.

Joseph Lavigne, son of Pierre and Jeanne (née Gazaille), settled in Contrecoeur, Quebec and married Marie-Anne Gareau on 12th November 1727. [2]

Early History of the Desvignes family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Desvignes research. More information is included under the topic Early Desvignes History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Desvignes 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 Desvignes, including Lavigne, Levine, Levin, Levigne, Levigny, Laveine, Lavignes, Lavene, Des Vignes, deVigne, Devignes, Devigne, De lavigne and many more.

Early Notables of the Desvignes family

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Desvignes Ranking

In France, the name Desvignes is the 1,463rd most popular surname with an estimated 3,972 people with that name. [3]

Migration of the Desvignes family

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 Desvignes surname were Pierre Lavigne who settled in Quebec in 1757 from Bourbonnais; Guillaume Lavigne arrived in Quebec from Guyenne 1708; Joseph Lavigne arrived in Quebec from Guyenne in 1739.

  1. Dionne, N.-E., Origine Des Familles Canadiennes-Français. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1969. Print.
  2. Olivier, Reginald L. Your Ancient Canadian Family Ties. Logan: The Everton Publishers, Inc., P.O. Box 368, 1972. Print
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