Du fresne History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Du fresne surname comes from the name of the village of Fresne, which was in the province of Bourgogne. During the late Middle Ages in France, as hereditary surnames began to be adopted names that were derived from localities became increasingly widespread; sometimes these names could proprietorship of the village or estate.

Early Origins of the Du fresne family

The surname Du fresne was first found in Burgundy (French: Bourgogne), an administrative and historical region of east-central France, where this family has held a family seat since ancient times. The name is derived from the Old French word for "ash" as in Ash tree from the Latin: fraxinus.

Throughout the centuries the family prospered, and branched to several regions in France. One branch originated from Artois, where Thibaut, Sieur of Fresnes, was a servant to the Duke of Bourgogne in 1358. Members were acknowledged and honored for their outstanding service. Colart de Fresne was a knight in 1410. Claude de Fresne was Lord of Fresne and Fleurey in 1472.

Among his descendants were: Étienne, who was titled Knight of Malta, and, in recognition of his outstanding service on the battlefield, was promoted to Commander of Vaufranche in Berry in the 15th century; Chretien, Captain of one hundred soldiers, who was killed at the Battle of Saint-Quentin; François, Captain of Montbard; another François who was a battle marshal in 1652, then became Captain of the Château of Montreal; and René, who was a ship's captain.

Adding to the mentioned members who proudly carried this name are Barthélemy, who became the Canon of Autun in 1404, Jean, who was a skilled horseman and became the Lord of Saint-Albin, and Philibert, who was in charge of the Château of Semur-en-Brionnais. This esteemed family held the titles of the Barons and Counts of Fresne, and the Barons of Saint-Beury and Villiers, as well as holding a fair number of fiefs. Today, the province of Bourgogne is especially proud of being associated with a dedicated family.

Important Dates for the Du fresne family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Du fresne research. Another 40 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1253, 1315, 1610 and 1688 are included under the topic Early Du fresne History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Du fresne Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Fresne, du Fresne, Frayne, du Frayne, Fresnes, Fraynes, Dufresne, Dufresnes, Dufrayne, Dufraynes, Frene, Frenes, Frane, Franes, du Frene, du Frenes, du Frane, du Franes, Dufrene, Dufrenes, Dufrane, Dufranes, Fraines, Fraine, Freyne, Freynes, Frenne, Frennes, Fresnne, Fresnnes, Fresnais, Fraigne and many more.

Early Notables of the Du fresne family (pre 1700)

Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Du fresne Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Du fresne migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Du fresne Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century
  • Jacques DuFresne, who landed in Montreal in 1661

Contemporary Notables of the name Du fresne (post 1700)

  • Gaston Dufresne, American principal bassist in the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1927 to 1957
  • John Dufresne (b. 1948), American author of French Canadian descent, professor in the Master of Fine Arts Creative Writing program of the English Department at Florida International University
  • Armand A. DuFresne Jr., American jurist, a Judge in Lewiston, Maine
  • Isabelle Collin Dufresne (1935-2014), who used the stage name Ultra Violet, a French-born, American artist, author, and former colleague and superstar of Andy Warhol
  • Nicole duFresne (1977-2005), American playwright and actress
  • Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne (1724-1772), Breton-born, French explorer who made important discoveries in the south Indian Ocean, Tasmania and New Zealand; he was killed by Maori in 1772
  • Louis Dufresne (1752-1832), French ornithologist, taxidermist and explorer, one of the naturalists on board the Astrolabe in 1785
  • Laurent Dufresne, French footballer
  • Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne (1724-1772), French explorer
  • Sylvain Dufresne (b. 1978), Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman
  • ... (Another 8 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
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