Show ContentsDuguay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Duguay is generally believed to be derived from the Old French word "gast," which means "untilled,"and accordingly, the original bearer must have owned unused arable land. A French family in the ancient region of Auvergne was the first to use the name Duguay.

Early Origins of the Duguay family

The surname Duguay was first found in Auvergne, a historic province in south central France where this distinguished family held a family seat in the seigneurie of Chassagny in the arrondisement of Beaune, in the Lyonnaise region of Auvergne.

By the 13th century they had located at Bois St. Just as one of their principal seats. Through intermarriage with the distinguished family of Trouin they became seated at Trouin du Guay. They moved north to île-de-France in the region of Paris, a branch of which moved west to Anjou, also west to Guyenne and Gascony, and to Brittany. Later they acquired the estates of Varennes at Catonière in Lyon. Gaspard Dughet was a French designer and painter, 1615-1675. They flourished on their estates for many centuries until the French Revolution in 1789.

Jacques Duguay, born in 1647, son of Michel and Catherine (née Lebret), was a French surgeon that settled in Canada in the 17th century. He married Jeanne Beaudry, daughter of Urbain and Marie-Jeanne (née Soulard), at Trois-Rivières, Quebec on 21st November 1672. [1]

Early History of the Duguay family

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

Duguay Spelling Variations

Throughout the course of history most surnames have undergone changes for many reasons. During the early development of the French language, a son and father may not have chosen to spell their name the same way. Many are simple spelling changes by a person who gave his name, phonetically, to a scribe, priest, or recorder. Many names held prefixes or suffixes which became optional as they passed through the centuries, or were adopted by different branches to signify either a political or religious adherence. Hence, we have many spelling variations of this name, Duguay some of which are Dugas, Dugaz, Duguè, Ducas, Duguet, Dugay, Duguay, Dughet, Duguet, Duguie, Dugue, du Gas, du Guay and many more.

Early Notables of the Duguay family (pre 1700)

Another 24 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Duguay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Duguay World Ranking

In the United States, the name Duguay is the 10,095th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [2] However, in Canada, the name Duguay is ranked the 392nd most popular surname with an estimated 11,864 people with that name. [3] And in Quebec, Canada, the name Duguay is the 248th popular surname. [4]

United States Duguay migration to the United States +

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 Duguay 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 Duguay were

Duguay Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Raymond Duguay, aged 16, who landed in America from Paris, France, in 1910
  • Louis Eugene Duguay, aged 62, who immigrated to America from Nicolet, in 1914
  • Jean Duguay, aged 35, who landed in America, in 1922

Canada Duguay migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Duguay Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century
  • Jacques Duguay, who arrived in Canada in 1653
Duguay Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Louis-Remi Duguay, who landed in Canada in 1722
  • Louis-Remy Duguay, who arrived in Quebec in 1723 from Picardy

Contemporary Notables of the name Duguay (post 1700) +

  • Christian Duguay (b. 1970), American comic actor
  • Calixte Duguay (b. 1939), multi-disciplinarian Canadian Artist
  • Joseph-Nestor Duguay (1846-1907), Canadian businessman and political figure in Quebec
  • Normand Duguay (b. 1941), former Canadian politician
  • Léo Duguay (b. 1944), Progressive Conservative party member of the Canadian House of Commons
  • Joseph Duguay (1816-1891), Quebec merchant and political figure
  • Raôul Duguay (b. 1939), Canadian artist, poet, musician, and political activist
  • Christian Duguay (b. 1957), Canadian director
  • Roger Duguay, former Canadian politician and Roman Catholic priest
  • Ronald Duguay (b. 1957), retired Canadian professional ice hockey player and coach

  1. Olivier, Reginald L. Your Ancient Canadian Family Ties. Logan: The Everton Publishers, Inc., P.O. Box 368, 1972. Print
  2. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  3. "Surnames Meanings, Origins & Distribution Maps - Forebears." Forebears,
  4. "The first 1,000 family names by rank, Quebec (in French only)" Institut de la statistique du Quebec, on Facebook