Duquesnay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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Early Origins of the Duquesnay family
The surname Duquesnay was first found in Normandy (French: Normandie), the former Duchy of Normandy, where this distinguished family held a family seat, and were members of the aristocratic families of that region.
Interestingly, the first record of the family was found at Norwich in England where Peter Quesnel (died 1299) was a Franciscan, warden of the Franciscan house at Norwich. 
Olivier Quesnel, born in 1654, son of Pierre and Marie (née Poulard), travelled from France to Canada in the 17th century. After arriving in Quebec he married Catherine Prud'homme, daughter of Louis and Roberte (née Gadois), in Montreal on 15th January 1680. Olivier worked as an armorer and remained in Quebec until his death at Lachine on 15th May 1719. 
Important Dates for the Duquesnay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Duquesnay research. Another 83 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1542, 1619, 1634, 1668, 1694, 1719, 1749, 1774, 1809, and 1838 are included under the topic Early Duquesnay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Duquesnay 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 Duquesnay is distinguished by a number of regional variations. The many spelling variations of the name include Quesnel, Quesnell, Quesnelle, Quesnoy, Quesnay, Quesne, Quesneau, du Quesnel, du Quesnell, Quennell, Quennel, Du Quesnoy, du Quesnay, du Quesne and many more.
Early Notables of the Duquesnay family (pre 1700)
Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Duquesnay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Duquesnay 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 Duquesnay surname were Olivier Quesnel who settled at Duquesnel, Quebec, in 1676 from Normandy, and was later followed by Jacques Quesnel in 1676, also from Normandy; Magdalen Quesnell settled in Virginia in 1726..
Contemporary Notables of the name Duquesnay (post 1700)
- Ann Duquesnay, American Tony Award winning musical theatre actress, composer and lyricist
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- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ Olivier, Reginald L. Your Ancient Canadian Family Ties. Logan: The Everton Publishers, Inc., P.O. Box 368, 1972. Print