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An excerpt from archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: Borderlands, French

The name Gau has a long French heritage that first began in the northern region of Normandy. The name is derived from when the family lived in Normandy.


The surname Gau was first found in Normandy (French: Normandie), the former Duchy of Normandy, where the family held a family seat from early times.

History has changed the spelling of most surnames. During the early development of the French language in the Middle Ages, a person gave his version of his name, phonetically, to a scribe, a priest, or a recorder. Some variables were adopted by different branches of the family name. Hence, there spelling variations of the name Gau, some of which include Gaultier, Gault, Legault, Legaultier and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gau research. Another 258 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1420, 1481, 1543, 1573, 1606, 1621, 1634, 1668, 1672, 1686, 1726, 1810, 1811, 1858, and 1865 are included under the topic Early Gau History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Notable amongst the family in this period was Philippe Gaultier de Comporté, soldier, seigneur, commissary of the King's warehouses, provost of the Marshalsea, naval commissary. He was the son of Philippe Gaultier, Sieur de Rinault, and of Gillette de Veron, who married Marie Bazire in 1672. René Gaultier de Varennes, officer...

Another 87 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gau Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


By 1643 there were only about 300 people in Quebe c. Since immigration was slow, early marriage was desperately encouraged amongst the immigrants. The fur trade attracted migrants, both noble and commoner. 15,000 explorers left Montreal in the late 17th and 18th centuries. By 1675, there were 7000 French in Quebec. By the 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. The French founded Lower Canada, thus becoming one of the two great founding nations of Canada. The distinguished family name Gau has made significant contributions to the culture, arts, sciences and religion of France and New France. Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Gau were

Gau Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Louis Gau, aged 17, arrived in Louisiana in 1720
  • Jane Gau, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1776

  • Charles Louis Joseph de Gau de Fregeville, French Divisional General during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars from 1789 to 1815

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    Other References

    1. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
    2. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
    3. de la Porte, A. Tresor Heraldique. Paris: F. Casterman, 1864. Print.
    4. Bentley, Elizabeth P. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of New York 1820-1829. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999. Print.
    5. Annuaire Général Héraldique Universel. Paris: Institut Héraldique, 1901. Print.
    6. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    7. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
    8. Conrad, Glenn R. The First Families of Louisiana. Baton Rouge LA: Claitor's Publishing, 1970. Print.
    9. Guérard, Albert Léon. France: a Modern History. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1959. Print.
    10. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
    11. ...

    The Gau Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Gau Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

    This page was last modified on 27 October 2010 at 13:35.

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