Gaudai History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The rich and ancient history of the Gaudai family name dates back to the time when France was immersed in the Dark Ages. This name from the Normandy region of France is derived from the Norman-French given name Gaudi, which means ruler.
Early Origins of the Gaudai family
The surname Gaudai was first found in Normandy (French: Normandie), the former Duchy of Normandy, where this celebrated family has held a family seat since ancient times.
One of the earliest records of the family concerns Margue Gaudette who is recorded in 1340. Descending from the original line of Soulange, the family expanded, branched and prospered. This ancient family was known in Normandy, Picardy and Champagne as the Godart's, in Bourgogne as the Godard's and popular spellings of Lyonnais, Berry and Bourbonnais were Gaudart and Gaudard. Playing an important role in their community, the Gaudard family were the Lords of Solier, of la Greslerie, of Laverdine and of Genetais and served as the local Judges for the burgs in 1474. Proving their capability in politics, one of the Gaudard's served as the Mayor of Bourges in 1557 and in 1697 a member of the family served as the Treasurer of France for Berry.
The family were fervent in pursuit of their faith and as such a member of the family became the Archdeacon of Bourbon in 1698 and he held his doctorate in Theology. Many members of the family served as representatives of the business community in Paris. Claude was a businessman of Paris in 1699 and his son, Louis-François, was an architect and a businessman in that same city. François-Pierre, his son, was a buying agent for the famous East India Company in the 1700's. Maurice, a descendant of François-Pierre, was a Knight of Saint Lazaire, a delegate general holding the Order of the Indes, a member of the Association of the French India Company and a Vice-President of the Red Cross for the French India Company.
Early History of the Gaudai family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gaudai research. More information is included under the topic Early Gaudai History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gaudai Spelling Variations
Changes of spelling have occurred in most surnames: during the early development of the written 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. Certain variations were adopted by different branches of the family name. Spelling variations of the name Gaudai, include Gaudet, Gaudette, Gaudait, Gaudais, Gaudey, Godet, Godette, Godait, Godais, Goder, Godee, Goday, Goddet, Goddette, Gauddet and many more.
Early Notables of the Gaudai family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Gaudai family
Approximately 110 years after the first landings by Cartier, there were only about 300 people in Quebec. France gave land incentives for 2,000 migrants during the next decade. 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. Migration to New France (Quebec) continued from France until it fell in 1759. In the year 1675 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 Gaudai 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 Gaudai were Eugene Godet who settled in Philadelphia in 1843; Thomas Martin Debois Godet settled in Philadelphia in 1843; A Godey settled in San Francisco in 1852.