Gonyea History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Gonyea surname is thought to come from the Old French word "gagner", which meant to "till" or "cultivate" the land. As such, the name Gonyea was likely originally an occupational name for a farmer or cultivator.

Early Origins of the Gonyea family

The surname Gonyea was first found in Burgundy (French: Bourgogne), an administrative and historical region of east-central France where the family held a family seat from ancient times.

This family were well established throughout the many provinces of France and several members were rewarded for their work and interest in the matters of their communities with lands, titles and letters patent elevating them to nobility. Distinctive positions held by members of this family include, Counselor and President of Parliament in 1645, 1674, 1675 and 1715, Captain of the Guards and Priest of Châtillon and of Livry. Another branch of this noble family were the Barons of Pouilly and of this branch, Jean-Baptiste became the President at the Financial Chamber in 1685.

Brothers, Pierre Gagne, born in 1610, and Louis, born in 1612, sons of Louis and Marie (née Launay), settled in Canada in 1643. Pierre married in France in 1639 to Marguerite Rouzée, daughter of Jehan and Catherine, and they had one son, Jacques. Pierre died of a fever and was buried in Quebec on 1st May 1656.

Louis Gagne married Marie Michel, daughter of Pierre and Louise, in France in 1638. Louis and Marie settled together in Quebec until his death in 1662. [1]

Early History of the Gonyea family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gonyea research. Another 85 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1516, 1576, 1579, 1611, 1645, 1674, 1675, 1685, and 1715 are included under the topic Early Gonyea History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gonyea Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Gagne, Gagnes, Gane, Gaine, Gaigne, Geigne, Geygne, Gaygne, De Gagne, De Gagnes, DesGagne, Des Gagne, Desgagne, desGagne, Gagny, Gagnay, Gagnais, Gagney, Gagneais, Gagnet, Gagnau, Gaigne, Gaignet, Gaigney, Gaigny and many more.

Early Notables of the Gonyea family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Jean-Baptiste Gagne, President of the Financial Chamber in 1685. John Gagnier (1670?-1740), was an English Orientalist, born in Paris about 1670, and educated at the College of Navarre. "After taking orders he...
Another 38 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gonyea Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Gonyea migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Gonyea Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Lena Gonyea, aged 26, who settled in New York City, in 1910
  • George B. Gonyea, aged 22, who settled in America from Dorchester, Massachusetts, in 1923


The Gonyea Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Recalcitrantem Cogo
Motto Translation: Stron force


  1. ^ Olivier, Reginald L. Your Ancient Canadian Family Ties. Logan: The Everton Publishers, Inc., P.O. Box 368, 1972. Print


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