Gwinel History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Early Origins of the Gwinel family
The surname Gwinel 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. 
Early History of the Gwinel family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gwinel 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 Gwinel History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gwinel Spelling Variations
One can encounter great variation in the spelling of French surnames; in part, as spelling, and the spelling names was not yet standardized during the early development of the written French language. Later, there was much branching and movement of families, and spellings would change according to region. Variations of the name Gwinel 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 Gwinel family (pre 1700)
Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gwinel Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Gwinel family
Immigration to New France was slow; therefore, 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 Gwinel 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 Gwinel 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..
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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