Show ContentsJolivet History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Jolivet family's name is derived from the ancient Norman culture that was established in Britain following the Norman Conquest of island in 1066. Their name originated with an early member who was a happy and lively person. The surname of Jolliffe was originally derived from the Old French word joli, of the same meaning. 1

The name is derived from the "Old English, jolif, French joli, which Cotgrave defines as 'jollie, gay, trim, fine, gallant, neat, handsome, well-fashioned-also livelie, merrie, buxome, jocund.' " 2

Early Origins of the Jolivet family

The surname Jolivet was first found in Staffordshire where they were an ancient family granted lands by William the Conqueror, and "allied to some of the chief nobles of the Kingdom." A northern branch enjoyed power and affluence in Europe before the Norman Conquest, and were originally known as Jolli. This spelling changed with the years to Jollye, to Jolliff, and finally to Jolliffe.

One of the first records of the family was John Jolif who was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls for Huntingdonshire in 1219. 3

"In 1295 William Jolyf was bailsman for the M.P. for Thirsk, and 1305 Robert Jolyf for the M.P. for Arundel." 4

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Robertus Jolf and Alicia Jolyff as holding lands there at that time. 5

Early History of the Jolivet family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Jolivet research. Another 153 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1523, 1524, 1527, 1554, 1555, 1573, 1613, 1621, 1637, 1640, 1643, 1658, 1660, 1679, 1680, 1697, 1734, 1741, 1750, 1771 and 1824 are included under the topic Early Jolivet History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Jolivet Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Jolivet include Jolliffe, Jolli, Jolliff and others.

Early Notables of the Jolivet family

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Henry Joliffe (d. 1573), Dean of Bristol, educated at the university of Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1523-1524, and M.A. in 1527. On 9 Sept. 1554 Joliffe was installed Dean of Bristol. He was present at the sitting of the commissioners on 24 Jan. 1554-1555 when sentence of excommunication and judgment ecclesiastical was pronounced against Hooper and Rogers; and he attended Archbishop Cranmer's second trial at Oxford in September 1555. On the accession of Elizabeth he was deprived of all his ecclesiastical preferments. He escaped to the continent, and settled at Louvain...
Another 142 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Jolivet Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Jolivet Ranking

In France, the name Jolivet is the 465th most popular surname with an estimated 9,432 people with that name. 6

United States Jolivet migration to the United States +

In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Jolivets to arrive on North American shores:

Jolivet Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Jean Jolivet, who arrived in Louisiana in 1719 7

Canada Jolivet migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Jolivet Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century
  • Aimé Jolivet, son of Jacques and Nicolas, who married Anne Fiset, daughter of François-Abraham and Denyse, in Quebec on 15th August 1689 8
Jolivet Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Joachim Jolivet, son of Aimé and Anne, who married Marie-Françoise Bayard, daughter of Jacques and Marie, in Montreal, Quebec on 27th November 1719 8
  • Pierre-Nicolas Jolivet, son of Nicolas and Marie-Catherine, who married Marie-Thérèse Alary, daughter of Pierre and Thérèse, in Montreal, Quebec on 20th February 1730 8
  • Pierre Jolivet, son of Pierre-Nicolas and Marie-Thérèse, who married Madeleine Boudria, daughter of Antoine and Marie-Anne, in Montreal, Quebec on 4th October 1756 8
  • Pierre Jolivet, son of Nicolas and Marie-Catherine, who married Marie Gautier, daughter of Jean-Baptiste and Marie-Marguerite, in Sainte-Geneviève, Quebec on 2nd May 1757 8
  • Pierre-Maurice Jolivet, son of Charles-François and Marguerite, who married Marie-Josephte Deneau, daughter of Joseph and Marie-Marguerite, in Saint-Philippe, Quebec on 5th March 1764 8

Contemporary Notables of the name Jolivet (post 1700) +

  • Brigadier-General Jules-Louis-Emile Jolivet (1889-1969), French Commanding Officer during World War II 9

RMS Lusitania
  • Miss Marguerite Rita Lucile Jolivet, French 1st Class Passenger from Paris, France, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania (1915) and survived the sinking by escaping in a collapsible 10

The Jolivet 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: Tant que je puis
Motto Translation: As much as I can.

  1. Dixon, Bernard Homer, Surnames. London: John Wilson and son, 1857. Print
  2. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  5. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  7. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  8. Internoscia, Arthur E., and Claire Chevrier. Dictionnaire National des Canadiens Français 1608-1760. Vol. 1, Institut Drouin, 1958.
  9. Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, October 5) Jules-Louis-Emile Jolivet. Retrieved from
  10. Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from on Facebook