Ouellet History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Of all the French names to come from Normandy, Ouellet is one of the most ancient. The name is a result of the original family having lived at a place in Normandy, called Ouilly-le-Basset in the arrondissement and canton of Falaise in Calvados. The name is adapted from the French word "oeil," meaning "eye," which was used metaphorically to refer to the source of a spring or fountain. [1]

Early Origins of the Ouellet family

The surname Ouellet was first found in Normandy (French: Normandie), the former Duchy of Normandy, where this distinguished family held a family seat in the honor of the seigneurie of Ouilly-le-Basset in the arrondissement and canton of Falaise in Calvados.

Of this family Robert D'Ouilli, the son of Foque D'Aulnay, who was descended from D'Alnay, the first Duke of the Normans of Loire 895-905, joined Duke William of Normandy in the Conquest of England in 1066 A.D. He is referred to by Wace, the chronicler of the Battle of Hastings, as "E cil d'Ouillie," and received the castle of Wallingford in 1067 and possessed sixty-one manors with forty-two habitable houses in the county of Oxford of which he was the Constable.

Wallingford was an ancient Roman castle and Robert D'Ouillie, at the command of William the Conqueror, rebuilt the castle in the Norman style, an impregnable edifice which would play a most significant part in history. He gave much of his estates to Roger D'Ivri, his sworn brother in Arms. This Robert also ceded to Roger his Barony of St. Valery.

René Ouellet, born in 1642, son of François and Elisabeth (née Barre), was one of the first people found in Canada with the name Ouellet. René first married Anne Rivet on 8th March 1666 and he later married Thérèse Mignot on 6th February 1679. Throughout his two marriages René had six sons that carried on the family name of Ouellet. René was buried on 15th January 1722 in Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière, Quebec. [2]

Early History of the Ouellet family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ouellet research. Another 46 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1066 and 1067 are included under the topic Early Ouellet History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ouellet Spelling Variations

French surnames were subject to numerous alterations in spelling because of the various cultural groups that inhabited specific regions. Eventually, each region possessed its own local dialect of the French language. The early development of the French language, however, was also influenced by other languages. For example, Old French was infused with Germanic words and sounds when barbarian tribes invaded and settled in France after the fall of the Roman Empire. Middle French also borrowed heavily from the Italian language during the Renaissance. As a result of these linguistic and cultural influences, the name Ouellet is distinguished by a number of regional variations. The many spelling variations of the name include Oueilly, Oueilly, Ouilly, Ouele, Oueillade, Willet, Willett, Williot, Wille, Willette, Willi, Oulette, Ouellet, Oullett, Wellett, Oullette and many more.

Early Notables of the Ouellet family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Ouellet Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Ouellet migration to the United States +

In 1643, 109 years after the first landings by Cartier, there were only about 300 people in Quebec. Migration was slow. The fur trade attracted migrants, both noble and commoner. By 1675, there were 7000 French in Quebec. By the same year the French Acadian presence in the Maritimes had reached 500. The French founded Lower Canada, thus becoming one of the two great founding nations of Canada. The family name Ouellet has made many distinguished contributions in France and New France to the world of science, culture, religion, and education. Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Ouellet were

Ouellet Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Joseph Ouellet, aged 29, who immigrated to America, in 1909

Canada Ouellet migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Ouellet Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century
  • René Ouellet, son of François and Elisabeth, who married Thérèse Mignot, daughter of Jean and Louise, in Quebec on 6th February 1679 [3]
  • Mathurin-René Ouellet, son of René and Anne, who married Angélique Lebel, daughter of Nicolas and Thérèse, in Rivière-Ouelle, Quebec on 8th January 1691 [3]
  • Joseph Ouellet, son of René and Anne, who married Françoise Lizot, daughter of Guillaume and Anne, in Rivière-Ouelle, Quebec on 12th February 1691 [3]
  • Grégoire Ouellet, son of René and Anne, who married Anne Lizot, daughter of Guillaume and Anne, in Rivière-Ouelle, Quebec on 5th March 1696 [3]
  • Grégoire Ouellet, who settled at Riv. Ouelle, Canada in 1696
Ouellet Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Sébastien Ouellet, son of René and Thérèse, who married Madeleine Lisot, daughter of Guillaume and Anne, in Rivière-Ouelle, Quebec on 16th August 1707 [3]
  • Joseph-Thomas Ouellet, son of Joseph and Marguerite, who married Angélique Véronneau, daughter of Denis and Margeurite, in Boucherville, Quebec on 19th February 1715 [3]
  • François Ouellet, son of René and Thérèse, who married Marie-Anne Bouchard, daughter of François and Marie-Anne, in Quebec on 1st August 1717 [3]
  • Augustin Ouellet, son of Mathurin-René and Angélique, who married Marie-Anne Autin, daughter of François and Marie, in Quebec on 7th February 1719 [3]
  • Jean-Baptiste Ouellet, son of Grégoire and Anne, who married Marie-Ursule Morin, daughter of Robert and Françoise, in Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière, Quebec on 25th November 1720 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Ouellet (post 1700) +

  • David George Ouellet (1944-1967), US Navy seaman, Medal of Honor recipient, eponym of the USS Ouellet (FF-1077)
  • Joseph Gilles Napoléon Ouellet (1922-2009), Canadian Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Rimouski
  • Fernand Ouellet OC, FRSC (b. 1926), French-Canadian author and educator
  • Maryse Ouellet (b. 1983), Canadian glamour model from Quebec
  • André Ouellet P.C., Q.C., B.A., LL.L., (b. 1939), former Chairman of Canada Post, Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • Carl Joseph Yvon Ouellet (b. 1967), retired Canadian professional wrestler
  • Michel Ouellet (b. 1982), Canadian professional NHL ice hockey right winger
  • Maxime Ouellet (b. 1981), Canadian professional NHL ice hockey goaltender
  • Marc Ouellet PSS (b. 1944), Canadian Cardinal of the Catholic Church


  1. ^ Dauzat, Albert, Morlet, Marie-Thérèse, Dictionaire Étymologique des Noms et Prénoms de France. Paris: Librairie Larousse, 1987. Print.
  2. ^ Olivier, Reginald L. Your Ancient Canadian Family Ties. Logan: The Everton Publishers, Inc., P.O. Box 368, 1972. Print
  3. ^ Internoscia, Arthur E., and Claire Chevrier. Dictionnaire National des Canadiens Français 1608-1760. Vol. 2, Institut Drouin, 1958.


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