Normandy, Ouellett 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 Old French word "oeil," meaning "eye," which was used metaphorically to refer to the source of a spring or fountain.
Early Origins of the Ouellett family
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.
Early History of the Ouellett family
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Ouellett Spelling Variations
There were a great number of spelling variations in French surnames. One reason for this was the wide variety of cultural influences present in France during the early development of the French language. 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 Ouellett family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Ouellett family to the New World and Oceana
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 Ouellett 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 Ouellett were Grégoire Ouellet, who settled at Riv. Ouelle, Canada in 1696; Alexandre Ouellet, who settled in Canada in 1781; Alexis Ouellet, who settled at Riv. Ouelle, Quebec in 1784.
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