Ouellett History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Of all the French names to come from 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 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
The surname Ouellett 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. 
Early History of the Ouellett family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ouellett research. Another 46 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1066 and 1067 are included under the topic Early Ouellett History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
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)
More information is included under the topic Early Ouellett Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Ouellett family
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.
Related Stories +
- ^ Dauzat, Albert, Morlet, Marie-Thérèse, Dictionaire Étymologique des Noms et Prénoms de France. Paris: Librairie Larousse, 1987. Print.
- ^ Olivier, Reginald L. Your Ancient Canadian Family Ties. Logan: The Everton Publishers, Inc., P.O. Box 368, 1972. Print