Show ContentsOuellette History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Of all the French names to come from Normandy, Ouellette 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 Ouellette family

The surname Ouellette 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 Ouellette family

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

Ouellette 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 Ouellette include Oueilly, Oueilly, Ouilly, Ouele, Oueillade, Willet, Willett, Williot, Wille, Willette, Willi, Oulette, Ouellet, Oullett, Wellett, Oullette and many more.

Early Notables of the Ouellette family (pre 1700)

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

Ouellette Ranking

In the United States, the name Ouellette is the 1,881st most popular surname with an estimated 17,409 people with that name. [3] However, in Canada, the name Ouellette is ranked the 200th most popular surname with an estimated 18,937 people with that name. [4]

United States Ouellette migration to the United States +

Migration from France to New France or Quebec as it was now more popularly called, continued from France until it fell in 1759. 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 the treaty of Utrecht, the Acadians were ceded by France to Britain in 1713. In 1755, 10,000 French Acadians refused to take an oath of allegiance to England and were deported. They found refuge in Louisiana. In 1793, the remaining French in these provinces came under British rule. Meanwhile, in Quebec, the French race flourished, founding in Lower Canada, one of the two great solitudes which became Canada. Many of this distinguished family name Ouellette were prominent in social, cultural, religious and political affairs in France and New France. Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Ouellette were

Ouellette Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Innes Ouellette, who landed in South Carolina in 1755 [5]
Ouellette Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Alfred J. Ouellette, aged 24, who landed in America, in 1919

Canada Ouellette migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Ouellette Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Francis Albert Ouellette, aged 29, who settled in Montreal, Canada, in 1919
  • Henry Ouellette, aged 45, who immigrated to Montreal, Canada, in 1923
  • Mary M. Ouellette, aged 39, who settled in Montreal, Canada, in 1923

Contemporary Notables of the name Ouellette (post 1700) +

  • Jennifer Ouellette, American milliner based in New York City
  • Jennifer Ouellette (b. 1964), American science writer
  • Joseph R. Ouellette (1930-1950), American soldier, recipient of the Medal of Honor for his actions on August 31, and on September 1st through the 3rd, 1950
  • Pierre Ouellette (b. 1945), American science-fiction author
  • Jerry J. Ouellette (b. 1959), Canadian former politician, Ontario MPP (1995-2014)
  • Guy Ouellette (b. 1941), Canadian politician and author from Quebec, MNA for Chomedey (2007-)
  • Caroline Ouellette (b. 1979), Canadian Olympic ten-time gold medalist ice hockey player, member of the Canadian national women's ice hockey team
  • Rose-Alma Ouellette (1903-1996), Quebec actress, comedian, theatre manager and artistic director

  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. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  4. "Surnames Meanings, Origins & Distribution Maps - Forebears." Forebears,
  5. 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) on Facebook