Papilleau History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

When the ancestors of the Papilleau family emigrated to England following the Norman Conquest in 1066 they brought their family name with them. They lived in Pavelion, (Pavilion) "near Mantes, in Normandy. Torald de Papilion present in a great Council, London 1082. The Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae lists Joscelin, William Papeilon, Normandy 1180, Walter and William de Papeillon 1198."[1]

These entries mean than some of the family emigrated to England while others remained in Normandy. In French, the name literally means "of the pavilion," a tent which is "so called because spread out like the wings of a butterfly. Latin, papilionem, acc. OF papilio, (1) a butterfly, (a) a tent." [2]

Early Origins of the Papilleau family

The surname Papilleau was first found in the Dives Rolls which lists Ralph Papelion.

"He witnessed William the Conqueror's confirmation charter to the church of Durham ; and is mentioned among those present at a great Council held at Westminster in 1082 (Mon.Angl.). Ralph Papelion, in 1214, was elected Abbot of Westminster. Halnadus or Havenald de Papelion was a benefactor of Selby Abbey, and a witness to the Bishop of Lincoln's grant to Thorney in Cambridgeshire. "Dominus Rydel Papillon " and Nicholas Papilioun of Lincolnshire are entered in the Hundredorum Rolls of Edward I. ; and Geoffrey Pampilon was " one of the Procurators appointed by Simon Abbot of Croyland to appear on his behalf in the Parliament at York, 16 Edward. II." [3]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 include a listing for Nicholas Papalion in Lincolnshire and during the reign of Edward II, the source the Freemen of York lists "John le Pavilloner (a maker of pavilions)." [2]

"The Papillons of Kent and Sussex are of Huguenot origin, and are descendants of Anthony Papillon, the friend of Erasmus, and one of the most eminent Protestants of France. His grandson, David Papillon, settled at Lubenham, co. Leicester, and was ancestor of the Papillons of Acrise." [4]

The movie Papillon (1973) starring Steve McQueen was based on the 1969 autobiography by the French convict Henri Charrière. Papillon was Henri Charrière's nickname.

Early History of the Papilleau family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Papilleau research. Another 110 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1230, 1455, 1487, 1623, 1702 and 1647 are included under the topic Early Papilleau History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Papilleau Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Papilleau have been found, including Papillon, Pampillon, Pamphlin, Pamphilon, Pamplin, Pamplyn, Plampin, Pampling, Pampynge and many more.

Early Notables of the Papilleau family (pre 1700)

Another 36 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Papilleau Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Papilleau family

For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Papilleau were among those contributors: Percy Pamphillion, and Edgar Pamphillion, who came to Canada sometime between 1884 and 1938 as "Home Children" orphans.



  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
  4. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.


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