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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Where did the French Poissant family come from? What is the French Poissant family crest and coat of arms? When did the Poissant family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Poissant family history?

The Poissant family name dates back to the time Medieval France and that northern region known as Normandy. It comes from an early member of the family who was a fisherman or fishmonger having derived from the Old French word poisson, meaning fish. In some cases the name may have been given as a nickname to someone who bore a fancied resemblance to a fish.


Throughout the course of history most surnames have undergone changes for many reasons. During the early development of the French language, a son and father may not have chosen to spell their name the same way. Many are simple spelling changes by a person who gave his name, phonetically, to a scribe, priest, or recorder. Many names held prefixes or suffixes which became optional as they passed through the centuries, or were adopted by different branches to signify either a political or religious adherence. Hence, we have many spelling variations of this name, Poissant some of which are Poisson, Poissant, LePoisson, Le Poisson, De Poisson, Poissonot, Poissoneau, Poissonier, Poissonet, Poissonnerie, Poissonneau and many more.

First found in Normandy (French: Normandie), the former Duchy of Normandy, where they held a family seat in the honor of the seigniory of Mesnil.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Poissant research. Another 233 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1754, 1781, and 1840 are included under the topic Early Poissant History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Poissant Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


France was active as a cultural leader in the early 16th century. One particular area in which they lead was the exploration of the New World. The explorers, like Jacques Cartier in 1534, led the way to North America. Champlain, in 1608, made the first of twenty voyages to France to attract settlers and brought the first migrant in 1617. By 1675, there were 7000 French in Quebec, and 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 Poissant 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 Poissant were

Poissant Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Joe Poissant, aged 38, who landed in America from Paris, France, in 1914
  • Joseph C. Poissant, aged 58, who landed in America from Havana, Cuba, in 1919
  • O.T. Ozenie Poissant, who emigrated to the United States, in 1922

Poissant Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century

  • Joseph Poissant, aged 39, who settled in Montreal, Canada, in 1914


  • J. D. Poissant, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Vermont, 1944
  • Didier Poissant (1923-1956), French sailor who competed in the 1956 Summer Olympics
  • Charles-Albert Poissant (1925-2011), Canadian philanthropist and Québécois businessman


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  1. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  2. Rupp, Daniel L. A Collection of Upwards of Thirty Thousand Names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French and Other Immigrants to Pennsylvania from 1727 to 1776. Baltimore. Print.
  3. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  4. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  5. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1978. Print.
  6. Doyle, William. The Oxford History of the French Revolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0192852213).
  7. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  8. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  9. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  10. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  11. ...

The Poissant Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Poissant Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 29 October 2015 at 14:29.

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