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An excerpt from archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, French

The surname Provost is a ancient French name. It was a name given to a person from Brittany who was a prefect or chief magistrate. Looking back even further, we found the name was originally derived from the Old French word prevost, which signified someone of that title.


The surname Provost was first found in Britanny (Bretagne) where this noble family originated in ancient times.

The many different spellings of French surnames can be partially explained by the use of local dialects and by the influence of other languages during the early development of the French language. As a result of these linguistic and cultural influences, the name Provost is distinguished by a number of regional variations. The many spelling variations of the name include Prévost, Prévoste, Prévosts, Prévostes, Prévaust, Prévauste, Prévaustes, Prévausts, de Prévost, du Prévost and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Provost research. Another 243 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1547, 1580, 1622, 1753, 1830, 1831, 1848, 1729, 1732, 1865, 1680, 1741, 1638, 1702, 1665, 1697 and 1763 are included under the topic Early Provost History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Notable amongst this name at this time was Louis-Constant Prévost-Paradol, journalist, Man of Letters, member of the French Academy; Françoise Prévost ( c. 1680-1741), a French ballerina; François Provost (1638-1702), French-born...

Another 29 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Provost Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


France finally gave land incentives for 2,000 migrants during the 1700s. Early marriage was encouraged in New France, and youths of 18 took fourteen-year-old girls for their wives. The fur trade was developed and attracted migrants, both noble and commoner from France. 15,000 explorers left Montreal in the late 17th and 18th centuries, leaving French names scattered across the continent. The search for the Northwest passage continued. Migration from France to New France or Quebec, as it was now more popularly called, continued until 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. 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 Provost were prominent in social, cultural, religious and political affairs in France and New France. Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Provost were

Provost Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • David Provost, who landed in New York, NY in 1639
  • Johannes Provost, who landed in New York in 1664
  • Elias Provost, who arrived in Virginia in 1691
  • Jonas Provost, who arrived in South Carolina in 1696

Provost Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • A. Provost, who landed in America, in 1904
  • A. S. Provost, who emigrated to the United States, in 1904
  • Arthemise Provost, aged 32, who settled in America from Paris, in 1905
  • Anorens J. Provost, aged 73, who landed in America, in 1907
  • Arthur Provost, aged 14, who emigrated to the United States, in 1908
  • ...

Provost Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century

  • Mathurin Provost, who landed in Canada in 1646

Provost Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Mr. Augustus Provost U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784

Provost Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century

  • Antonias Provost, aged 28, who settled in Quebec, Canada, in 1924
  • Axtonias Provost, aged 28, who emigrated to Quebec, Canada, in 1924

  • Étienne Provost (1785-1850), French Canadian fur trader active in the American Southwest
  • Ruth W. Provost, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Massachusetts State House of Representatives Fifth Barnstable District, 2002
  • Paul E. Provost (1915-1998), American Democrat politician, Member of New Hampshire State Senate 18th District; Elected 1956
  • Lewis Provost (b. 1919), American Republican politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from New Canaan, 1919
  • George W. Provost, American politician, Representative from New York 43rd District, 1948
  • Frank Provost, American politician, Mayor of Anaconda, Montana, 1937
  • Clara B. Provost, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 1972
  • Andrew J. Provost, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Kings County 1st District, 1861-62
  • Stephane Provost (1967-2005), French Canadian NHL ice hockey official
  • Guy Provost OC, CQ (1925-2004), French Canadian actor
  • ...

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    Other References

    1. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    2. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
    3. Guérard, Albert Léon. France: a Modern History. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1959. Print.
    4. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
    5. 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.
    6. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1978. Print.
    7. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. 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. Bentley, Elizabeth P. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of New York 1820-1829. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999. Print.
    10. De Ville, Winston. Gulf Coast Colonials, A Compendium of French Families in Early Eighteenth Century Louisiana. Baltimore, MD: Clearfield, 1999. Print.
    11. ...

    The Provost Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Provost 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 9 March 2016 at 15:17.

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