Quen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The vast movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought the Quen family name to the British Isles. Quen comes from St. Quinton, a third century missionary in Gaul. [1] Personal names derived from the names of saints, apostles, biblical figures, and missionaries are widespread in most European countries.

"A family of Quentin - the Quentins of Coupigny - still exists in Normandy. They came from Brittany, having expatriated themselves during the troublous times of Duchess Anne, and settled at Morigny, near Coutances, about 1450. Roger Quentin's claim to rank with the older nobility of the Duchy was recognized and confirmed in 1605 by the Cour des Aides of Rouen." [2]

Early Origins of the Quen family

The surname Quen was first found in Cumberland where "the first trace of the name that I have met with is in the reign of Coeur de Lion, when Richard de Quintine was Abbot of Furness in Cumberland. But the notices of it soon become numerous, and appear in at least half a dozen counties. Richard Quintin held a knight's fee of the Earl of Hereford in Wiltshire." [2]

So as to underscore the Norman heritage of this name we found: "Sir Herbert de St. Quintin, whose name appears on the Roll [of Battle Abbey], came from Lower Picardy, where the chief town is called St. Quintin." [3]

Branches were later found in Essex and Dorset. Another branch of the family was found in the parish of Hornby in the North Riding of Yorkshire from ancient times.

"Hornby Castle, anciently the seat of the family of St. Quintin, and now belonging to his Grace the Duke of Leeds, is a spacious mansion in different styles of architecture, containing superb apartments, and commanding a fine view of the valley of Bedale." [4]

Another early branch of the family was found at Lowthorp in the East Riding of Yorkshire. At one time an ancient hall there was held by the family but was taken down in 1826. [4]

"Quentin became a somewhat popular personal name in Scotland, and has been immortalized by Walter Scott." [5]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had entries for: Richard Quintine, Wiltshire; John de St. Quintino, Wiltshire; Adam Quintin, Huntingdonshire; and Robert Quintyn, Norfolk. [5]

Early History of the Quen family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Quen research. Another 102 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1090, 1660, 1723, 1698 and 1695 are included under the topic Early Quen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Quen Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Quinton, Quinten, Quintin, Quintyne, St. Quinton and others.

Early Notables of the Quen family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir William St. Quinton (ca. 1660-1723), English politician, born at Harpham in the East Riding of Yorkshire. He was the eldest son of William St. Quintin, who died in the lifetime of his father. "Having succeeded his...
Another 44 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Quen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Quen family

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Quen or a variant listed above: Jean Quintin settled in Quebec with his wife Jeanne Delpué in 1695; Henry and Richard Quintyne settled in Barbados in 1679; William Quinton, a servant in Battle Harbour, Newfoundland, in 1795.



  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  5. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)


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