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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. In the religious naming tradition, which was developed later than the vernacular tradition, surnames were bestowed in honor of religious figures or church officials. In Europe, the Christian Church was one of the most powerful influences on the formation of given names. Personal names derived from the names of saints, apostles, biblical figures, and missionaries are widespread in most European countries. In the Middle Ages, they became increasingly popular because people believed that the souls of the deceased continued to be involved in this world. Parents named their children after particular saints whom they hoped would protect or bless the child.
The surname Quen was first found in Essex and Dorset where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.
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.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Quen research. Another 218 words (16 lines of text) covering the year 1090 is included under the topic Early Quen History in all our PDF Extended History products.
More information is included under the topic Early Quen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
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.
The Quen Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Quen 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 13 December 2015 at 20:05.