Quennell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Quennell family

The surname Quennell was first found in Normandy (French: Normandie), the former Duchy of Normandy, where this distinguished family held a family seat, and were members of the aristocratic families of that region.

Interestingly, the first record of the family was found at Norwich in England where Peter Quesnel (died 1299) was a Franciscan, warden of the Franciscan house at Norwich. [1]

Olivier Quesnel, born in 1654, son of Pierre and Marie (née Poulard), travelled from France to Canada in the 17th century. After arriving in Quebec he married Catherine Prud'homme, daughter of Louis and Roberte (née Gadois), in Montreal on 15th January 1680. Olivier worked as an armorer and remained in Quebec until his death at Lachine on 15th May 1719. [2]

Important Dates for the Quennell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Quennell research. Another 83 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1542, 1619, 1634, 1668, 1694, 1719, 1749, 1774, 1809, and 1838 are included under the topic Early Quennell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Quennell Spelling Variations

One can encounter great variation in the spelling of French surnames; in part, as spelling, and the spelling names was not yet standardized during the early development of the written French language. Later, there was much branching and movement of families, and spellings would change according to region. Variations of the name Quennell include Quesnel, Quesnell, Quesnelle, Quesnoy, Quesnay, Quesne, Quesneau, du Quesnel, du Quesnell, Quennell, Quennel, Du Quesnoy, du Quesnay, du Quesne and many more.

Early Notables of the Quennell family (pre 1700)

Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Quennell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Quennell migration to the United States

Migration from France to New France or Quebec as it was now more popularly called, continued from France until it fell in 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. In 1793, the remaining French in these provinces came under British rule. 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 Quennell were prominent in social, cultural, religious and political affairs in France and New France. Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Quennell were

Quennell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Elizabeth Quennell, who settled in America in 1683

Quennell migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Quennell Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Edward Quennell, who settled in Ontario in 1871

Contemporary Notables of the name Quennell (post 1700)

  • Marjorie Courtney Quennell (1884-1972), British historian, illustrator and museum curator, wife of Charles Henry Bourne Quennell
  • Frank Quennell (b. 1956), Canadian politician, New Democratic Party Assembly Member for Saskatoon Meewasin (2003-2011)
  • Charles Henry Bourne Quennell (1872-1935), English architect, designer, illustrator and writer, father of Joan Quennell
  • Peter Courtney Quennell CBE (1905-1993), English biographer, literary historian, editor, essayist, poet, critic and editor of "History Today"
  • Joan Mary Quennell (1923-2006), British Conservative Member of Parliament for Petersfield (1960-1974)


  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. ^ Olivier, Reginald L. Your Ancient Canadian Family Ties. Logan: The Everton Publishers, Inc., P.O. Box 368, 1972. Print
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