Quesnell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Quesnell family

The surname Quesnell 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]

Early History of the Quesnell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Quesnell 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 Quesnell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Quesnell Spelling Variations

Most surnames have experienced slight spelling changes. A son may not chose to spell his name the same way that his father did. Many were errors, many deliberate. During the early development of the French language, a person usually gave his version, phonetically, to a scribe, a priest, or a recorder. Prefixes or suffixes varied. They were optional as they passed through the centuries, or were adopted by different branches to signify either a political or religious adherence. Hence, there a many spelling variations of the name Quesnell, including 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 Quesnell family (pre 1700)

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


United States Quesnell migration to the United States +

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 Quesnell were prominent in social, cultural, religious and political affairs in France and New France. Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Quesnell were

Quesnell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Magdalen Quesnell, who settled in Virginia in 1726


  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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