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An excerpt from archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: French-Alt, French

The French family name Senechal dates back to the Middle Ages. It was a Norman name given to a seneschal, a steward or official in the household of a sovereign or great noble, to whom the administration of justice and domestic arrangements were entrusted.


The surname Senechal was first found in Normandy (French: Normandie), the former Duchy of Normandy, where this distinguished family held a family seat at Crèvecoeur in the arrondissement of Lisieux where Hamon Le Sénéchal held a strong castle that still remains in the valley of Auge. He was directly descended from Hamon-Aux-Dents, Lord of Thorigny who was killed in the battle of Val-ès-Dunes in 1045. Hamon, his nephew of the family of Crèvecoeur, was present at the battle of Hastings in 1066.

French surnames were subject to numerous alterations in spelling because of the various cultural groups that inhabited specific regions. Eventually, each region possessed its own local dialect of the French language. The early development of the French language, however, was also influenced by other languages. For example, Old French was infused with Germanic words and sounds when barbarian tribes invaded and settled in France after the fall of the Roman Empire. Middle French also borrowed heavily from the Italian language during the Renaissance. As a result of these linguistic and cultural influences, the name Senechal is distinguished by a number of regional variations. The many spelling variations of the name include Sénéchal, Le Sénéchal, Sénéschal, Le Sénéschal, Sénécal, Sénégal, Sénécot, Sénécaut, Sénécaux, Seneschal and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Senechal research. Another 105 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1624 and 1719 are included under the topic Early Senechal History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


More information is included under the topic Early Senechal Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


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

Senechal Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Claude Senechal, his wife and daughter, who came to Louisiana in 1719
  • Claude Senechal, aged 35, arrived in Louisiana in 1719

Senechal Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Hedwig Senechal, aged 7, who landed in America from Ploven, in 1893
  • Willy Senechal, aged 4, who landed in America from Ploven, in 1893
  • Virginie Senechal, aged 44, who emigrated to America, in 1895
  • Eunte Senechal, aged 33, who landed in America, in 1895

Senechal Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Victer Senechal, aged 39, who landed in America from Paris, in 1903
  • Berthe Senechal, aged 22, who emigrated to the United States from Lille, France, in 1908
  • Anna Senechal, aged 30, who landed in America from Niagra Falls, in 1915
  • Robert R. Senechal, aged 32, who emigrated to the United States from Niagara Falls, in 1915
  • Louis Senechal, aged 37, who settled in America from Paris, France, in 1919
  • ...

Senechal Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century

  • Francois Senechal, who came to Quebec in 1680
  • François Sénéchal (1680) and Julien Sénéchal (1754) arrived in Quebec from Normandy
  • Mathew Sénéchal (1691) and Jacques Sènèchal arrived in Quebec in 1745 from Brittany

Senechal Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Pierre Senechal, who came to Quebec in 1753
  • Julien Senechal, who came to Ontario in 1754

  • Fred Senechal, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from South Dakota, 1924
  • Auguste Senechal, American Democrat politician, Member of New Hampshire State House of Representatives from Nashua 9th Ward; Elected 1938
  • Le Sénéchal de Kerkado (1786-1805), French composer
  • Michel Sénéchal (b. 1927), French tenor
  • Joseph Henry Wilfred Sénéchal MM, BCL (1918-2000), Canadian lawyer, recipient of the Military Medal from New Brunswick

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Macula Sine Macula
Motto Translation: A mark without flaw


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    Other References

    1. 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.
    2. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
    3. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
    4. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
    5. Rolland, and H.V. Rolland. Illustrations to the Armorial general by J. B. Rietstap 6 volumes in 3. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1976. Print.
    6. Vaillancourt, Emile. La Conquete du Canada par les Normands. Biographie de la premiere generation Normande du Canada. Montreal: G. Ducharme, 1930. Print.
    7. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
    8. De Ville, Winston. Gulf Coast Colonials, A Compendium of French Families in Early Eighteenth Century Louisiana. Baltimore, MD: Clearfield, 1999. Print.
    9. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
    10. Conrad, Glenn R. The First Families of Louisiana. Baton Rouge LA: Claitor's Publishing, 1970. Print.
    11. ...

    The Senechal Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Senechal 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 26 May 2016 at 11:47.

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