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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: French-Alt, French

Where did the French Senechal family come from? What is the French Senechal family crest and coat of arms? When did the Senechal family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Senechal family history?

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.


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.

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.


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.


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


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 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


  • Michel Sénéchal (b. 1927), French tenor
  • Le Sénéchal de Kerkado (1786-1805), French composer
  • 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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  1. Annuaire Général Héraldique Universel. Paris: Institut Héraldique, 1901. Print.
  2. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1978. Print.
  3. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  4. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  5. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  6. D'Hozier Charles. Armorial Général de France. Paris: Dillon, 1875. Print.
  7. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  8. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  9. Conrad, Glenn R. The First Families of Louisiana. Baton Rouge LA: Claitor's Publishing, 1970. Print.
  10. Bentley, Elizabeth P. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of New York 1820-1829. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999. Print.
  11. ...

The Senechal Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com 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 29 May 2012 at 00:58.

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