Vanier History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The French surname name Vanier is derived from the Old French word "vanier," which referred to someone employed to blow the chaff from wheat, a practice known as winnowing.

Early Origins of the Vanier family

The surname Vanier was first found in Normandy (French: Normandie), the former Duchy of Normandy, where this distinguished family held a family seat in the seigneurie of Bauviers as members of the aristocracy of that region.

Early History of the Vanier family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Vanier research. Another 70 words (5 lines of text) covering the year 1789 is included under the topic Early Vanier History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Vanier 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 Vanier, including Vanier, Vannier, Vanniere, Vanner, Vaner, Vaniere, Le Vanier, Levanier, Le Vannier, Levannier, Le Vanner and many more.

Early Notables of the Vanier family (pre 1700)

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


United States Vanier migration to the United States +

French settlers came early to North American, following in the wake of the explorers, and creating New France. Quebec City, founded in 1608 by Samuel de Champlain is said to have been the first American site founded as a permanent settlement, rather than as just a commercial outpost. But emigration was slow, in 1643, 109 years after the first landings by Cartier, there were only about 300 French people in Quebec, and by 1663, when the region was officially made The Royal Colony of New France, by Louis XIV, there still only around 500 settlers. Over 2,000 would arrive during the next decade. Early marriage was desperately encouraged amongst the immigrants. Youths of 18 took fourteen-year-old girls for their wives. The fur trade was developed and attracted immigrants, both noble and commoner from France. By 1675, there were around 7000 French in the colony, and by that same year the Acadian presence in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island had reached 500. In 1755, 10,000 French Acadians refused to take an oath of allegiance to England and were deported to Louisiana. Despite the loss of the Colony to England, the French people flourished in Lower Canada. Among settlers to North America of the Vanier surname were

Vanier Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Vanier, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1803
  • Jacques Vanier, who landed in St Clair County, Illinois in 1816 [1]
  • J. B. Vanier, who settled in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1823
  • Louis N Vanier, who arrived in America in 1828 [1]

Canada Vanier migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Vanier Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century
  • Catherine Vanier, who settled in Quebec in 1656
  • Germain Vanier, who arrived in Quebec from Ile-de-France in 1669
  • Guillaume Vanier, son of Pierre and Jacqueline, who married Madeleine Bailly, daughter of Guillaume and Barbe, in Quebec on 5th July 1672 [2]
  • Guillaume Vanier, who arrived in Quebec in 1672
Vanier Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Pierre-Thomas Vanier, son of Guillaume and Madeleine, who married Marie-Anne Bourbeau, daughter of Eustache and Marguerite, in Charlesbourg, Quebec on 9th February 1711 [2]
  • Jean-Baptiste Vanier, son of Guillaume and Madeleine, who married Marie-Charlotte Chamard, daughter of Nicolas and Jeanne, in Charlesbourg, Quebec on 13th June 1712 [2]
  • Joseph-Jean-Baptiste Vanier, son of Jean-Baptiste and Marie, who married Françoise Pigeon, daughter of Louis and Agnès, in Saint-Laurent, Quebec on 21th September 1735 [2]
  • Joseph Vanier, son of Jean and Marie-Charlotte, who married Marie Dagenais, daughter of Joseph-Michel and Anne, in Sault-au-Récollet, Quebec on 24th October 1740 [2]
  • Joseph Vanier, son of Joseph and Marie-Françoise, who married Marie-Élisabeth Bayard, daughter of François and Jeanne-Élisabeth, in Sault-au-Récollet, Quebec on 10th January 1752 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Vanier (post 1700) +

  • Carey D. Vanier Sr. (b. 1981), Guyanese-American mixed martial arts fighter
  • Harvey L. Vanier (b. 1924), American trainer of Thoroughbred racehorses
  • John K. II Vanier, American politician, Mayor of Salina, Kansas, 2008-09 [3]
  • Nicolas Vanier (b. 1962), French adventurist, writer and moviemaker
  • Rosie Vanier, British singer and keyboard player
  • Jean Vanier CC GOQ, (b. 1928), Canadian Catholic philosopher, humanitarian and the founder of L'Arche
  • Georges Philias Vanier (1888-1967), Canadian soldier and diplomat, Governor-General of Canada (1959 to 1967)


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ Internoscia, Arthur E., and Claire Chevrier. Dictionnaire National des Canadiens Français 1608-1760. Vol. 2, Institut Drouin, 1958.
  3. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 8) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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