An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
Origins Available: English, French
Of all the French names to come from Normandy, Willet is one of the most ancient. The name is a result of the original family having lived at a place in Normandy, called Ouilly-le-Basset in the arrondissement and canton of Falaise in Calvados. The name is adapted from the Old French word "oeil," meaning "eye," which was used metaphorically to refer to the source of a spring or fountain.
The surname Willet was first found in Normandy (French: Normandie), the former Duchy of Normandy, where this distinguished family held a family seat in the honor of the seigneurie of Ouilly-le-Basset in the arrondissement and canton of Falaise in Calvados.
History has changed the spelling of most surnames. During the early development of the French language in the Middle Ages, a person gave his version of his name, phonetically, to a scribe, a priest, or a recorder. Some variables were adopted by different branches of the family name. Hence, there spelling variations of the name Willet, some of which include Oueilly, Oueilly, Ouilly, Ouele, Oueillade, Willet, Willett, Williot, Wille, Willette, Willi, Oulette, Ouellet, Oullett, Wellett, Oullette and many more.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Willet research. Another 373 words (27 lines of text) covering the years 1066 and 1067 are included under the topic Early Willet History in all our PDF Extended History products.
More information is included under the topic Early Willet Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
By 1643 there were only about 300 people in Quebec. Since immigration was slow, early marriage was desperately encouraged amongst the immigrants. The fur trade attracted migrants, both noble and commoner. 15,000 explorers left Montreal in the late 17th and 18th centuries. 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 1755, 10,000 French Acadians refused to take an oath of allegiance to England and were deported to Louisiana. The French founded Lower Canada, thus becoming one of the two great founding nations of Canada. The distinguished family name Willet has made significant contributions to the culture, arts, sciences and religion of France and New France. Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Willet were
Willet Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Willet Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Willet Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Willet Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
The Willet Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Willet 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 10 December 2014 at 11:47.