Willette History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Of all the French names to come from Normandy, Willette 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 French word "oeil," meaning "eye," which was used metaphorically to refer to the source of a spring or fountain. 
Early Origins of the Willette family
The surname Willette 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.
Of this family Robert D'Ouilli, the son of Foque D'Aulnay, who was descended from D'Alnay, the first Duke of the Normans of Loire 895-905, joined Duke William of Normandy in the Conquest of England in 1066 A.D. He is referred to by Wace, the chronicler of the Battle of Hastings, as "E cil d'Ouillie," and received the castle of Wallingford in 1067 and possessed sixty-one manors with forty-two habitable houses in the county of Oxford of which he was the Constable.
Wallingford was an ancient Roman castle and Robert D'Ouillie, at the command of William the Conqueror, rebuilt the castle in the Norman style, an impregnable edifice which would play a most significant part in history. He gave much of his estates to Roger D'Ivri, his sworn brother in Arms. This Robert also ceded to Roger his Barony of St. Valery.
René Ouellet, born in 1642, son of François and Elisabeth (née Barre), was one of the first people found in Canada with the name Ouellet. René first married Anne Rivet on 8th March 1666 and he later married Thérèse Mignot on 6th February 1679. Throughout his two marriages René had six sons that carried on the family name of Ouellet. René was buried on 15th January 1722 in Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière, Quebec. 
Early History of the Willette family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Willette research. Another 46 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1066 and 1067 are included under the topic Early Willette History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Willette Spelling Variations
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 Willette is distinguished by a number of regional variations. The many spelling variations of the name include Oueilly, Oueilly, Ouilly, Ouele, Oueillade, Willet, Willett, Williot, Wille, Willette, Willi, Oulette, Ouellet, Oullett, Wellett, Oullette and many more.
Early Notables of the Willette family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Willette Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Willette migration to the United States +
France was active as a cultural leader in the early 16th century. One particular area in which they lead was the exploration of the New World. The explorers, like Jacques Cartier in 1534, led the way to North America. Champlain, in 1608, made the first of twenty voyages to France to attract settlers and brought the first migrant in 1617. By 1675, there were 7000 French in Quebec, and the French Acadian presence in the Maritimes had reached 500. The French founded Lower Canada, thus becoming one of the two great founding nations of Canada. The family name Willette has made many distinguished contributions in France and New France to the world of science, culture, religion, and education. Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Willette were
Willette Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Gladys Willette, aged 11, who immigrated to Blaine, U.S.A., in 1921
- Minnie Willette, aged 36, who settled in Blaine, U.S.A., in 1921
- Earl Willette, aged 21, who settled in America, in 1924
Contemporary Notables of the name Willette (post 1700) +
- Jeff Willette (b. 1971), American computer graphics 3D animator
- JoAnn Willette (b. 1963), American actress
- Paul W. Willette, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for Michigan State House of Representatives from Bay County 2nd District, 1942 
- Edward Willette, American Republican politician, Candidate for New Hampshire State House of Representatives from Nashua 7th Ward, 1938 
- Alex Willette, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Maine, 2008 
- Adolphe-Léon Willette (1857-1926), French painter, illustrator, caricaturist, and lithographer
- Willette L. Rowe, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Washington, 2000 
Historic Events for the Willette family +
- Mr. Laddie James Willette, American Seaman Second Class from Michigan, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking 
Related Stories +
- ^ Dauzat, Albert, Morlet, Marie-Thérèse, Dictionaire Étymologique des Noms et Prénoms de France. Paris: Librairie Larousse, 1987. Print.
- ^ Olivier, Reginald L. Your Ancient Canadian Family Ties. Logan: The Everton Publishers, Inc., P.O. Box 368, 1972. Print
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 12) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 9) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
- ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html