Of all the French names to come from Normandy
, Willi 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.
Early Origins of the Willi family
The surname Willi 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.
Early History of the Willi family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Willi research.Another 373 words (27 lines of text) covering the years 1066 and 1067 are included under the topic Early Willi History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Willi Spelling Variations
One can encounter great variation in the spelling of French surnames; in part, as spelling, and the spelling names was not yet standardized during the early development of the written French language. Later, there was much branching and movement of families, and spellings would change according to region. Variations of the name Willi include Oueilly, Oueilly, Ouilly, Ouele, Oueillade, Willet, Willett, Williot, Wille, Willette, Willi, Oulette, Ouellet, Oullett, Wellett, Oullette and many more.
Early Notables of the Willi family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Willi Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Willi family to the New World and Oceana
Approximately 110 years after the first landings by Cartier, there were only about 300 people in Quebec. France gave land incentives for 2,000 migrants during the next decade. 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. Migration to New France (Quebec) continued from France until it fell in 1759. In the year 1675 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 Willi 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 Willi were Grégoire Ouellet, who settled at Riv. Ouelle, Canada in 1696; Alexandre Ouellet, who settled in Canada in 1781; Alexis Ouellet, who settled at Riv. Ouelle, Quebec in 1784.