ANCIENT HISTORY OF THE DISTINGUISHED NOEL FAMILY
(document by Hall of Names Marketing Inc., 1992)
Through the ages, most of the family names underwent changes in their orthography for different reasons. A father's son could write his name in a different manner from that of his father. A great number of these changes was a simple mistake made by a scribe, a priest or a census taker, when a person articulated his name. Some names gained or lost prefixes or suffixes through the centuries. The different spellings could be adopted by certain branches of a family to designate political or religious adhesions. Therefore there exists many variations of the name of the NOEL family, such as Noell, Noelle, Noel, Noailles, Noe, Noue, de Noel, le Noel, but all from the same origin.
After the conquest of England in 1066 by William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, the duchy became part of the domain of the kings of England. The territory constituted the power and the influence of the Duke, not only in England, but also throughout entire France, from the north to the frontier of Aquitaine. Robert II Courteheuse rebelled against his father William the Conqueror with the help of the King of France, Philippe I. In that period, Normandy and England passed over to the royal dynasty of the Plantagenets in the XIIth century. At that time, Alienor of Aquitaine married Henry II, King of England, bringing him the Normand lands in her heritage dowry. In 1259, Henry III had to waive his right on the territory. The country kept a certain independence until the XVIIth century, when it became part of France once more. The Normands played an important role in the conquest of the French and English Empires.
The family name NOEL was found again in Normandy, where that aristocratic family possessed huge properties. In the XVIth century the NOEL had settled in Antons, Brittany, and in Poitou. They then acquired lands in Lorraine where they were Lords in 1573, and north in St-Simon in Languedoc. They were elevated to the rank of Nobles of the Empire in 1806. Jean-Francois NOEL, lexicographer from St-Germaine-en-Laye, wrote a book called Grammaire francais in 1826. Among the numerous Nobles of this family at that time, we find the NOEL family from Normandy.
In the beginning of the XVIth century, the French culture became a model for the whole of Europe. The exploration of the New World was a pretigious goal and profitable to all European countries. Following from north to south the East Coast of North-America we can find these colonies: New-France, New-Holland, New-England and New-Spain. Jacques Cartier made the first of his three voyages to New-France in 1534. In 1615, Champlain took with him some reformed Franciscains to Quebec to make firm their religious belief. The plans for development of Quebec were not up to the objectives of the Company of New-France, which later became the Compagnie des Habitants. Samuel de Champlain made more than twenty voyages from France in order to encourage immigration to New-France.
In 1643, hundred and nine years after the first voyage of Cartier, nearly three hundred persons lived in Quebec and twenty years later the population had increased to five hundred. France finally granted land alloances to two thoudand emigrants in the following decade. The fur trade developed and drew some settlers from France, some from noble stock and other common people. Fifteen thousand exploraters left Montreal at the end of the XVIIth and XVIIIth centuries.
The serach for a passage to the North-West went on. Immigration from France to New-France and Quebec continued till the conquest of Quebec in 1759. In 1675 there were seven thousand French inhabitants in Quebec. France ceded Acady to the Great Britain in 1713, after the treaty of Ultrecht. In 1755 ten thousand French Acadians refused the oath of allegiance to England and were then deported to Lousiana. In 1713 the French, who were living in these provinces were submitted to the English regime. In the interval, the French people increased in number in Quebec and finally founded Lower Canada.
Among the settlers of North-America we find the name of NOEL: Francois Noel who arrived in Quebec in 1657 from Poitou, Pierre Noel who came to Quebec in 1758 from Antois, Noel Noel who arrived in Quebec in 1740 from Ile-de-France, Jean Noel who came to Quebec in 1649 from Saintonge, and Pierre Noel who arrived in Quebec in 1738 also from Saintonge.
Several members of this renowed family were important in the social, cultural, religious and political domains, in France as well as in New-France, such as Jean-Baptiste Noel, eminent politician during the French revolution, and Marie Rouget Noel, French poetess, born in 1883 and died in 1968.
The most ancient coat-of-arms in the name of the Noel family was composed as follows :
blue background with gold chevron between three silver crescents of moon,
The crest of the Noel family is composed of:
a black eagle.