Origin of the Noel Name

Noel family motto: Tout Bien ou Rien (All good or nothing)

Normandy was occupied by various peoples, attached to Belgium or Celtic Gaul, until the Roman Conquest in the first century BCE. The family name Noel comes from that country.

The family name Noel was found in Normandy, where they lived in Noailles. A descendant of the family was Robert Noel. Robert, who was a knight, accompanied William Duke of Normandy, during his Conquest of England in 1066. He thus received a lot of lands, such as those of Ellenhall, Wiverstone, Podmore and Milnese. Robert became Lord of Ellenhall, then Lord of Gainsborough, title that was granted him by King Henry I, king of England and Normandy.

Through the ages, most of the family names underwent changes in the 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, priest, or census taker, when a person articulated his name. Some names gained or lost prefixes or suffixes through the centuries. The different spelling 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 are from the same origin.

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 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.

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 fron Saintonge
Pierre Noel who arrived in Quebec in 1738, also from Saintonge.

Several members of this renowned family were important in the social, cultural, religious, and political domains in France as well as New France:
Jean-Baptiste Noel, eminent politician during the French Revolution
Marie Rouget Noel, French poetess, born in 1883 and died in 1968.

The most ancient coat-of-arms in the Noel family was composed of a blue background with a gold chevron between three silver crescents of moon. The crest of the Noel family is composed of a black eagle.
From "Ancient History of the Distinguished Noel Family", Hall of Names Marketing, 1992

The information above was found on "The History of the Roudebush/English Family Homepage". Ramona Phipps, webmaster, graciously allowed this to be reprinted on this page. Thank You, Ramona!

Another twist on French names:
Many of the French-Canadian immigrants to America chose to use the English translation of their surnames: LeBlanc became White, Beauchamp became Fairfield, Belanger became Baker. Others chose to modify the spelling of the name--Archambeault became Archambeau. However, when they began to have children in America, they often reverted back to the original spelling of the name--presumably to preserve their heritage and identity and to guarantee a legacy of frustration and gnashing of teeth for generations to come as they try and figure out all of these people!

*This is the Francois Noel from which our Noel family is descended--Jolynn

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Noel Family of Brockton, MA by Jolynn Noel Winland is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License
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Email: littleangeljw@yahoo.com