Norman Canadians are Canadians who can be either French speaking or English speaking. Their ancestors originate from Normandy and they came from, what is called now Upper Normandy, Lower Normandy and the Channel Islands.

The first settlers to Canada came from Normandy. Example: On July 23, 1632, 300 colonists heading to Canada departed from Dieppe. They brought with them their own culture and Norman language. Subsequently, those that followed would also speak their language.

Samuel de Champlain left the port of Honfleur in 1604 and founded Acadia. Four years later, he founded Quebec City. From then onwards, Normans engaged in a policy of expansion in North America. They continued the exploration of the New World: René Robert Cavelier de La Salle travelled in the area of the Great Lakes, then on the Mississippi River. Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville and his brother Lemoyne de Bienville founded Louisiana, Biloxi, Mobile and New Orleans. Territories located between Quebec and the Mississippi Delta were opened up to establish Canada and Louisiana. Colonists from Normandy were among the most active in New France, comprising Acadia, Canada, and Louisiana.

Samuel de Champlain left the port of Honfleur in 1604 and founded Acadia. Four years later, he founded Quebec City. From then onwards, Normans engaged in a policy of expansion in North America. They continued the exploration of the New World: René Robert Cavelier de La Salle travelled in the area of the Great Lakes, then on the Mississippi River. Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville and his brother Lemoyne de Bienville founded Louisiana, Biloxi, Mobile and New Orleans. Territories located between Quebec and the Mississippi Delta were opened up to establish Canada and Louisiana. Colonists from Normandy were among the most active in New France, comprising Acadia, Canada, and Louisiana.

Famous Norman Canadians and notable Norman settlers

Pierre de Chauvin de Tonnetuit, naval captain, lieutenant of New France and governor.

One famous Norman that came to Canada was Charles le Moyne de Longueuil et de Châteauguay, from Longueil near Dieppe and his wife Catherine Primot-Thierry from Rouen, the capital city of Normandy. They had fourteen children. Two of them became famous : Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville, who founded Louisiana and the cities of Mobile and Biloxi, and Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, who founded New Orleans.

Another famous Norman was Robert Cavelier, who claimed Louisiana for the King of France, and who established many forts in the Illinois country. He was born at Rouen.

Pierre Boucher came to Canada with his father in 1635 from the Norman Perche, and later became Governor of Trois-Rivières. He was the first Canadian settler to be ennobled by King Louis XIV. He died at his seigniory in Boucherville, which was named in his honour.

Jean Brebeuf was born in Condé-sur-Vire, Normandy. He came to Canada in 1625 as a missionary. He went to live with the Hurons and learned their customs and language. He was the first to write a grammar and dictionary in the Huron language. He is Canada's "first serious ethnographer." He also became a valuable source of Canadian history.

Guillaume Couture was born 1618 in Rouen.

Pierre Dugrenier dit Perron was born 1675 in Rouen, paroisse Saint-Maclou.

Jacques Le Ber, merchant and lord at Montreal, from Senneville, near Pîtres, today in Upper-Normandy.

Julien Dubuque was a Norman Canadian from the area of Champlain, Quebec, who arrived near what now is known as Dubuque, Iowa, which was named after him. He was one of the first white men to settle in the area in 1788. His Great Grandfather was Jean Dubuc from Rouen, Normandy.

Wilfrid-Étienne Brunet founded the first Brunet pharmacy in 1855 in Quebec City, the largest one at the time. The Brunet pharmacies are now owned by Metro, and have 124 pharmacies in the province of Québec.

Brothers Charles Hamel and Jean Hamel, ancestors of almost all Hamels in North America, born Abt 1624 and 1630, respectively, in Avremesnil, near Dieppe

Charles Robin formed a firm which developed fishing grounds off Cape Breton Island and the Gaspé region. He was born in Saint Brélade, Jersey in 1743.

Norman Canadian Last Names

  • Anctil (In France, Anctil is a typical Norman surname, former first name. Anctil is a variant spelling of Anquetil. Anctil is found in the pays de Caux region of Upper Normandy, and also Cotentin[8] together with the widespread common spelling Anquetil and the other variant spellings Amptil, Anquety and Anquetille all found in Normandy. Its etymology is Old Norse Ásketill)
  • Asselin (Most Asselin in France originate from the Orléans region, Loire valley, but the surname is also widespread in Normandy. The variant female form of the surname, Asseline, is typical Norman)
  • Bacon (Most Bacon in France are from Lower Normandy, but there is also a patronymic Bacon in Brittany and in Artois)
  • Bélanger (Most Bélanger in France originate from Anjou and some from Picardy), variant form of Béranger
  • Bérubé (Bérubé is a typical Norman name in France, that originates precisely from the pays de Caux)
  • Bonhomme (Most Bonhomme in France originate from the Massif Central region, south of France, but the patronymic has been also widespread everywhere since a long time)
  • Boucher (Most Boucher in France originate from Picardy, some are from Brittany and the Western Loire valley, but the patronymic has been widespread everywhere since a long time)
  • Bourdon (Most Bourdon in France are from Artois and Picardy, but the name has been also present in Upper Normandy and in Brittany since a long time)
  • Brassard (Most Brassard in France originate from French Flanders, but the name is also widespread in Lower Normandy, in the Western Loire Valley and in Auvergne)
  • Brière (Most Brière in France are from Maine and from Normandy, variant form of Bruyère)
  • Brunelle (Most Brunelle in France originate from Artois, French Flanders and Picardy, but the name has been present in other regions since a long time. It is a variant spelling of Brunel : north and south, Bruneau : west and Bruneel : Flanders. The typical Norman form is Bunel : from Brunel > Burnel > Busnel > Bunel)
  • Brunet (the patronymic has been widespread everywhere in France since a long time)
  • Carpentier (In France Carpentier is a surname from Picardy and Upper Normandy. The typical Norman form is Lecarpentier, the French form is Charpentier)
  • Delisle (In France Delisle is a surname from the Northwest, including Normandy)
  • Duclos (In France Duclos is more common in Normandy than everywhere, but it is also widespread in Brittany and in the Southwest)
  • Guèvremont
  • Hébert (In France, Hébert is a Norman surname, variant form of Herbert)
  • Lelièvre
  • Roy, originating from the Normans and meaning "king".
  • Trépanier.


Norman immigrants to North America also introduced some "Normanisms" to Quebec French and the French language in Canada generally. Joual, a working class sociolect of Quebec, in particular exhibits a Norman influence. Some expressions that are currently in use in Canada are:

  • abrier = y faut s'abrier, y fait frète!; French abriter
  • asteure = French maintenant. Adaptation from modern English (at this hour) meaning; now, English maintenant, French. "a cette heure" pronounced "asteure"
  • barrure = French barre
  • ber = French berceau
  • bers = French ridelles d'un chariot
  • bleuet = French myrtille
  • champelure variant form of Norman campleuse = French robinet
  • croche = French tordu
  • garnotte = French terre-noix
  • gourgannes = French fêves de marais
  • gourgane = French bajoue de porc fumée
  • gricher for Norman grigner = French grimacer *grafigner for [gratter légèrement et sans cesse] *graffigner for [égratigner]
  • greyer or greiller for [préparer]
  • ichite or icite for [ici]
  • itou for [aussi]
  • jouquer or juquer for [jucher]*
  • mitan for [milieu]
  • marcou for [chat mâle (angevin, gallo, également)]
  • marganner for [déganer]
  • maganer for [maltraiter ou malmener]
  • pigoche for [cheville]
  • pognie for [poignée]
  • pomonique for [pulmonique]
  • racoin for [recoin]
  • ramarrer for [rattacher]
  • ramucrir, for [devenir humide] (see above mucre)
  • mucrerancer for [avoir la respiration gênée et bruyante, lever, pousser avec un levier]
  • ressoudre for [réveiller, activer],
  • sacraer for [sacrer (arrête de sacrer!)]
  • v'lin for [venin]
  • vlimeux for [velimeux]
  • v'lo for [voilà]
  • y for [il, ils, elles (qu'est-ce qu'y fait ?)]
  • zius for [yeux].