|This article does not cite any sources. (July 2009) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
The history of the Beaupre family can be accurately traced to about AD 1045 to 1050. Ancestors of this family may well have fought in the Battle of Hastings in 1066, when Duke William the Conqueror of Normandy defeated King Harold of England, making himself King of England, yet still only the Duke of Normandy. The current age of the Beaupre family name is approximately 960 years.
One ancient pedigree is that of Sir Edmonde Beaupre of Beaupre Hall, Outwell/Upwell, Norfolk, he is descended from:
- Senulph Tempore H.2. apud Lyn Epi' in Norfolk
- Robert fitz Senulf de Lyn
- Warren fitz Rob. de Lyn
- Gilbert fitz Warren de Lyn m. Richell dau. of Ernald Bardwell
- John fitz Gilberti m. Christian dau. & co-heir of Sir Thomas St Omer, knight, Lord of Well in Norfolk
- Richard le fitz John le fitz Gilbert dicte quoqe Beawpre m. Katherine dau. of Osbert Mountfort, Regis King Edward II
- Sir Thomas Beaupre, knight d. during the reign of King Richard II m. Joane dau. of Richard Holbiech of Lincolnshire
- Nicholas Beaupre m. Margaret dau. of Richard Holbiech
- Thomas Beaupre m. Margaret dau.of John Meeres of Lincolnshire
- Thomas Beaupre m. Margaret dau. of Robert Ashfield of Stow Langtofte in Suffolk, during the reign of King Edward IV
- Nicholas Beaupre m. Margaret eldest dau. & co-heir of Thomas Foderinghay, Lord of South Acre, Alderford & Dorewards Hall in Bocking Essex. His other dau. Christian Foderinghay, m. John de Vere, 15th Earl of Oxford.
- Edmonde Beaupre m. 1. Margery dau. of Sir John Wiseman 2. Katherine dau. of Phillip Bedingfield, a relative of Sir Henry Bedingfield.
Edmonde Beaupre of Beaupre Hall, was the last of the male line of his Beaupre family. This Beaupre line therefore became extinct in 1567. By his wife Katherine, he had one daughter, Dorothy, who m.
- Sir Robert Bell d. 1577, Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer
- Sir John Peyton, Lieutenant of the Tower of London.
Eventually, members of the Beaupre family moved to Quebec, Canada to a town now known as Beaupre. Ste. Anne's Cathedral is located there. The name was probably the result of settlers taking names descriptive of their settlement locations.
Gradually the Beaupre family has moved down to New England, in the United States. This is considered by much of the family to be the 'home area' although parts of the family have also moved to (Biloxi, Mississippi), Minnesota, York, South Carolina and to both Wolfe Island, Ontario and Winnipeg, Canada; Chiemsee, Alaska; the Dakotas; Heerlen, Netherlands; and even Baghdad, Iraq, during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Others have moved down to Michigan from Quebec around the middle 19th century.
Beauprés in England
A completely separate Beaupre (Beaupré) family existed in the Nancy area of France in the 17th century and later moved to Besançon. A member of the family moved to England in 1824 in the service of George Canning as chef and interpreter. While the family is no longer in France they remain in England with members in Wellington, Somerset, London and elsewhere. Information about this family was initially collated by the late Frederick Beaupré Higgs, and is currently held by Robert Beaupré .
Beaupré was a name with ecclesiastical connections in the early Middle Ages. A priory with the name existed in South Wales, and monks moving into the community took the name with them so that it appears (as a surname) on church lists of vicars from the 12th and 13th centuries, especially in Devon and Cornwall.
The name Bonhomme dis Beaupré was also in Norfolk during the 16th century. Here a hall and a school both retain Beaupre in their names.
Bonhomme dit Beaupré, France to Québec
This family's first documented ancestor was Nicolas Bonhomme, born about 1562 in St-Croix de Féca, Normandie, France. He married there with Marie Guyon. They had a son, also named Nicolas, in 1603. This son became the family's pioneer ancestor. As an adult, he emigrated to New France--later named Québec, Canada--where he married on 2 Sep 1640 at St-Laurent, Ile d'Orleans with a woman named Catherine Gouget, a Fille à Marier, from Bourg de Thury, Normandie, France.
The Filles à Marier (i.e. "King's Daughter") were women who were shipped from France to New France to marry pioneers and soldiers for the purpose of developing a French society, there.
Many of those across New England who still bear the surname Beaupré (pron. bow-PRAY, or without the accent mark, bow-PREE) are descendants of the pioneers, Nicolas Bonhomme dit* Beaupré and Catherine Gouget.
Note: The use of the French word "dit" in this context means "nickname."
This name has been passed down to generations, and is used in Saint Charles Parish, Louisiana, during crawfish season to describe how the crawfish season is going. However the full name is 'Bonhomme du Beaupre', which is French for 'Good Man of the Beautiful Prairie'. The name was shortened to simply 'Beaupre' after a few generations, most likely due to difficulties in writing or pronouncing such a long name.
- The Visitations of Norfolk, 1563, 1589, and 1613, Harl. 1552.