Trudeau Surname Meaning, History & Origin

Select Trudeau Meaning
The Trudeau
surname is French in origin, brought to Canada in the 17th century.  Its meaning is uncertain.  
Some have speculated that the Trudeau name
originated from the Latin trudo,
meaning “I thrust.”  Others see Trudeau
as possibly a pet form of Thouroude or Gertrude.
The early spelling seems to
have been Truteau.  The name had been
localized to an area around New Rochelle in western France, but no
exists there.

Trudeau Resources on

Trudeau Ancestry

, a master carpenter, came to Quebec aboard the Saint-Andre which had been commissioned
by Jeanne Mance to bring new emigrants to New France.
The ship departed La Rochelle in France in July
1659 and arrived in Montreal two months later.

Canada.  The early spelling
in Canada was Truteau.  The family
established itself in 1675 at Longueuil, a suburb of Montreal on the
other side
of the St. Lawrence river (Parc Truteau and Rue Truteau are to be found

Trudeaus remain in
Longueuil.  Moses Trudeau donated the
land that housed the town’s municipal school in 1860.
His son Victor was a general merchant on
Victoria Avenue in the early 1900’s.
Trudeaus there are now in their 12th generation.

But the main later concentration of Trudeau
descendants has been in the Montreal suburb of Sainte-Jolie, starting
in the
mid-19th century.  Jules Trudeau was
mayor of the town from 1910 to 1912.
Twelve other Trudeaus were councillors and six churchwardens
1861 and 1968.

Not all Trudeaus had initially
prospered.  Joseph Trudeau – descended
from Etienne’s son Pierre – was a semi-literate farmer at St. Remi de
fifty kilometres south of Montreal, in the mid-19th century.  But his wife Malvina was a strong woman who
insisted that her sons be well-educated.  Charles-Emile,
known as Charley, was trained
as a lawyer and grew rich in the 1930’s by building up a chain of gas
in the Montreal area.  His offspring did
even better:

  • his son Pierre Trudeau served
    as the 15th Prime Minister of Canada
    from 1968 to 1979 and from 1980 to 1984.
  • and
    his grandson Justin Trudeau became the 23rd Prime Minister of Canada

America.  The forebear of the
Trudeaus in Louisiana was Etienne Trudeau in Quebec.
His grandson Jean
initially studied for the priesthood, but then had a change of heart
departed in the 1730’s with some military colleagues for what was then
French territory of Louisiana.   He
worked as an Indian agent there.

The Trudeau
line from his fourth son Zenon Trudeau descended to:

  • Dr. James de Berty
    Trudeau, a distinguished Louisiana physician and surgeon and also a
    commanding the Louisiana Legion in New Orleans in 1861 during the Civil
  • his son Dr. Edward
    Trudeau, a pioneer in the treatment of TB at his Saranac sanatorium in
    Adirondack mountains in upstate New York.
  • and Edward’s great grandson Garry
    Trudeau who grew up around Saranac Lake.  He
    the cartoonist best known for his Doonesbury

Jean Baptiste Trudeau of the Etienne Trudeau line
was a trapper and fur trader who moved across the border and was one of
early settlers, around 1780, in St. Louis, Missouri.
His son Louis settled in Fremont county,
Iowa.  His grandson Edmond Trudeau was a police officer in Montana who
was shot and
killed in 1904 in the line of duty.

Trudeau, also a descendant of Etienne Trudeau, crossed the border into
Minnesota in the late 1870’s.  His line
was traced in Robert W. Trudeau’s 1988 book Trudeau
Family Tree
.  Meanwhile Francois Trudeau left Quebec with his
family for Middlebury, Vermont in
the early 1870’s.  His grandson Arthur,
born there in 1902, was a distinguished US General during the Korean War

Trudeau and Like Surnames.  These are French-originated names, French Canadian surnames that were brought by French settlers to what was then New France.  Many are found in Louisiana after the Acadian exodus from the Canadian maritime provinces in the 18th century.  Other like surnames covered here are Bernard, Blanchard, Durant, Duval, Landry, Martin, and Vincent.


Trudeau Miscellany

Etienne Truteau’s Early Years in New France.  In June 1659 Etienne Trudeau signed
a contract to do five years military service in New France. He left La Rochelle
on July 2, 1659, aboard the Saint Andre
en route to support the struggling little French settlement up river
Quebec. During the crossing a plague was declared to have been present
those who died aboard were immediately thrown into the sea with all
that was
used or touched by them.

The Saint Andre
finally arrived at Quebec on September 7, 1659, and those aboard were
encouraged to settle rather than go to the danger of the wilderness
beyond.  But the new settlers could not
be dissuaded.  They arrived at what is
now Montreal on September 29.

After his arrival Etienne registered in the sixth
squadron of the militia of Sainte-Famille, under the command of
Gilbert Barbier.  In May 1662 he and two
other workers were caught in the open by fifty Iroquois who lay in
Fleeing to the redoubt, Etienne led the small party in defence until
could arrive.  Although the Indians had fired over 300 shots, the
only damage
was a gun broken when struck by a bullet.
A marble plaque now commemorates his act of bravery.

females were scarce in New France.  Although
nearly twice her age,  Etienne Trudeau
married Adienne Barbier, the fourteen year old daughter of his former
Gilbert Barbier, in 1667.

Early Trudeau Marriages in Montreal

Date Location Husband Wife
1667 Montreal Etienne Truteau Adrienne Barbier
1698 Montreal Pierre Truteau Marie-Charlotte Menard
1699 Montreal Etienne Truteau Marie Bleau
1705 Longueuil Toussaint Truteau Barbe Garvou
1710 Montreal Charles Truteau Marie-Madeleine Loisel

Jean Baptiste Trudeau’s School in St. Louis.  St. Louis had been founded initially as a fur trading station and this brought Jean Baptiste Trudeau there.

In 1774 he started a French school at the trading post of
Laclede, the
first such school in St. Louis, Missouri.
Among his early pupils were the children of Zenon Trudeau, the
Governor and a distant cousin.

The first school house lacked any degree of
prestige, being just but a one room log cabin.
Later Jean Baptiste had a stone structure which dignified his
place of
learning.  All the leading families of
the settlement went to Trudeau’s school where the French language was

Trudeau was noted as a stern disciplinarian
not adverse to administering frequent raps across the knuckles of
pupils.  He must have been successful at this profession for he
at it
in St. Louis for fifty years.

He also probably had a flare for poetry.
In 1770, when a force of British soldiers and
Indians attacked St. Louis, Trudeau wrote a song entitled Chanson
de L’annee du Coup
Enemy raids were part of life in those times.

The Trudeau Louisiana Line

Jean Trudeau (1705-1770), Indian agent in Louisiana, m.
Marie Anne Carriere

– Jean Trudeau (b. around 1740), planter at Butler Kenner, m. Felicite de Breuil de Villars

– Carlos Levaux Trudeau (1743-1816), surveyor general of Spanish Louisiana, m. Charlotte Peyraud

– Zenon Trudeau (1748-1813), Commandant Governor of Upper Louisiana, m. Eulalie de Lassize

— Rene Trudeau (b. 1784), a planter in Jefferson parish, Louisiana, m Adele Sauve

— Dr. James de Berty Trudeau (1817-1887), distinguished Louisiana physician, m. Cephise Berger

—- Dr. Edward Trudeau (1848-1915), distinguished TB physician in
upstate New York, m. Lottie Beare.

The Death of Special Deputy Edmond Trudeau.  On February 14, 1904 Special
Deputy Trudeau of Missoula county, Montana was shot and killed after
and intoxicated man from a dance hall.
The man had gone home, obtained a rifle, then returned to the
scene and
opened fire.  Edmond Trudeau was fatally
wounded in the exchange of gunfire.  The
suspect was later sentenced to 99 years in prison for the murder.

At the time of
Edmond’s death, his father Louis – at the age of 85 – was still living
at his
home in Iowa.  Edmond had moved from
there, first to Colorado and then to Missoula county, Missouri around

Pierre Trudeau and His Two Sons.  Pierre Trudeau was described as a “swinging young bachelor” when he became prime minister in 1968.  Three years later he quietly married Margaret Sinclaiir in Vancouver.  Their two eldest
sons, Justin and Alexandre, were both born on Christmas Day.

In July 1971 the Prime Minister’s office announced that Trudeau’s wife was
expecting their first child and that it was due in December.  Informal betting pools began on for the delivery date.  On
Christmas Day Justin Trudeau was born at
the Ottawa Civic Hospital.

is the younger of the two Christmas babies.
The family was attending the 1973 Christmas midnight mass at
Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Church when Margaret Trudeau went into
labor and
was rushed to Ottawa Civic Hospital.


Trudeau Names

  • Etienne Truteau, a carpenter who came to Quebec from France in 1659, was the forebear of most Trudeaus in America. 
  • Dr. Edward Trudeau was an American physician
    who pioneered the study and treatment of tuberculosis in the late 1800’s. 
  • Garry Trudeau, the great grandson of Edward Trudeau,
    is an American cartoonist, best known for his Doonesbury comic strip. 
  • Pierre Trudeau served as the 15th Prime Minister of Canada, from 1968 to 1979 and from 1980 to 1984.
  • Justin Trudeau, the eldest son of Pierre Trudeau, became the 23rd Prime Minister of Canada in 2015.

Select Trudeau Numbers Today

  • 2,000 in America (most numerous in California)
  • 9,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)


Select Trudeau and Like Surnames

These are French-originated names, French Canadian surnames that were brought by French settlers to what was then New France.  Many are found in Louisiana after the Acadian exodus from the Canadian maritime provinces in the 18th century.  Here are some of the French surnames that you can check out.



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