Trudeau Genealogy

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-Andrewhich had been commissioned
by Jeanne Mance to bring new emigrants to New France.
The ship departed LaRochelle 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 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
from his fourth son Zenon Trudeau descended to:

  • Dr. James de Berty
    Trudeau, a distinguished Louisiana physican 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 Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:

Trudeau Names

Etienne Truteau, a carpenter who came to Quebec from France in 1659, was
the forebear
of most Trudeaus in America.

Edward Trudeau
was an American physician
who pioneered the study and
treatment of tuberculosis in the late 1800’s.
 Trudeau, the
great grandson of Edward Trudeau,

is an American cartoonist, best known for his Doonesbury comic strip.

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

Select Trudeaus Today

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



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