Gagnier (Gagne) History Web Site
by Rev. John F. Gagnier

Section Four: Family Heraldry, Ancient & Modern

After reading this section,
click on the blue link at the bottom of the page to go to
Section Five: Family Commemorative Plaques in France & Quebec


Below the original Gasnier coat of arms is shown in black and white and in color.

The original coat of arms of ancient and unknown origin is found in a standard heraldic manual:
General Illustrated Armorial by Joannes Baptist Reitstap, dated 1952.
The coat of arms associated with the Gasnier name in the Maine Province of France
is described in heraldic terms as follows:

"Gironne d'or et de gules: a la bordure de sable."

which means
a gyron, or rotating set of triangles
of gold "or"
and of red "gules"
on a black "sable" border

A gyron (also spelled gironne) is also called an "esquire."

A heraldic expert has made the following remarks about its meaning:

gyron or esquire could signify:

1.) eldest son of a knight or their eldest son in perpetual succession

2.) eldest son of younger sons of Peers and their eldest sons in perpetual succession

3.) esquires created by the king's investiture

4.) esquires by virtue of their office, bearing office of trust under the crown.

An esquire's traditional service required him to maintain his lord's shield and armor,
though his duties and responsibilities were much greater than that.
Often of noble birth, the esquire's service trained him in the courtly arts and chivalric code.
Perhaps an ancestor was rewarded by the French king for loyalty and service
by being named an esquire - a titled rank just below that of chevalier or knight.


Below the 1994 Gagne-Bellavance coat of arms is shown in color and in black and white.

A new coat of arms was commissioned by the Association of Gagne-Bellavance Families in America in 1994
to mark the 350th anniversary of the arrival of the first ancestor to come from France in 1644.
The designer was Rev. Lucien Godbout of the Quebec Seminary.

The heraldic description is as follows:
Blason: "D'or a trois chevrons de gueules accompagnes de trois torteaux d'azur:
le 1er charge d'un lys d'or
le 2e charge d'un lys d'argent
le 3e charge de trois epis de ble lies du meme."

A Shield: "Of gold with three red chevrons accompanied by three circles of blue:
the first charged with a gold fleur-de-lis
the second charged with a silver fleur-de-lis
the third charged with three identical ears of wheat."

The single gold color of the shield background symbolizes the profound union of the Gagne-Bellavance families.
The three red chevrons symbolize the Perches region in France.

The three blue circles symbolize the locations of the three eras in the early family history:

Ige in France

the Coast of Beaupre

the Cap Saint Ignace.

Both brothers, Louis and Pierre, came from Ige.

They obtained land by concession on the coast of Beaupre.

Pierre's son Louis (known as Bellavance) established a home on the Cape Saint Ignace, which he called La Fresnaye.

The circle on the left symbolizes Louis Gasnier,
who established a home at St. Anne de Beaupre.

The circle on the right symbolizes his nephew, Louis Gagnier,
son of Pierre and ancestor of the Bellavance line.
He received the title of Lord in 1672 under the name of Bellavance.

The central circle in the lower portion of the shield bears three joined stalks of wheat symbolizing
Louis Gasnier of Perche in France and two of his sons:
Louis, who emigrated to New France in 1644 and
Pierre, who emigrated to New France in 1653.

The "device" or motto:
"De bon vouloir servir" meaning: "Of good will to serve"
indicating a willingness to serve one's religion and one's country.

Section Five: Family Commemorative Plaques


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Gagnier (Gagne) History Web Site
by Rev. John F. Gagnier

Last modified on Thursday, December 3, 2009