William Charette


The French family name Charette is classified as being of occupational origin. It can be said that one of the most ancient and interesting types of surnames are those derivied from the occupation of the original bearer. Such names offer a glimpse into the daily lives of our ancestors. With regard to the surname Charette, it originally identified a maker or seller of chariots. This name was directly taken from the French word "charrette" meaning "cart, chariot", a derivation of the Old French term "char", derived in turn from the Latin element "carrus". Amongst the variants of the surname Charette is Charrette.

References to this surname or to a variant include a record of a family bearing the name Charette de la Coliniere et de la Contrie, who are documented as members of the French nobility and whose ancestral seat was located in the northern French region of Brittany. This house, known since the fifteenth century, divided itself in several branches, establishing new homes in Montebert, Gascherie, Chiersant, Boifoucault, Coliniere, and Contrie. Amongst the notable bearers of this family name or one of its variants should be mentioned Francois Charette de la Contrie (1763-1796), a Vendean chief born in Couffe (Brittany). Hereditary French surnames date back to at least the twelfth century. Prior to this period there existed some names which had been passed on for two or indeed three generations. Other early references to this surname mention one Claude Charette, who was baptised in Grimonviller in Meurthe-et-Moselle in March 1673.


BLAZON OF ARMS: Argent, a lion sable, langued and armed gules, between in base three birds (hens of aigrettes) of the second beaked and armed of the third.

Translation: Argent (white) signifies Peace; Sable (black), Constancy and Gules (red), Magnanimity.

CREST: A panache of ostrich plumes proper.


IMAGE of The Crest (Blazon of Arms)

A story of how the crest was created for the Charette Family when William the Conqueror, King of France, knighted a young warrior named Charette from Brittany (dating back to the 11th Century) is located in the History of France, S.F. Public Library Reference Section Stacks, San Francisco, California, USA.

William Charette de Providence (R.I.), USA

William Charette