Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Dufresne Name
The Dufresne surname comes from the name of the hamlet of Fresne, which was in the territory of Bourgogne. During the late Middle Ages in France, as hereditary surnames started to be adopted names that acquired from localities became increasingly widespread. Sometimes these names could become proprietorship of the village or estate. Spelling variations of this family name include: Fresne, du Fresne, Frayne, du Frayne, Fresnes, Fraynes, Dufresne, Dufresnes, Dufrayne, Dufraynes, Frene, Frenes, Frane, Franes, du Frene, du Frenes, du Frane, du Franes, Dufrene, Dufrenes, Dufrane, Dufranes, Fraines, Fraine, Freyne, Freynes, Frenne, Frennes, Fresnne, Fresnnes, Fresnais, Fraigne and much more.
The surname Dufresne first found in Burgundy (French: Bourgogne), an administrative and historical region of east-central France, where this family has held a family seat since old times. The name acquired from the Old French word for “ash” as in Ash tree from the Latin: fraxinus. Some of the people with the surname Dufresne who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included Jacques DuFresne, who landed in Montreal in 1661.
Dufresne Coat of Arms Meaning
The four main devices (symbols) in the Dufresne blazon are the mullet, chevron, ash tree and proboscis. The three main tinctures (colors) are vert, or and gules .
The deep green colour that is so often observed in heraldry is more properly known as vert. According to Wade, the use of this colour signifies “Hope and Joy”, but may also represent, rather delightfully, “Loyalty in Love” . It has other names also, the French call it sinople, perhaps after a town in Asia Minor from where the best green die materials could be found . More fanciful heralds liked to associate it with the planet venus and the precious stone emerald . More strangely, there is some evidence that the term prasin was anciently used, being the Greek for the vegetable we call the Leek!
Or is the heraldic metal Gold, often shown as a bold, bright yellow colour. It is said to show “Generosity and elevation of the mind” . Later heralds, of a more poetic nature liked to refer to it as Topaz, after the gemstone, and, for obvious reasons associated it with the Sun . In drawings without colour it is usually represented by many small dots, or by the letter ‘O’ .
Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines . Although it may look like a French word it is normally pronounced with a hard “g” and may be derived either from the Latin gula (throat) or Arabic gule (rose).
The heraldic mullet, not to be confused with the fish of that name, is shown as a regular, five pointed star. This was originally, not an astronomical object, but represented the spur on a horseman’s boot, especially when peirced, with a small circular hole in the centre it represents a type of spur known as a “rowel” . A clear example can be found in the arms of Harpendene, argent, a mullet pierced gules. The ancient writer Guillim associated such spurs in gold as belonging to the Knight, and the silver to their esquires . In later years, Wade linked this five pointed star with the true celestial object, the estoile and termed it a “falling star”, symbolising a “divine quality bestowed from above” .
The chevron is one the major shapes used upon a shield, known as ordinaries. The inverted ‘V’ of the chevron is perhaps thought to have originated to represent a military scarf folded on the shield , or additional cross-pieces used to strengthen the shield and painted a different colour.. It has also acquired the meaning of “Protection… granted… to one who has achieved some notable enterprise” , possibly becuase of its resemblance to the roof truss of a house.
Amongst the natural objects depicted on a coat of arms, trees feature frequently, either in whole or as individual branches and leaves. . Sometimes the species or the part of tree was chosen as an allusion to the name of the bearer, as in Argent three tree stumps (also known as stocks) sable” for Blackstock Trees of course had long been venerated and its use in a coat of arms may have represented some association with the god Thor Wade points out the the Ash Tree was particularly venerated by the Saxons.