Vanier Family

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Vanier Family Coat of Arms

The Coat of Arms and Shields on this page are emblems representing various Vanier families.


Coat of Arms represents much more than a symbol; it represents a real sign of adherence to a community, to a family. The Coat of Arms appeared as early as the 17th century. Below we find some Shields (displayed in a coat of arms), apparently belonging to different Vanier families:

Shield from the Vanier Coat of Arms

Vanier des Vauviers
(source Cabinet Héraldique Luz)

  Shield from the Vanier Coat of Arms

Georges Philias Vanier
(source Government House)

  Shield from the Vanier Coat of Arms

Vanière de la Borde

  Shield from the Vanier Coat of Arms

Vanier d'Hourgeville
(source La Boutique Héraldique)

I obtained the first three Shields from three heraldic web sites. To date, we have found no historical proof associating any of these shields directly to Guillaume Vanier's family originating from Honfleur in France.

Maybe another shield that does not appear beforehand belongs to our ancestors from Normandie. If you have the answer, please write to me.


Although there is no direct link between a shield and our ancerstors from Normandie, the shield Vanier des Vauviers has been for generations part of the family tradition of some branches of the Vanier family in North America:

The Vanier des Vauviers shield shown above comes from the French website, Cabinet Héraldique Luz. I received that one four days after ordering. The researcher apparently consulted several textbooks before finding the shield represented above. Another site,, is more specific and claims that this shield belongs to the family Le Vanier des Vauviers of Normandie. The heraldic description: D’argent, au chevron de sable accompagné de trois merlettes de gueules (see English translation below from Rietstap's Armorial General). The noble title and coat of arms given to the family Le Vanier des Vauviers were initially attributed to Michel Le Vanier, his brother Pierre and their children in 1709 by Louis XIV (34).

The shield of General Georges Philias Vanier also has similarities to the Vanier des Vauviers shield (see description below). The fact that this shield shield can be found in different branches of the family, and that the coat of arms of Général Vanier contains elements of the Vanier des Vauviers shield, does lead one to beleive that this shield is possibly associated with Guillaume Vanier's family. Guillaume Vanier could have himself handed down this shield to his children, and then passed on from one generation to the next, which could explain these facts.

Robert Vanier found the following description of this shield in the work Rietstap's Armorial General by J.B. Rietstap:
Blason Vanier

Based on the description of the Vanier des Vauviers in the Rietstap's Armorial General (silver background, black chevron, red bird), the shield of the Vanier clan in Haileybury Ontario and the shield of General Vanier, I created the following shield:

Armoiries Vanier

Following the advice of some members of the family, I also included elements which honors our roots, that is the Sainte-Catherine bell tower representing the birth plance Guillaume Vanier, and the gate to the citadelle of Québec, representing the city of origin of our first ancestor born in North-America, Jean-Baptiste Vanier. The red bird coming from the shield Vanier des Vauviers, is a sign of respect towards all the Vanier branches that have had this shield as part of their family traditions for generations.

For those descendants of Guillaume Vanier looking to start a tradition of a family shield, I propose the one I created above. What do members of the family think?


The shield Vanière de la Borde shown above comes from the north-american web site I received the Coat-of-Arms within minutes of ordering a Vanier family shield. It belongs to the family Vanière de la Borde from the Orléanais region, with the heraldic description De sable, semé de fleurs-de-lis d'or, au lion d'argent, brochant sur le tout".


The shield Vanier d'Hourgeville comes from another French site, La Boutique Héraldique. The researcher indicated that this shield was for the Vanier family in Normandie, France. The heraldic description is "D'argent, au sanglier passant de sable". He consulted two historical sources, the "Armorial de Normandie" Drigon de Magny and "Grand armorial de France" Jougla de Morénas. is again more specific and claims that this shield belongs to the family "Vanier d'Hourgeville" of Normandie.

Yves Vanier recently discovered more details and this shield was attributed to the family LeVanier d'Ancreteville d'Hougerville de la Hellotière. The heraldic description: "d'argent au au porc-épic d'argent (35)". The first noble of this family was Robin Le Vannier seigneur de la Hellotière, Ancreteville-sur-Mer et Hougerville, who lived in 1454. His son Antoine married Antoinette d'Estouteville. The Estouteville family belonged to upper noble classe in France allied to the royal family.


You will notice that the second shield, which is part of General Georges Philias Vanier's Coat of Arms, shown at the bottom of this page, resembles the Vanier des Vauviers shield. General Vanier surely made extensive searches when he created his official Coat of Arms. He was probably inspired by the Vanier des Vauviers shield above. The similarities are probably not just a coincidence.


Robert Vanier aslo uncovered other Vaniers with designated shields and coat of arms:


Coat of Arms are made up of various elements, such as the Shield, the motto, the crest, the helm, etc. The following are the Vanier Coat of Arms using the above Shields:

Armoiries Vanier


  Armoiries Vanier

(source Cabinet Héraldique Luz)

Visit the following web site for more information about the Coat of Arms and its elements:


Coat of Arms can be created based on family traditions. For example, the pictures below are the official Coat of Arms for General Georges Philias Vanier, created for his tenure as Governor General of Canada from 1959 to 1967:

           Vanier Coat of Arms


Light gold background, two golden swords, oak tree at the top, bracketed by a Fleur de Lis and a clover. At the bottom of the Shield there is a representation of the La Citadelle of Québec, which is the ceremonial home of the Royal 22e Régiment, an infantry regiment of the Canadian Armed Forces. General Vanier was the commanding officer of the regiment from 1926 to 1928 and his remains were interred on May 4, 1967 at the commemorative chapel of the Citadelle.


A representation of the bell tower of the church of Sainte-Catherine, Honfleur, France (birthplace of Guillaume Vanier).


FIAT VOLUNTAS DEI (May God's Will be done)


College of Arms, London, November 1st, 1961

34. Nobiliaire de Normandie tome 1, p.409
35. Théodore Courtaux, Genealogie des Vannier, alias Le Vannier, Le Vanier, Le Vennier, Le Venier. Normandie, Maine, Poitou. Page 5.

Last updated 2009-04-25
Jean-Yves Vanier

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