Welcome to the Ravest Website. The aim of this site is to bring together all the Ravests of this world.
Our surname Ravest, (or Revest if you are in France), is unusual and is shared by only a few thousand people. It is my working assumption that we are all related.
My research so far suggests the the name started in the south of France. The earliest record that I have found is of a variant of the name appearing around 1220, Raymond de la Revest de la Roque. I have found a few somewhat later records of individuals with the name Ravest, but this variant appears to be a corruption of original name Revest. I believe the two names refer to the same family. The Revests of France are still concentrated near Marseilles.
A example of the attitude to spelling in early records is a letter of 1773 which has three spelling of the name of the same individual:
“Sinety, Valbarelle prés de Marseille, renseignements sur le négociant droguiste Ravest ou Reves,de Marseille., ils ne sont pas de la maison des Villeneuve, marquis de Trans., mais une de leur branche établie autrefois à Marseille.. Mr Revest qui est négociant détailleur qui a une très bonne réputation et lui donner votre confiance pour tout ce que aurez à tirer de Marseille… son adresse Mr François-Toussaint Ravest, négociant droguiste, rue de Rome” – Inventaire des archives des château de Saint-Urcisse et de Tauriac (Tarn)
A Francisco Ravest from France married into a noble family in Chile and appears to be the origin of the Chilean Ravests. In France he was most likely known as Francois Revest and I have found a few of that name who might have travelled to Chile.
The English Ravest family derives its name from Guillermo Ravest who, as a lieutenant in the Chilean Navy, was in England c. 1910-11. He was probably involved in the design/specification of a new class of Destroyer for the Chilean Navy, the Admirante Lynch class. He returned to Chile in 1911.
Guillermo Ravest was my grandfather.
More research is needed to link the story together.
– Julian Ravest