Belle History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Belle was first used as a surname by the people of ancient French region of Gascogne. It was a name for a person distinguished by great physical beauty. Interestingly, the name Belle was originally derived from the French words, "la belle," which means, " the beautiful."

Early Origins of the Belle family

The surname Belle was first found in Gascony (French: Gascogne), an area of southwest France bordering Spain, that was part of the "Province of Guyenne and Gascony" prior to the French Revolution, where they held a family seat in the honor of the seigneurie of De Labels, a village in the Basses-Pyrénées in the arrondisement of de Mauléon.

The Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae also lists Le Bel in Normandy in 1189. [1] One of the earliest notables of the family was Jean Le Bel (c. 1290-1370), a Flemish chronicle and soldier. He was one of the first chroniclers to write in French instead of Latin. As a soldier, he joined with Jean, Count de Beaumont on his travels to England and Scotland in 1327.

Guillaume Labelle, son of Jean and Marie (née Loye), was a French farmer that travelled from Saint-Elei, Normandy to Canada in the 17th century. After arriving in Quebec he married Anne Charbonneau in Montreal on 23rd November 1671. They had eleven children together and five of their sons eventually married and carried on the name Labelle in Canada. [2]

Important Dates for the Belle family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Belle research. Another 71 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1650, 1573, 1674, 1734, 1703, 1696 and 1768 are included under the topic Early Belle History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Belle Spelling Variations

One can encounter great variation in the spelling of French surnames; in part, as spelling, and the spelling names was not yet standardized during the early development of the written French language. Later, there was much branching and movement of families, and spellings would change according to region. Variations of the name Belle include Lebel, LeBel, LaBelle, Belle, Bell, Labelle, Label, LaBell, LaBel, LeBelle, LeBaile, LaBaile, Lebaile and many more.

Early Notables of the Belle family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Firmin Lebel (d. 1573), French composer and choir director; Alexis-Simon Belle (1674-1734), French painter, member of well known family of painters...
Another 29 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Belle Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Belle migration to the United States

Immigration to New France was slow; therefore, early marriage was desperately encouraged amongst the immigrants. The fur trade attracted migrants, both noble and commoner. 15,000 explorers left Montreal in the late 17th and 18th centuries. By 1675, there were 7000 French in Quebec. By the same year the Acadian presence in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island had reached 500. In 1755, 10,000 French Acadians refused to take an oath of allegiance to England and were deported to Louisiana. The French founded Lower Canada, thus becoming one of the two great founding nations of Canada. The distinguished family name Belle has made significant contributions to the culture, arts, sciences and religion of France and New France. Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Belle were

Belle Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Belle, who arrived in Virginia in 1650 [3]
Belle Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Jean Pierre Belle, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1754 [3]
Belle Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Peter Belle, aged 21, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1848 [3]

Belle migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Belle Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Belle U.E. who settled in New Brunswick c. 1783 [4]

Belle migration to New Zealand

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Belle Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • William S. Belle, aged 20, a farm labourer, who arrived in Bluff, New Zealand aboard the ship "Adamant" in 1875

Contemporary Notables of the name Belle (post 1700)

  • Sylvia Belle Chase (1938-2019), American correspondent for ABC's 20/20 from its inception until 1985
  • Maggie Belle Hodges, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Louisiana, 1956, 1960 (member, Committee on Rules and Order of Business) [5]
  • Donna Belle Urquhart (b. 1986), Australian gold medalist squash player at the 2010 World Team Championships
  • La Belle Otero (1868-1965), Spanish-born dancer, actress and courtesan
  • Jessie Belle Rittenhouse (1869-1948), American literary critic, compiler of anthologies, and poet
  • Donna Belle Mullenger (1921-1986), birth name of Donna Reed, American Academy Award and Golden Globe winning film and television actress
  • Elsie Belle McDaniel, American Democrat politician, Member of Democratic National Committee from Missouri, 1940 [6]
  • Mary Belle Stallings, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Michigan, 1956, 1964 [7]
  • Erma Belle Blado, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Florida, 1960 [8]
  • Willie Belle Boone, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Texas, 1996 [9]


  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ Olivier, Reginald L. Your Ancient Canadian Family Ties. Logan: The Everton Publishers, Inc., P.O. Box 368, 1972. Print
  3. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  4. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, May 19) . Retrieved from
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 12) . Retrieved from
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 13) . Retrieved from
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 3) . Retrieved from
  9. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 12) . Retrieved from
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