Show ContentsBelleau History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Belleau is one of the thousands of new names that the Norman Conquest brought to England in 1066. The Belleau family lived in Yorkshire. The name, however, refers to the region of Belleau or Bella Aqua in France, both of which translate as good water or clear water. [1]

The name also stretched north into Scotland where "Gilbert de Beleawe witnessed gift of the 'eschalingas i Lambremore' to the church of Kelso by William de Vyerpunt c. 1160. [2]

Early Origins of the Belleau family

The surname Belleau was first found in Yorkshire, where the name is "probably of Norman origin, meaning bel-eau, in Latin, Bella-aqua, the fair water; the designation of some locality. John be Bellew was a Baron of Parliament temp. Edward I." [3]

The family claim that the founder of the Bellews was a marshal in the army of the Conqueror. Some of the eighteen knights who were in direct succession settled in Ireland at Bellewstown, in the county of Meath and in Louth in the 13th century. [4]

Another source claims the name "is an old, though now a rare, Devonshire name." [5] This source also notes that the family had been lords of the manor of Stockleigh-English for more than 150 years.

Early History of the Belleau family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Belleau research. Another 77 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1720, 1805, 1585, 1585, 1575, 1585, 1848, 1798 and 1866 are included under the topic Early Belleau History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Belleau Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Bellew, Belew, Below, Bella and others.

Early Notables of the Belleau family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Richard Bellew (fl. 1585), English legal reporter, "published in 1585 an abridgment of the reports of Statham Fitzherbert and Brooke, described by...
Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Belleau Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Belleau Ranking

In Quebec, Canada, the name Belleau is the 862nd most popular surname. [6]

Ireland Migration of the Belleau family to Ireland

Some of the Belleau family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 87 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Canada Belleau migration to Canada +

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Belleau or a variant listed above:

Belleau Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century
  • Guillaume Belleau, who arrived in Acadia in 1636
  • Marie Belleau married in Chateau-Richer, Quebec in 1670
  • Blaise Belleau, son of François and Marguerite, who married Hélène Cailly, daughter of Pierre and Marie, in Quebec on 25th September 1673 [7]
  • Catherine de Belleau married in Chambalon, Quebec in 1693
Belleau Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Jean-Baptiste Belleau, son of Blaise and Hélène, who married Catherine Berthiaume, daughter of Jacques and Catherine, in Sainte-Foy, Quebec on 23rd October 1702 [7]
  • Guillaume Belleau, son of Blaise and Hélène, who married Marie-Suzanne Robitaille, daughter of Pierre and Marie, in Lorette, Quebec on 19th November 1707 [7]
  • Guillaume Belleau married in Lorette in 1707
  • Angélique Belleau married in Sainte-Foye in 1718
  • Pierre Belleau, son of Blaise and Hélène, who married Marie-Anne Bonanie of France, in Sainte-Foy, Quebec on 7th January 1722 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Belleau (post 1700) +

  • Francois X. Belleau, American politician, U.S. Consul in Three Rivers, 1897
  • Bernard Belleau OC FRSC (1925-1989), Canadian molecular pharmacologist, best known for his discovery of Lamivudine, a drug used in the treatment of HIV and Hepatitis B infection
  • Isidore Noël Belleau (b. 1847), Canadian politician, director, editor and lawyer, Member of the Canadian Parliament for Lévis (1883-1885)
  • Sir Narcisse-Fortunat Belleau KCMG QC (1808-1894), Canadian politician, lawyer and businessman, 1st Lieutenant Governor of Quebec (1867-1873)

The Belleau Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Tout d'en haut
Motto Translation: All from above.

  1. Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  2. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  3. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  5. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  6. "The first 1,000 family names by rank, Quebec (in French only)" Institut de la statistique du Quebec,
  7. Internoscia, Arthur E., and Claire Chevrier. Dictionnaire National des Canadiens Français 1608-1760. Vol. 1, Institut Drouin, 1958. on Facebook