Show ContentsBelle'isle History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Belle'isle name comes from that Medieval landscape of northwestern France known as Brittany (French: Bretagne). The name Belle'isle was originally derived from the family having lived in Bretagne. Interestingly, the name Belle'isle is derived from the French words "belle," meaning "beautiful," and "ile," meaning "island." This indicates that the original bearer lived on a "beautiful island."

Early Origins of the Belle'isle family

The surname Belle'isle was first found in Brittany.

Early records show that the family claimed the title Lord of Bretagne, and gained that of Marquis in 1573. This branch led directly to the name Foulque in 1615 and then to King Louis XV in 1748.

Henri Belisle, born in 1640, son of Antoine and Marguerite (née Levasseur), was a French surgeon that travelled from France to Canada in the 17th century. After arriving in Quebec he married Catherine De Mosny in 1690. He married again at Champlain to Françoise-Périne on 26th November 1705. Françoise-Périne died just 6 years after they were married and she was buried at Detroit on 9th May 1711. Henri's third marriage was at Pointe-aux-Trembles on 25th August 1712 where he married Jeanne Archambault. They remained together until he passed away at the age of 100 in September 1740. [1]

Early History of the Belle'isle family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Belle'isle research. More information is included under the topic Early Belle'isle History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Belle'isle Spelling Variations

French surnames were subject to numerous alterations in spelling because of the various cultural groups that inhabited specific regions. Eventually, each region possessed its own local dialect of the French language. The early development of the French language, however, was also influenced by other languages. For example, Old French was infused with Germanic words and sounds when barbarian tribes invaded and settled in France after the fall of the Roman Empire. Middle French also borrowed heavily from the Italian language during the Renaissance. As a result of these linguistic and cultural influences, the name Belle'isle is distinguished by a number of regional variations. The many spelling variations of the name include Belisle, Bélisle, Belle-Isle, Belleisle and many more.

Early Notables of the Belle'isle family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst this name at this time was Charles-Louis-Auguste Foulque, who was duke of Belle-Isle and marshal of France. Born in 1684 in Ville-Franche-de-Rouergue, in 1701 he joined the musketeers and the following year was nominated captain of the Royal Chivalry. Wounded at the battle of Hochstaedt and the siege of Augsbourg, the duke was considered to be a hero of his time. In the city of Metz...
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United States Belle'isle migration to the United States +

By 1643 there were only about 300 people in Quebec. Since immigration was slow, 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'isle 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'isle were

Belle'isle Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Frances Belleisle, aged 32, destined for Pittsfield, Mass, arrived in New York in 1911 aboard the ship "Oceana" from Bermuda [2]

  1. ^ Olivier, Reginald L. Your Ancient Canadian Family Ties. Logan: The Everton Publishers, Inc., P.O. Box 368, 1972. Print
  2. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch ( : 6 December 2014), Frances Belleisle, 13 Mar 1911; citing departure port Bermuda, arrival port New York, ship name Oceana, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.). on Facebook