Show ContentsBelles'isles History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Belles'isles name comes from that Medieval landscape of northwestern France known as Brittany (French: Bretagne). The name Belles'isles was originally derived from the family having lived in Bretagne. Interestingly, the name Belles'isles 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 Belles'isles family

The surname Belles'isles 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 Belles'isles family

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

Belles'isles Spelling Variations

There were a great number of spelling variations in French surnames. One reason for this was the wide variety of cultural influences present in France during the early development of the French language. The many spelling variations of the name include Belisle, Bélisle, Belle-Isle, Belleisle and many more.

Early Notables of the Belles'isles 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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Migration of the Belles'isles family

France was active as a cultural leader in the early 16th century. One particular area in which they lead was the exploration of the New World. The explorers, like Jacques Cartier in 1534, led the way to North America. Champlain, in 1608, made the first of twenty voyages to France to attract settlers and brought the first migrant in 1617. By 1675, there were 7000 French in Quebec, and the French Acadian presence in the Maritimes had reached 500. The French founded Lower Canada, thus becoming one of the two great founding nations of Canada. The family name Belles'isles has made many distinguished contributions in France and New France to the world of science, culture, religion, and education. Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Belles'isles were Louis Bé lisle, who arrived in Montreal around 1700; Henri Bélisle was married in Quebec in 1690; another Henri Bélisle settled in Quebec in 1720..

  1. Olivier, Reginald L. Your Ancient Canadian Family Ties. Logan: The Everton Publishers, Inc., P.O. Box 368, 1972. Print on Facebook