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We know that Francois and Nicolas were not the only two with the  Bélanger name to arrive in "New France," (Quebec). However they are the only one's of interest to us as the others either went back to France or had no male heirs to carry on the name. 

    As mentioned earlier the relationship between Francois and Nicolas is a mystery to this day. I can tell you that there are some who are doing their best to solve it.  There are even descendents of both who have considered taking DNA tests to see if they are related. I can't believe Jim and I even considered that one, but I must confess we have discussed it's merits.

    The origin of the surname can be fairly well traced. There are stories handed down about the three brothers named "Bell" of Angers, (Bell d'anger) while this certainly could have been the case other sources suggest a different scenario.

    Here are two such possibilities. The first is a "patronymique" derivation, that is to say derived from a first name of an ancestor. It is the opinion of etymologists that the oldest and most widely known names are derived from personal names. So the name Bélanger is composed of two elements: the adjective "bel" derived from the Latin "bellus" and the name "anger" that comes from an ancient first name, the baptismal name taken from the German language "ans-gari".  "Ans" is the name of a divinity and "gari" signifies a spear.

    On the other hand,  the name Bélanger may have a regional or geographic origin associated with where an individual came from or a local characteristic of the environment of his home. Also, "Angers" is in the region of Maine - et - Loire.

   Other historians and etymologists assume  that we descended from Germans, Celts and Vikings. (this might explain the blue eyes) In effect, the name Bélanger appearing originally in German and pronounced "Bellingin"  is the name of many sites in Germany.  The dictionaries of names indicate that the name "Bélanger" also appeared as; "Bellingin," "Bellinger" and "Belling."

   Some claim that the name "Bélanger"  has Viking origins because the region of Perche was invaded by the Normands (Vikings) in the 10th century. This area of Perche is where our ancestors came from, and in ancient times was a region that was cutoff from the North by Normady, from the South by Vendome, the Maine on the West, and La Beauce on the East.

   We find in the Viking culture the name "Bear-Inger" or rather "descendant from the Bear," which was later transformed to Bellenger around the 12th or 13th centuries or about the time of the Crusades. There are also numerous examples of the name in the "Dictionary of British Surnames," Beringer, Barringar, Berringer just to name a few.

   Regardless of which theory you choose to adopt we are sure of one historical fact, and that is the two adventurers to carry the name  "Béllanger" to North America were, Francois and Nicolas. We also know that each of them had 12 children and that they are in fact the progenitors of the name "Bélanger"  in Nouvelle-France and thus North America.


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