On the Origins of the Bellware Family

After a number of years of research, it has been determined that the origin of the name BELLWARE is the French name BLOUIN also spelled BELOUIN. At this time there is some additional research to be done, but the story will not change much from what follows.

 John and Louis

According to an entry in John Henry Bellware's Civil War Pension application, he was born on September 29, 1848, in Trois Rivières, Québec, Canada. According to his marriage certificate, his parents were Francis Bellware and Marguerite Dukette. Louis Napoleon Bellware's death certificate claimed he was born in Montréal, Québec on November 2, 1850. No documentation giving his parents' names has been found in the United States. It is apparent that Louis' son John Shirley did not know who his grandparents were. The story passed down through the family, presumably from Louis, was that he had joined the Union Army in order to find his brother, John, who had joined earlier. In the 1950's, John Shirley contacted one of John Henry's descendants, trying to find his father's family in Canada.

A search of the records of the Immaculée de Conception parish in Trois Rivières, Québec for the 1840's revealed the baptism of Jean François Belouin on September 26, 1847 born to François Belouin and Marguerite Duquette. There was also a record of the baptism of Louis Sebastien Belouin on October 27, 1849, born to the same couple. These are the baptisms of John and Louis Bellware. Both are almost exactly one year to the day earlier than John and Louis gave as their birth dates. The middle names that John and Louis used appear to have been chosen by them later in life, instead of the ones they were given as infants.

Their father was François Xavier Blouin. He was baptized in the same parish in Trois Rivières in November 1824. His marriage to Marguerite Duquette was in Montréal on November 6, 1844. The groom is listed as François Benoit, his father as Jean Benoit, mason and his mother as Marie Giroux of Trois Rivières.

The only couple with similar names in Trois Rivières was Jean François Blouin and Marie Sophie Giroux, the parents of François Xavier. The marriage record also gave the name of François' guardian, Jean Baptiste Bourbeau. This man also appears three years later as the godfather of François' son Jean François Belouin in Trois Rivières. Mr. Bourbeau is the uncle of François Xavier, married to his aunt, Marie Belouin.

Sophie Giroux was born in Trois Rivières in 1799. She married Jean Blouin there on November 24, 1818. Jean was born at St. François de la Rivière du Sud in 1787. His parents were Jean Joseph Blouin and Marie Madeleine Remillard, married in St. Vallier parish on September 28, 1784. Joseph's parents were Jean Baptiste Blouin and Anne Delage, married at St. Jean, Île D'Orleans on July 29, 1754. Jean Baptiste's parents were Gabriel Blouin and Catherine Jahan, married at St. Jean, as well, on November 11, 1713.

Gabriel's father, Emery Blouin, was the original immigrant ancestor of the Bellware family. While the research on him is not complete, This much has been uncovered about him: his first name has been recorded as Emery, Emeri, Meri and Mederic. His last name is given as Blouin, Belloin, Bloing and Blouart and Blouin dit Laviolette. Dit is French for "also known as." He was born at St. Pierre parish, Etusson, Eveche de Luçon, Poitou, France on April 26, 1640. He thought to have arrived in Canada in the summer of 1664. He married Marie Carreau at Château-Richer, Québec on November 30, 1669. This couple had fourteen children, including sons Jean in 1672 and Gabriel in 1691. Emery died July 14, 1707 at St. Jean, Île D'Orleans. His father was André Blouin, may have been born in St. Pierre parish, Poitou, France around 1615.

While doing this research, many other original immigrant ancestors from other family lines were also uncovered. Some of these include Marie Carreau's father, Louis Carreau(1622-1693); Catherine Jahan's grandfathers, Jacques Jahan (1631-1699) and Romain De Trepagny (1627-1708), her great grandfather Robert Drouin (1607-1685) and great great grandfather, Zacharie Cloutier (1590-1677). There is also Ann Delage's great grandfathers Nicholas Delage (1637-1686) and Jean Plante(1621-1706) and Marguerite Duquette's fourth great grandfather, Denis Duquet (1605-1675). All were born in France and died in Québec. They are all well known and written about pioneers of French Canada.


Hazen Bellware

The infamous Hazen Bellware appears to have been born in Stanstead County, Québec, near the present town of Coaticook around 1845. His family was enumerated in the 1851 Canadian census there. He is a fourth great grandchild of Emery Blouin dit Laviolette through Emery's son Jean. This makes Hazen the fifth cousin of Louis and John Henry. Hazen came to the United States in 1865 and settled in Connecticut. He had two brothers, Ira and Francis that settled there as well. Hazen had no children of his own, but at least two great granddaughters of Ira and Francis are still living in Connecticut.


How the Name Started

Apparently, the name Belouin, with an almost silent n, was anglicized to Bellware when they moved through Vermont and Connecticut. The New Englanders added the r to the pronunciation as they commonly do to words that end in a vowel sound.

The spelling of the name was not standardized in official documents for a number of years. The Bellware's were illiterate for the most part and wouldn't have known how to spell their name, regardless. Census takers in Canada and the United States have spelled the name as Belweau, Belwar, Belwire, among others. The first recorded use of the name by this family appears to be John Henry's recruitment into the Vermont Volunteers in 1864. Louis used the name Benway when he joined the Union Army. He switched to Bellware when he was married in Kentucky in 1871. Hazen's first known use of Bellware was when he married in Connecticut in 1880, ten years before his trial and conviction. "The rest", as they say, "is history."


This page is maintained by Daniel A. Bellware

and was last updated July 29, 2000

© Copyright 2000