This interesting name is of Old French origin, and is either a topographical surname used in the first instance of someone who lived in a 'lovely valley', or a locational surname for someone who came from a place so named. In both instances the name derives from the Old French 'beu, bel, belle' fair, lovely, from the Latin 'bellus', with 'val, v(e)au', valley, from the Latin 'vallis'. Locational surnames were mostly acquired by those former inhabitants of a place who had moved to another area, and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. Variant forms of the surname have included Beliveau, Belivo, Belleveau and Beleveau. The surname appears in Canada from the early 18th Century on: Joseph Belliveau and Marie Gaudet were married in Beaubassin, Quebec, in 1733, and marguerite and Francois, children of Joseph Belliveau, were christened in 1794 and 1804 respectively in Belliveau Village, Westmorland, New Brunswick. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Antoine Belliveau (marriage to Marie Andree Guyon), which was dated 1616, Vendee, France, during the reign of King Louis X111 of France, 1610 - 1643. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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