Since I posted my married name, Van Patten, last week, I thought I would tell you a bit about my maiden name, Ballou.

Ancestry.com states that the surname is of unknown French origin.  They also suggest it may be a form of Bellew.  I searched around on the web and found the following on Surname Database about Bellew.  The name is ” from any of the various places in northern France named with the Old French elements, “beu, bel”, lovely, and “eau, ewe”, water (Latin “aqua”).

My first thought was, “Didn’t I just write about that last week?”  I had to go back and check.   Oh, I wrote that Van Patten or Putten means “to draw water from a well.”  Not quite the same, but had something to do with water.  Mmm…

Then I remembered something I overheard my cousin, Elaine, say at her beach wedding a few months ago.  She said, [paraphrasing] “Do you know that my grandfather’s name was Fountain and now I’ve married a Fawcett.  There’s water all around me!”  I laughed so hard when I heard her say that.

Well, we share the same grandfather Fountain.

But, seriously, if you would like to read online, or download the book, An Elaborate History and Genealogy of the Ballous in America by Adin Ballou, click here.  The introduction explains the name more thoroughly, or if you have any Ballou genealogy in your tree, this book would give you a good starting point in your research.  My Ballou family isn’t included in the book, but was included in the addendum that was added in 1937.

Happy hunting!