The best research on the Ballengee family of Summers County, West Virginia, indicates that the family patriarch, Isaac Ballengee, came from the Evi Bellange family in Burlington County, New Jersey. The various Ballengee family members from
Because of the lack of documentation there is quite a lot of legend that exists around Isaac, and when legend is repeated often enough, it is perceived as being factual, so I want to set the record straight by using what we know is true about Isaac.
|The Augusta County, Virginia, land grant for Isaac Bellangee in 1767.|
Some say that Isaac married
his wife, Jane, in Stokes County, NC about 1767. This is not true because
- Another source says that three
Ballengee brothers, Isaac, Eli, and one unnamed, came to
At least one writer reported that Isaac served in the Revolutionary War and was on guard duty in 1776 in
Some say that Isaac was born in 1719 on the Isle of Jersey in the English Channel when it was under British control, and another says that Isaac was a sailor who married Jean in NC about 1777. The Summers County Isaac was born about 1719, but there is no documentation that he was born on the Isle of Jersey. A search that was completed by the Channel Islands Family History Society on the Isle of Jersey revealed no mention of the Bellange surname, although there was a Bellanger family on Jersey, but not until the 18th Century when our Ballengees were already firmly established in America. In 1777 Isaac lived in Botetourt Co., Virginia. French-speaking immigrants who settled in New England and Virginia before 1680 were residents of the Channel Islands of Guernsey and Jersey, but most of them had lived in the Channel Islands a generation before they came to
On the subject of Isaac being a sailor, An Index to Seamen’s Protection Certificate Applications in the Port of Philadelphia, 1796-1823 (Dixon, 2001) lists an Isaac Bellangee. He is registered in the years 1807 and 1815 at the age of 18 and 25 respectively with a birth state of New Jersey. This may be the Isaac referred to by other researchers, but it is not the Isaac who settled Botetourt and Greenbrier Counties because he was deceased before 1807.
One researcher reported in The Greenbrier County Family Heritage Book that Isaac was married in
Another legend says that after their marriage, Isaac and Jean settled on the farm of his brother, Eli, near the Greenbrier River. A few years later they bought 185 acres. Isaac actually had a brother named Evi, but there is no documentation that he had a brother named Eli nor is there documentation that Evi obtained land or lived on the
Another mistaken story says that in 1787 Isaac received a land grant of 210 acres in
Nor is it true that Isaac received a land grant for service in the Revolution ca. 1780 nor that Jean was patented a tract of land 2 November 1800. In 1780 Isaac lived in
Harmon Ballengee says that Isaac was in
J. Bellangee Cox writes that Isaac was the son of Ives and Christian Bellangee, which is true, but much of Mr. Cox's information is not accurate. He says that Isaac moved from Pennsylvania to New Jersey, married, and had four children. His wife died, and Isaac left the children with his brother, Samuel, when he moved to
There is also debate about who Isaac’s parents were. There is no definitive documentation to prove that the Isaac Ballengee who settled in Augusta/Botetourt County, Virginia, was the son of Ives, Sr. and Christian Delaplaine Ballengee of
"I have no doubt that we are of the same family [descendents of Ives Bellangee, Sr.], for I very well recollect hearing father say that his grandfather’s name was Evi, so that it appears to be quite a favorite name in the family. . . There are five of us and all are living; our names are as follows: Evi, Edward, Isaac, Sarah Jane and James the youngest who is 24 years old.”
McClung (and other researchers) feel that if Isaac were born in 1719, he would have been too old to settle wilderness territory in Botetourt and
between 1767 and 1787 when he acquired land on the . At the time his land was surveyed in Greenbrier River in 1767, Isaac would have been
nearly 50 years old. His land grant in
Greenbrier County was obtained in 1787 when Isaac’s age would have been about
68. The earliest recorded date for the
birth of one of his children is 1778 (Isaac was about 61 years old), and the
last child was born in 1789 (Isaac was 72).
The argument is that if Isaac were born to Evi, Jr.(married first in 1724 when he was disowned by the Quakers and married secondly to Susanna English in 1738), then Isaac would have been a much younger
man when he first came to Augusta County, and the dates and ages would have
been more probable. Augusta County
While pioneering at an advanced age and fathering seven children at 60 to 70 years of age would be remarkable, it would not be impossible. General Andrew Lewis, famous for the Battle of Point Pleasant during Lord Dunmore’s War, was born in 1720 and also would have been in his 50s when settling western Virginia and fighting as a soldier. As for the reference in the letter to Isaac’s father’s name being Evi, that name is a derivative of Yves (found in documents as Yves, Eve, Ive, Ivi, Evi), and the name Evi is first found on land records when Evi Bellange, Sr. bought land there in 1697, so the name "Evi" could refer to the Bellangee who died in Burlington County, NJ, around 1720, and not necessarily his son, Evi, Jr. So I don't have any proof that Evi Bellangee, Sr., is Isaac's father, but since Evi, Sr.'s will mentions a son, Isaac, and there is no record of Evi, Jr., having a son named Isaac, I'll say that my great-great-great-great grandfather is the son of Evi Bellangee, Sr.
How many fantastical legends are there about Isaac Ballengee? More than I can count. If all of these stories were true, old Isaac would need a much longer life to accomplish everything attributed to him. Let these legends that are listed stand as proof that not everything that is printed up is true.
 Email from Henry Coutanche to Janet Ballengee Estep, 11 April 2010.
Butler, Jon, The
Huguenots in ,
1983, p. 43. America
Family Heritage Book, 1997, p. 30. Greenbrier County
 Hinshaw, William, The Encyclopedia of Quaker Genealogy, 1750-1930, Vol. II, 1938, p. 197.
 J. Bellangee Cox Records, 6 September 1895, Volume Gen Cp-2, Genealogical Society, PA.