Bilyea, Belyea, Bulyea

Bilyea, Belyea, Bulyea are just three of the family names of descendants of Louis Boulier (born 1672 in Saintonge, France), a French Huguenot who fled religious persecution in France and ended up becoming part of the early Dutch community in what is now New York. We know very little about Louis, other than that he may have lived in the Netherlands before coming to North America.

Looking at some of his descendants, we can see the names changes:

Some of the other variations include BOLYE, BOLIE and BOLEE which are used in the records of the The First Reformed Church of Tarrytown, New York (commonly known as "The Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow") and BELLIA which appears in the British Commissioners Reports on the losses of the Loyalists resettled in Canada after the American Revolution.

Louis Boulier was the founder, if you will, of what became the BULYEA-BELYEA-BILYEA, etc. family in the Americas. I'm almost certain that anyone in the northeastern US or in Canada with these names is descended from Louis. Through the Dutch families that his grandchildren married into, you can find some ancient ancestors: For example Hendrick Bulyea (1720-1802), was married (2nd wife) to Engeltje (Angelica) Storm, and we can trace her family back to a Dederick Storm who was born in 1390!

Here's some of the ancestry of Angelica Storm Bulyea. Through her family, the Bulyeas are related to numerous early Dutch families and even have a tie to famous newscaster Walter Cronkite through Theunis Herexen KRANKHEYT. The early Dutch didn't have what we think of as surnames, so in some cases the surnames adopted by children have been added to a person's name (the dotted lines below a person's name go down to their spouse):

STORM, Engeltje (Angelica) (1730-c1805)
  STORM, Jan (1704-1784)
  | STORM, Gorris (Gregoris) (c1656-1711)
  | | STORM, Dirke Gorisz (1630-c1716) 
  | | | STORM, Dirck (1599-1663)
  | | | | STORM, Ewald (1569-)
  | | | | | STORM, Dirck (1536-1579)
  | | | | | | STORM, Hendrick (1503-)
  | | | | | | | STORM, Hugo (1475-1540)
  | | | | | | | | STORM, Derick (1452-)
  | | | | | | | | | STORM, Hugo (1430-)
  | | | | | | | | | | STORM, Dederick (1390-)
  | | VAN  MONTFOORT, Maria Pieters (?-)
  | VAN DYCK, Engeltje (1656-)
  |   VAN DYCK, Thomas Janse (c1646-<1695)
  |   | van dyck, jan thomasse (c1605-1673)
  |   | | van dyck (van dyke), thomas janse (c1580-1665)
  |   | | | van dyck, jan (c1554-)
  |   | | dirks (dircks), sytje (1583-)
  |   | haegan, tryntje achias (c1618-)
  |   |   haegen, achia (c1590-)
  |   anderson, maritje (?-)
  de reviere , rachel (1708-c1736)
    de reviere, abraham (c1677-1716) (1st Elder of the Old Dutch Church at Sleepy Hollow)
    | DE REVIERE, Abraham (c1650-)
    KRANKHYET, Wyntie (c1683-)
      KRANKHEYT,  Theunis Herexen (1652-1709)
      | SIBOUTSEN KRANKHEYT, Herck (Harck) (c1615-1682)
      | TEUNIS, Weyntje Theunisse (1628-)
      |   QUICK,  Theunis(Teunis) Thomaszen (c1600-1666)
      |   | QUICK  (CUYCK), Thomas (c1580-)
      |   | BOUTENDR, Aethgen (c1580-)
      |   JACOBUS, Belijtgen (?-)
      |     VAN VLECHTENSTYN , Jacob (1578-)
      WILTSEE, Sophia Hendricks (?->1725)
        WILTSCA (WILTSEE), Hendrick Martensz (1623-1712)
        | MATON (WILTSIE), Philippe (c1580-1632)
        | BOSCH (BUSCH), Sophia Ter (1598-1646)
        MEYRINGH,  Margaret (1636-1704)
          MEYERS, Jan Meyerings (c1604-)
          STRAITSMANS, Teuntje (c1604-1662)
            STRAITSMAN, Jacobez (?-)

Hendrick, or Henry Bulyea, his father and his sons were tenant farmers at Philipsburg (sometimes spelled Philipsburgh) Manor in Tarrytown NY and if you search the web for "Philispburgh Manor" you will find family members listed (again watch the spellings: Henry's father is "John Bolyje" in a 1760 Rent Roll that's on a website). Also search for information about the Old Dutch Church at Sleepy Hollow. Philipsburg Manor is open to tourists today.

Hendrick (we'll call him Henry the First) had five sons who served with the British Army during the American Revolution. One of them was taken prisoner. The family lost all of its property and farms in New York because they sided with the losing forces, so the British paid to resettle them in Canada. On April 26, 1783, a fleet of twenty ships carried 7,000 Loyalists from New York City to Nova Scotia.

We don't really know exactly how many members of Henry the 1st's family made that trip, but we do know that by 1783 he must have had a large number of descendants: figure Henry had five sons and just one of them, Jan (John), the eldest, himself had nine sons! Henry also had two brothers (Jan, born 1734 and Robben, born 1737).

A legacy of the family lives on in New Brunswick in the form of "Belyea's Cove" in the Saint John River Valley on Washademoak Lake. There is also a Belyeas Point in NB (you can see that on a map at

This page is under construction, but in the meantime, here are some online sources of information about this family:

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Some sites for historical information:

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