This note should be read in conjunction with the Document at http://www.bellasis.net/documents/Bellasis3_OriginsHypothesis.pdf.
The George Bellasis who was born in County Durham was registered by the College of Arms as being one and the same as he who died in Co.Westmorland (seemingly on the balance of probability). A discrepancy arises owing to the fact that George Bellasis of Westmorland mentions his brother Lancelot in his Will; George from Durham has no brother Lancelot on record.
The sons of Elizabeth Bellas (Westmoreland, 1580), Stephen and Lancelot and grandson, George, were tenants of Lord Wharton in 1580 and mentioned again in 1598. The George from Co.Durham was assumed to be the tenant of another Lord Wharton in 1681. It is likely that the Bellas family, as they became known, found their way to Westmorland through the estate of Bleatarn or Blentarn (neither of which are on the map now, or Blencarn, which is) which was owned by Richard Belasyse (whose maternal grandfather was Lancelot), Constable of Durham Castle and Commissioner of the North for Henry VIII. Byland Abbey in Yorkshire had lands in Westmoreland and this may have been one of them when it was dissolved. Richard passed Bleatarn to his son Richard Jnr, who never married. Richard Jnr settled lands on his nephews, Bryan, Charles and James (but not Nicholas who was living in 1564). Charles was at Houghton-le-Spring. James was at Stanton. Bryan got the Bleatarn estate, but it is not clear what his grandson, George's brother Sir Richard, did with it. So, Bleatarn may have been sold and Sir Richard's younger brother by ten years, George, may have had a caretaker role.
On the other hand, George may have been the son of a Westmorland Bellesse, Nicholas, who is known to have had a son Lancelot. Nicholas was the elder son of George Bellesse of Long Marton, who was the son of Lancelot Belles, who was the son of Elizabeth Bellas (as stated above) of Long Marton who made a Will in 1580. Since 'Robert' is such a strong name through the Bellas of Westmorland, it is feasible that Elizabeth was married to one of the Brancepeth brothers' predecessors, one of whom was Robert; just five generations back and more or less matching Elizabeth's generation. Elizabeth's birth date is not known, giving reason to suppose that she was not born in the area. Nothing is known of Robert (or his brother William) and he may have been much younger than his brother Thomas, who received all of their father's inheritance.
If Robert's family (if he had one) helped with Westmorland estates and stayed close to the Durham family, they would very likely have emulated the christian names as they arose. For example, Richard Belasyse died in 1540. Richard Bellas died in 1597. Nicholas and James were new names in the Durham family in the 1560s, and they also became new names among the Westmorland Bellas families just a little bit later. The names Robert and John, on the other hand, which were strong family names from Norman times, continued in Westmorland, but were dropped from the Durham branch; this almost appears as a disassociation in the other direction.
There is a plaque in the church in Appelby that lists the Vicars since 1250. This list is further evidence of the interests in Westmoreland from the east side of England. St Michael's was owned by the Convent of St Mary's, York, and it's 12th Vicar, in 1579, was Thomas Fairfax. (Thomas Bellas was its 21st Vicar in 1823.) It is worth noting that George's (Durham) great-grandfather, Sir William Belasyse (1523-1604), married Margaret Fairfax. This period coincides with Elizabeth Bellas.
It is also interesting to note that when former Prime Minister Harold Macmillan accepted a peerage, he wanted the title Lord Bellasis but, since the title has to be linked with a place, he had to settle for Lord Stockton. There was once a town north east of Stockton-on-Tees called Belasis (see William de Belasis). His reason was his descendancy through his mother, whose maiden name was Belles and hailed from Boston, USA. Her family would most likely have come from Westmorland and may be descended from Stephen Belles, eldest son of Elizabeth Bellas, because Stephen is thought (in the records) to have gone abroad; and, at that time, it was usually to the east coast of the American colony. Was Lord Stockton making an assumption about his links with the ancient line, or did he have proof?
This note has used the pedigree of Augustus Bellasis and the Path notes of Sydney Bellas on the web, and the plaque in St Michael's Appelby. This Note encourages further research. For the time being, the two Georges will remain one and the same.