I have been searching through the Belgian Roots Web pages looking for any information that can help me with my van Houtte or Defruytier roots. It would seem that I have enough information to find something but still no luck. Updates to the Belgian roots site seemed to have come to a halt between 2004-2006, email links no longer work for the contributors that I have contacted.
In the midst of my digging I found this curious note within an email thread on rootsweb. The discussion was on the creation and meaning of various surnames and tomy surprise I found my Van Houtte name. I am not sure that I am understanding completely what has been stated, although it seems that my surname when translated from Flemish to French would be Brouillet/Brouillette.
Again, the masculine then the feminine form. In Flemish from Belgium it's: VAN HOUTTE...!!! Mr. Jacob mentions a small "breuil -which I can't find in my Harrap's English-French Dictionary which is the best", so, "breuil" is a BRUEL, BRUELLE, BROUILLET, BROUILLETTE. Later on, he mentions that it would be a wood lot or a small bush depending the region in OLD FRENCH. The ancestor is BERNARD BROUILLET also of a branch of the BERNARD Surname.