... first a little more to your skeptical statements against the method to deal with French name lists.
We have here a rather convincing example: Adam C. de Hautot is another French card maker and it's stated, that he was from Rouen. Kaplan II notes c. 1723 till 1748 as possible time for his "Belgian Tarot", which possibly is a "French Tarot", who knows.
The name researcher would also assume, clear, that Adam C. de Hautot should be with high probability somebody from the departement "Seine Maritime", to which Rouen belongs. And if the name researcher would also use Google maps, he would find "Hautot-sur-mer" - near Dieppe, which is the "most important port in Northern France for 17th century".
Well, and not far from Dieppe is the location "Eu", and, as we will later see this is a location of some importance for the Guise family. So, somehow, this result in connection to the given fact, that the Belgian Tarot type somehow appears in Rouen and the small village of Vieville in relative far distance, leads to the assumption, that the Guise family played a role in this curiosity. But this later ...
Another example is the name Camoin, also known as card producer in Marseille.
Indeed, from Marseille. In this case the "location-method" doesn't work, perhaps an indication, that the family had an old Marseille origin, per "old Marseille citizens".
Not all cases are so easy as Vieville, Hautot and Camoin. The method works easier for rare names and for small locations as the original place.
Chosson ... somehow from Lyon
Noblet ... very difficult, somehow from Northern France, especially from the Bretagne
Payen is interesting, as the name came (likely) from the region as the card maker Vievil. But the Tarot producer Jean Piere Payen is said to have been born in Marseille and worked then in Avignon, with an oldest known deck type from 1713 (according Kaplan). But a father Jean Payen is also noted and it might be, that it was he, who emigrated from the Northern region.
... now the riddle about the location Guise: Our suspicious person Ludovico Gonzaga married in 1565 the heiress of Rethel and Nevers. So he became involved with France and possibly in the story "Tarot in France". 5 years later the current duke of Guise, Henry I, then 20 years old, married a sister of the wife of Ludovico Gonzaga. So Ludovico
was brother-in-law to duke Henry III of Guise. So the condition, that near to the small location Le Hérie-la-Viéville something should be, which leads quick to the person under suspicion (Ludovico Gonzaga), is fulfilled, and the socalled "off topic" action is now justified just by success.
Here is this Henry ..
.., with full name Henry III, Henry I, Prince of Joinville, Duke of Guise, Count of Eu (1550 – 1588), who was the eldest son of Francis, Duke of Guise, and Anna d'Este
. And Anna d'Este was the child of Ercole d'Este II, Duke of Ferrara (who had established regular Tarocchi cards in Ferrara) and Renée of France (daughter of French king Louis XII). Renee had been accused by her own husband cause her Calvinism belief, and was released from prison only after her husbands death (1559). She went to Montargis in the Loiret departement nowadays, Loiret is in the neighborhood of Nevers) and helped the Huguenots.
But Henry III and Ludovico Gonzaga were against the Huguenots.
2 years after 1470 (marriage Henry III) the Bartholomeo massacre took place. Both participated - against the Huguenots, both clearly on the papal side. Another brother-of-law had married the third girl of the family. Unluckily this was a huguenot and he became victim in 1472, though only as prisoner. He died 1888, cause he was injured in battle 1887 or, as rumors claim, cause he was poisoned by his second wife.
Ercole d'Este, Anna d'Este's father (produced Tarocchi decks)
Renee of France, Anna d'Este's mother
Anna d'Este, mother of Henry III de Guise, an important woman at the court of the French queen and king's mother Katherina de Medici
Francis, Duke of Guise (Anna's 1st husband)
..... a son of Claude, 1st duke of Guise
...... and grand-son of Renee II d'Anjou (played Trionfi cards in 1494
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ren%C3%A9_ ... f_Lorraine
........ and great-great-grand-son of Isabella de Lorraine (who got the Michelino deck in 1449
), wife of Renee I d'Anjou
Henry I, Duke of Guise (Anna's oldest son)
husband to Catherine of Cleve
who was sister to Henriette of Cleve
who had married the mentioned "man under suspicion" Ludovico Gonzaga, who descended from Isabella d'Este, who was a sort of Trionfi card princess
as already given ... http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_IV_de_Nevers
and the both girls had a sister, Mary of Cleve
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie_of_C ... Cond%C3%A9
who married at 10th of August 1472 the Prince of Condé
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henri_I_de ... Cond%C3%A9
who was a Huguenot and survived the Bartholomew day at 27th of August 1572 as a prisoner
... and all the three girls had a father
Francis, duke of Rethel and Nevers
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fran%C3%A7 ... _de_Nevers
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fran%C3%A7 ... _de_Nevers
... English wikipedia article is missing
Well, you have to read German wikipedia to get the information, that Francis fought a lot against the Germans and for French interests, and that he in his late years converted to Calvinism.
Alright, that's a lot of stuff, but somehow it's recognizable, that this should have been the major "Tarocchi force", which entered France mainly from Italy.
Katherina de Medici
... all from Italy, and all high-level persons, who could move something in matters of playing cards.
But now let's take another look at a map of political reality:
A Habsburg map of 1547.
Here a detail:
I see Besancon inside this territory. A Besancon Tarot is known.
I see the region of Belgium. A Belgian Tarot is known, as discussed.
I see Tyrol. I know about cards from c. 1600 or so
I see Trieste. Tarot productions are known.
I see Milan. Well, Tarot indeed was known there, actually it is suspected, that the French Tarot developed from here.
Is this just accident, or in an unkown way connected to the true distribution of Tarocchi decks from Milan?
You spoke of missing evidence for Belgian Tarots from Belgium.
There is missing evidence for early Tarot de Marseille decks, too. There's lot of missing evidence for circumstances which are lost now, but once had been reality.
There were more of "missing evidence", when we once had started our research.
If other can speculate about the origin of the Marseille Tarot from 1500 and even earlier, from the Cathars and even the Sumerians, why should it be impossible to think about an origin of the Belgian Tarot to a a little bit earlier time than Vievil c. 1650?
French persons with some public respect note, that Tarot came from "Germany". It's plausibe, that this is correct for that, what is nowadays Germany, but what about the relevant contemporary Germany, as it once had been?
There's more to say, but I take a pause.