Best History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Best is a name of Anglo-Saxon origin. It was a name given to a strong or resourceful man. The surname Best is derived from the Old English Old French word beste, and ultimately comes from the Latin word bestia, which means beast. The surname Best may also be a metonym referring to some one who was employed as a herdsman.

Early Origins of the Best family

The surname Best was first found in Kent, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, long before the Norman Conquest in 1066.

Early History of the Best family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Best research. Another 92 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1495, 1584, 1576, 1577, 1578, 1583, 1584, 1572, 1596, 1609, 1590, 1657, 1590, 1598, 1570, 1638, 1602 and are included under the topic Early Best History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Best Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Best were recorded, including Best, Beste and others.

Early Notables of the Best family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: George Best (d. 1584?), English navigator who accompanied Martin Frobisher in the three voyages undertaken (in 1576, 1577, and 1578) to discover the North-west Passage. There is some confusion as to the date of his death as "a George Best, servant to Sir Christopher Hatton, was killed in a duel, about March 1583-1584, by Oliver St. John, afterwards Viscount Grandison. This person is doubtless to be identified with the writer of the 'Trve Discovrse.' Another George Best, fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge, was instituted to the vicarage of All Saints, Cambridge, in 1572...
Another 159 words (11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Best Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Best family to Ireland

Some of the Best family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 94 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Best migration to the United States +

To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Best family emigrate to North America:

Best Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Christopher Best who settled in Virginia in 1623
  • Christopher Best, who arrived in Jamestown, Va in 1624 [1]
  • John Best who settled in New England in 1634
  • John Best, who landed in New England in 1634 [1]
  • Thomas Best, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Best Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Johan Hirg Best, who landed in New York in 1709 [1]
  • Wilhelm Best, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1738 [1]
  • Boston Best, who landed in North Carolina in 1748 [1]
  • Johan Adam Best, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1751 [1]
  • Joh Georg Best, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1754 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Best Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Tho Best, aged 22, who landed in Wiskasset (Wiscasset) in 1803 [1]
  • James Best, who arrived in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1805 [1]
  • George Best, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811 [1]
  • Seragh Best, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811 [1]
  • Ruth Best, who landed in New York, NY in 1812 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Best migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Best Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • William Best, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Mr. Adam Best U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1783 [2]
  • Mr. Conrade Best U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1783 he died in 1785 [2]
  • Mr. Hermanus Best U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1783 [2]
  • Mr. Jacob Best, "Jacobus" Jr., U.E. who settled in Carleton Island, Saint Lawrence River, Ontario [New York] c. 1783 he served as part of the King's Royal Regiment of New York 2nd Battalion died in 1783 in Carleton Island [Cape Vincent], New York [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Best Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Best, who landed in Prince Edward Island in 1817
  • Emmanuel Best, who landed in Canada in 1828

Australia Best migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Best Settlers in Australia in the 18th Century
  • Miss Sarah Best, (Catapodi, Brown), English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years , transported aboard the "Britannia III" on 18th July 1798, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [3]
Best Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Best, British convict who was convicted in Dorset, England for life, transported aboard the "Calcutta" in February 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, the settlement was listed as abandoned and most of the convicts transported to Tasmania on the "Queen" in 1804 [4]
  • Miss Ann Best, (b. 1786), aged 26, English cotton spinner who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for 7 years for larceny, transported aboard the "Emu" in October 1812, the ship was captured and the passengers put ashore, the convicts were then transported aboard the "Broxburnebury" in January 1812 arriving in New South Wales, Australia, she died in 1829 [5]
  • Philip Best, English convict from York, who was transported aboard the "Almorah" on April 1817, settling in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Mr. George Best, English convict who was convicted in Somerset, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Bengal Merchant" on 13th March 1828, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [7]
  • Mr. George Best, English convict who was convicted in Somerset, England for life, transported aboard the "Bengal Merchant" on 13th March 1828, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Best migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Best Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Best, who landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1836 aboard the ship Patriot
  • William Best, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Charles Best, aged 23, a farmer, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Sir Charles Forbes" in 1842
  • Ann Best, aged 22, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Sir Charles Forbes" in 1842
  • Daniel Best, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Sir Charles Forbes" in 1842
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Best (post 1700) +

  • James Best (1926-2015), born Jules Guy, an American actor, best known for his starring role as bumbling Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane in the CBS television series The Dukes of Hazzard
  • Jacob Best Sr. (1786-1861), American brewer who founded what would later become known as the Pabst Brewing Company
  • David Best (b. 1945), American sculptor
  • Steven Best (b. 1955), American animal rights activist, author, talk-show host, and associate professor of philosophy at the University of Texas at El Paso
  • Rex Best, American award-winning soap opera writer
  • Pete Best (b. 1941), English drummer, the original drummer for the Beatles
  • Harold Best (b. 1937), English politician, member of the UK Parliament
  • Robert Samuel Best (1917-2002), 8th Baron Wynford, English nobleman
  • Ronald Alexander "Ron" Best (1949-2020), Australian rules footballer and politician, National Party member of the Victorian Legislative Council from 1988 to 2002, representing North Western Province
  • Prof. Serena Michelle Best C.B.E., FREng., CEng., FIMMM., British Professor of Materials Science for the University of Cambridge was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire on 17th June 2017, for services to Biomaterials Engineering
  • ... (Another 5 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Alfred Best (d. 1912), aged 38, English First Class Saloon Steward from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [8]


The Best Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Libertas in legibus
Motto Translation: Liberty in the law.


Suggested Readings for the name Best +

  • 840 "The Arnold, Best, Cullison and Herron Families" by Evelyn Strong, "A Genealogy of the Descendants of William Pinckney Best, Sr. (b. 1810 d. unknown)" by Dale D. Best.

  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  3. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 30th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/Britannia
  4. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/calcutta
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 3rd November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/Emu
  6. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Almorah voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1817 with 180 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/almorah/1817
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/bengal-merchant
  8. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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