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.

Best World Ranking

In the United States, the name Best is the 737th most popular surname with an estimated 39,792 people with that name. [1] However, in Canada, the name Best is ranked the 687th most popular surname with an estimated 7,604 people with that name. [2] And in Newfoundland, Canada, the name Best is the 131st popular surname with an estimated 282 people with that name. [3] Australia ranks Best as 612nd with 6,388 people. [4] New Zealand ranks Best as 634th with 1,125 people. [5] The United Kingdom ranks Best as 557th with 11,675 people. [6]

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 [7]
  • John Best who settled in New England in 1634
  • John Best, who landed in New England in 1634 [7]
  • 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 [7]
  • Wilhelm Best, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1738 [7]
  • Boston Best, who landed in North Carolina in 1748 [7]
  • Johan Adam Best, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1751 [7]
  • Joh Georg Best, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1754 [7]
  • ... (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 [7]
  • James Best, who arrived in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1805 [7]
  • George Best, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811 [7]
  • Seragh Best, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811 [7]
  • Ruth Best, who landed in New York, NY in 1812 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Best Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mr. Anthony Best, (b. 1876), aged 24, Cornish miner travelling aboard the ship "Oceanic" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 14th March 1900 en route to Ishpenning, Michigan, USA [8]
  • Mr. John Best, (b. 1879), aged 21, Cornish miner travelling aboard the ship "Oceanic" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 14th March 1900 en route to Ishpenning, Michigan, USA [8]
  • Mr. Sydney Best, (b. 1875), aged 26, Cornish student, from St. Blazey, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Etruria" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 22nd June 1901 en route to Massachusetts, USA [8]
  • Mr. James Best, (b. 1874), aged 27, Cornish builder, from St. Austell, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Oceanic" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 14th June 1901 en route to Hancock, Michigan, USA [8]
  • Mr. James Best, (b. 1874), aged 27, Cornish builder, from St. Austell, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Oceanic" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 14th June 1901 en route to Hancock, Michigan, USA [8]
  • ... (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 [9]
  • Mr. Conrade Best U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1783 he died in 1785 [9]
  • Mr. Hermanus Best U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1783 [9]
  • 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 [9]
  • ... (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 [10]
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 [11]
  • 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 [12]
  • Philip Best, English convict from York, who was transported aboard the "Almorah" on April 1817, settling in New South Wales, Australia [13]
  • Mr. Daniel Best, English convict who was convicted in Somerset, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "David Lyon" on 29th April 1830, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [14]
  • Mr. Stephen Best, English convict who was convicted in Sussex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Augusta Jessie" on 27 September 1834, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [15]
  • ... (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.)

West Indies Best migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [16]
Best Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Rich Best, aged 18, who landed in Barbados in 1635 [7]
  • Mr. Richard Best, (b. 1617), aged 18, British settler travelling aboard the ship "Expedition" arriving in Barbados in 1636 [17]

Contemporary Notables of the name Best (post 1700) +

  • Ben Best (1974-2021), American actor, writer, and producer, known for his work on Superbad, What Happens in Vegas, Observe and Report, and Land of the Lost
  • 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
  • ... (Another 6 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 [18]


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 +

  • 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. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  2. ^ https://forebears.io/surnames/
  3. ^ The order of Common Surnames in 1955 in Newfoundland retrieved on 20th October 2021 (retrieved from Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland by E.R. Seary corrected edition ISBN 0-7735-1782-0)
  4. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  5. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  6. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  7. ^ 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)
  8. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retreived 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  9. ^ 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
  10. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 30th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/Britannia
  11. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/calcutta
  12. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 3rd November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/Emu
  13. ^ 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
  14. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 3rd June 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/david-lyon
  15. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th August 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/augusta-jessie
  16. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  17. ^ Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 29th September 2021. (Retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  18. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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