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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: Dutch, English, French

Where did the English Best family come from? What is the English Best family crest and coat of arms? When did the Best family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Best family history?

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.

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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.

First found in Kent, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, long before the Norman Conquest in 1066.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Best research. Another 319 words(23 lines of text) covering the year 1495 is included under the topic Early Best History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Best Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Best family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 175 words(12 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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
  • John Best who settled in New England in 1634
  • Jno Best, who landed in New England in 1634
  • Thomas Best settled in Virginia in 1635


Best Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Johan Hirg Best, who landed in New York in 1709
  • Wilhelm Best, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1738
  • Boston Best, who landed in North Carolina in 1748
  • Johan Adam Best, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1751
  • Joh Georg Best, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1754


Best Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Tho Best, aged 22, landed in Wiskasset (Wiscasset) in 1803
  • James Best, who arrived in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1805
  • George Best, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811
  • Seragh Best, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811
  • Ruth Best, who landed in New York, NY in 1812


Best Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Mr. Adam Best U.E who settled in Canada c. 1783
  • Mr. Conrade Best U.E who settled in Canada c. 1783 he died in 1785
  • Mr. Hermanus Best U.E who settled in Canada c. 1783
  • 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
  • Mr. Jacob Best Sr., U.E born in New York, USA who settled in Saint Armand West [Saint-Armand], Brome-Missisquoi Regional County Municipality, Quebec c. 1783 he died in 1794 in Missisquoi County, Quebec

Best Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Thos Best, who landed in Prince Edward Island in 1817
  • Emmanuel Best, who landed in Canada in 1828

Best Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Philip Best, English convict from York, who was transported aboard the "Almorah" on April 1817, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • William Best arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Royal Admiral" in 1838
  • Nancy Best arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Royal Admiral" in 1838
  • Sarah Ann Best arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Baboo" in 1840
  • Elizabeth Best arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Rajasthan" in 1840


Best Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • John Best landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1836 aboard the ship Patriot
  • William Best landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Charles Best, aged 23, a farmer, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Sir Charles Forbes" in 1842
  • Ann Best, aged 22, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Sir Charles Forbes" in 1842
  • Daniel Best arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Sir Charles Forbes" in 1842


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  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • George Best (1946-2005), Northern Irish footballer, generally regarded as the greatest football talent ever produced by Northern Ireland

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  • 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.
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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.

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  1. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  2. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  3. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  4. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  5. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  6. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  7. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  9. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  10. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  11. ...

The Best Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Best Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 23 August 2015 at 23:37.

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