Betney History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Betney family

The surname Betney was first found in Huntingdonshire, where J. le Bestere was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1279. A few years later, R. Bestare was listed at Colchester in 1311. The name is generally believed to be derived from the Middle English word beste, meaning a herdsman. [1]

Another source notes that name could have originated in Hertfordshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands at St. Albans, held by a steward of St. Albans Church who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086. [2]

Early History of the Betney family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Betney research. Another 105 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1510, 1600 and 1504 are included under the topic Early Betney History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Betney Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Betney has been recorded under many different variations, including Bestney, Bestnee, Bestknee, Bestnie, Besny, Besnie, Besnee, Bester and many more.

Early Notables of the Betney family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Betney Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Betney family

To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Betneys were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America: Andreas F. Bester, aged 37, who arrived at Ellis Island from Colesburg, S. Africa, in 1912; and Andrew James Bester, aged 34, who arrived at Ellis Island from London, in 1903..



  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)


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