Early Origins of the Bettanay family
The surname Bettanay was first found 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. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England
to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book
Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. 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.
Early History of the Bettanay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bettanay research.Another 209 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1510, 1600 and 1504 are included under the topic Early Bettanay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bettanay Spelling Variations
Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred
years ago, spelling variations
of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Bettanay include Bestney, Bestnee, Bestknee, Bestnie, Besny, Besnie, Besnee, Bester and many more.
Early Notables of the Bettanay family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Bettanay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Bettanay family to the New World and Oceana
at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Bettanays to arrive on North American shores: 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..