Bettany History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Bettany family

The surname Bettany 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 Bettany family

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

Bettany Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Bettany were recorded, including Bestney, Bestnee, Bestknee, Bestnie, Besny, Besnie, Besnee, Bester and many more.

Early Notables of the Bettany family (pre 1700)

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


Australia Bettany migration to Australia +

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

Bettany Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Mark Bettany, (b. 1815), aged 21, English miner who was convicted in Stafford, Staffordshire, England for 7 years for poaching, transported aboard the "Eden" on 27th August 1836, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Bettany (post 1700) +

  • Paul Bettany (b. 1971), award-winning English actor [4]

HMAS Sydney II
  • Mr. John Henry Bettany (1920-1941), Australian Able Seaman from Subiaco, Western Australia, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II and died in the sinking [5]


  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)
  3. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th October 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/eden
  4. ^ Paul Bettany. (Retrieved 2011, January 24) Paul Bettany. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Bettany
  5. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp


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