Bettany History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Bettany family

The surname Bettany 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, [1] 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 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.

Migration of the Bettany family

The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Bettany arrived in North America very early: 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..

Contemporary Notables of the name Bettany (post 1700) +

  • Paul Bettany (b. 1971), award-winning English actor [2]

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 [3]

  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Paul Bettany. (Retrieved 2011, January 24) Paul Bettany. Retrieved from
  3. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from on Facebook
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