Bettefart History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Bettefart first arose amongst the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is derived from their having lived in the county of Bedfordshire, where the name was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as in "Godwidere and Osgar de Bedeford were tenants in capite, 1086. The former had held the same lands before the Conquest." [1]

Early Origins of the Bettefart family

The surname Bettefart was first found in Bedfordshire at Bedford, the county town and the administrative center for the wider Borough of Bedford. The place name dates back to the 9th century when it was listed as Bedanford in 880. By the Domesday Book of 1086, the place name had evolved to Bedeford and literally meant "ford of a man called Bieda," having derived from the Old English personal name + "ford." [2]

Bedfordshire (district of Bedford) is first referenced in the 11th century. Another reference claims the place name is derived the name of a Saxon chief called Beda + "ford." One of the first listings of the place name was a reference to the Anglo-Saxon King Offa of Mercia who was buried in the town in 796.

Bedford Castle was a large medieval castle in Bedford probably built after 1100 by Henry I. Today only the base of the motte survives.

Further to the south in Devon, "Bideford is generally interpreted to mean ' by the ford,' and in name, at any rate, is therefore Saxon. Bideford was a place of some importance when it belonged to Brictric, its last Saxon owner; for at the Domesday Survey, when, like most of the other manors of that unlucky thane, it passed to Matilda, it had an numerated population of 52, while, as it then had a fishery worth 255. a year, the germs of its maritime character already existed. The manor is remarkable for having remained for nearly seven centuries in one family. " [3]

By the time of the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273, the family was scattered: Jordan de Bedeford, Oxfordshire; and Robert de Bedeford in Huntingdonshire. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 had only one listing for the family, that of Johannes de Bedforth. [4]

In Scotland, there were two early entries: "Henricus de Bedeforth [who] witnessed a quitclaim by Johannes, son of Mathew Loremarius of Perth, 1240 and W. de Bedeford [who] witnessed a gift to the church of Glasgow, c. 1260." [5]

Early History of the Bettefart family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bettefart research. Another 92 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1240, 1391, 1451, 1668, 1745, 1668, 1687, 1691, 1688, 1663, 1724, 1650, 1620 and 1650 are included under the topic Early Bettefart History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bettefart Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Bettefart has appeared include Bedford, Bedforde, Bedforth and others.

Early Notables of the Bettefart family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include John Bedford (fl.1391), English politician, Member of Parliament for Lewes; and John Bedford (died 1451) English politician, Member of Parliament for Kingston-upon-Hull. Arthur Bedford (1668-1745), was an English miscellaneous writer, born at Tiddenham in Gloucestershire 8 Sept. 1668. "At the age of sixteen he proceeded to Brasenose College, Oxford, graduated B.A. in February 1687-8, M.A. in July 1691, and was ordained in 1688. " [6] Hilkiah Bedford (1663-1724), was a...
Another 75 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bettefart Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Bettefart family

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Bettefart arrived in North America very early: Hon. John Bedford, who was Judge of Vice Admiralty Court in Barbados in 1805; Ann Bedford settled in Virginia in 1635; followed by Jane in 1638; Margaret Bedford settled in Nevis in 1660.



The Bettefart Motto +

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: Animum fortuna sequatur
Motto Translation: Fortune follows courage.


  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  6. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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