Bettes History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Bettes family name is linked to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name comes from one of a number of personal names. The surname Bettes is usually explained as a metronymic derivative of the female personal name Beatrice, or less often, Elizabeth. [1]

However, the name is undoubtedly occasionally derived from the male personal name Bartholomew, which also took the variant forms Bertram or Bertelmew. The surname Bettes may also be a "local" type surname which means a dweller by the hollows.

Early Origins of the Bettes family

The surname Bettes was first found in Norfolk, where they held a family seat from ancient times, long before the Norman Conquest in 1066.

"One of the principal stocks of the old and characteristic Norfolk name of Betts included the family that possessed, in the 15th and 16th centuries, the manors of Hastings Hall and Whitefoot in Irmingland. This name is also well represented in Lincolnshire, where it usually takes the form of Bett; it is also present, though less numerous, in the other east coast counties of Suffolk and Kent." [2]

Early History of the Bettes family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bettes research. Another 178 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1379, 1500, 1581, 1590, 1743, 1770, 1480, 1905, 1912, 1570, 1576, 1695, 1642, 1643, 1646 and 1647 are included under the topic Early Bettes History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bettes Spelling Variations

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Bettes include Betts, Bets, Bettes, Bett, Bette and others.

Early Notables of the Bettes family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include John Bettes (d. 1570?), an English miniature painter, commonly stated to have been a pupil of Nicholas Hilliard. "Bettes painted a miniature in oils of Queen Elizabeth, which is said to have been highly successful. He is mentioned by Foxe in his 'Ecclesiastical History' as having engraved a pedigree and some vignettes for Hall's 'Chronicle.' He is also said to have painted the portrait of Sir John Godsalve. Foxe...
Another 77 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bettes Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Canada Bettes migration to Canada +

Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Bettes were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Bettes Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Hiram Girard Bettes, who arrived in Canada in 1839
  • William Bettes, who landed in Canada in 1839


The Bettes 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: Ostendo non ostento
Motto Translation: I show, not boast.


  1. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  2. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.


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