Show ContentsBettles History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Bettles family

The surname Bettles was first found in Staffordshire 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 of Betley, Wulfwin, a Norman noble, who held these lands as under-tenant to the King and was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086.

Early History of the Bettles family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bettles research. Another 87 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1208, 1296, and 1332 are included under the topic Early Bettles History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bettles Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Betley, Bettely, Bettly, Battley, Batteley and others.

Early Notables of the Bettles family (pre 1700)

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

Australia Bettles migration to Australia +

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

Bettles Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Bettles, aged 21, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "China" [2]
  • Richard Bettles, English convict from Lincoln, who was transported aboard the "Adelaide" on April 16, 1855, settling in Western Australia [3]
  • Reuben Bettles, aged 38, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Lord Raglan" [4]

  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CHINA 1852. Retrieved
  3. State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 17) Adelaide voyage to Western Australia, Australia in 1855 with 261 passengers. Retrieved from
  4. South Australian Register Friday February 7th, 1856. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Lord Raglan 1856. Retrieved on Facebook