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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Betts family come from? What is the English Betts family crest and coat of arms? When did the Betts family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Betts family history?

The name Betts is from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of the Britain and comes from one of a number of personal names. The surname Betts is usually explained as a metronymic derivative of the female personal name Beatrice, or less often, Elizabeth. However, the name is undoubtedly occasionally derived from the male personal name Bartholomew, which also took the variant forms Bertram or Bertelmew. The surname Betts may also be a "local" type surname which means a dweller by the hollows.

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The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Betts has been spelled many different ways, including Betts, Bets, Bettes, Bett, Bette and others.

First found in Yorkshire, where they held a family seat from ancient times, long before the Norman Conquest in 1066.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Betts research. Another 281 words(20 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1379, 1480, and 1500 are included under the topic Early Betts History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Betts Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Bettss to arrive in North America:

Betts Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • John Betts, who arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1640
  • Richard Betts, who arrived in Ipswich, Massachusetts in 1648
  • Thomas Betts, who landed in Connecticut in 1650
  • Will Betts, who landed in Virginia in 1651
  • Wm Betts, who landed in Virginia in 1663


Betts Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Johan Fredk Betts, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1772

Betts Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • James Betts, aged 33, landed in Kentucky in 1812
  • Joseph Betts, aged 5, landed in New York in 1862
  • Joseph B Betts, aged 26, arrived in New York in 1862
  • Joseph E Betts, who landed in St Clair County, Illinois in 1871

Betts Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Mr. Benjamin Betts U.E who settled in Canada c. 1783

Betts Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • John Ardon Betts, who arrived in Canada in 1830
  • Plait Betts, who landed in Canada in 1834
  • Robert Betts, who landed in Canada in 1834

Betts Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Ann Betts, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "America" on December 30, 1830, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • John Betts, aged 19, a carpenter, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Brankenmoor"
  • John Betts arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Branken Moor" in 1849
  • Josh. Betts arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Posthumous" in 1849
  • Benjamin Betts, aged 35, arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hydaspes" in 1851


Betts Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • A Betts landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Indemnity
  • Henry Betts landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Henry Betts, aged 20, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Oriental" in 1840
  • Reuben Betts, aged 32, a labourer, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Chile" in 1874
  • Elizabeth Betts, aged 32, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Chile" in 1874


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  • Roland Whitney Betts (b. 1946), American lawyer, businessman and film producer
  • Brigadier-General Edward C. Betts (1890-1946), American Judge Advocate, European Theatre of Operations (1942-1946)
  • Brigadier-General Thomas Jeffries Betts (1894-1977), American Director of Intelligence, US Group, Control Council Germany (1945)
  • Thaddeus Betts (1789-1840), American politician, United States Senator and Lieutenant Governor
  • Morton Peto Betts (1847-1914), English athlete, who played both soccer and cricket
  • Edward Betts (1815-1872), English railway contractor
  • Melvyn Betts (b. 1975), English cricketer
  • Alan Osborn Betts, Principal and Dean, The Royal Veterinary College, University of London
  • Air Vice Marshall Charles Stephen Betts CBE,
  • Edward William Betts, English journalist and critic based in London

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  • Wallace-Frierson and Allied Families (including the Best Family) by Charles Hamilton Young.
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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.

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  1. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  3. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  4. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  5. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  6. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  7. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  8. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  9. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  10. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Betts Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Betts Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 5 April 2015 at 05:13.

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