Beeton Family Coat of Arms
The surname of BEETON was a baptismal name 'the son of Beatrice'. It is a name familiar to Cornwall, an ancient and still popular font name. During the middle ages a need was felt for an additional name to the one that had been given at birth.
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This was recognized by the nobles, as it added prestige and practical advantage to their status. Early records of the name mention BETON (without surname) who was documented in County Lancashire in 1198. Richard Beatone was recorded in County Lancashire in the year 1440, and Agnes Beatone appears in London in 1450. Edward Beeton, who was recorded in County Somerset, during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). Johannes Beton, of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Beton de Wath, ibid. Baptised. Robert, son of William Beton, St. Mary, Aldermary, London in the year 1694. The most famous of this name was Mrs Isabella Mary Beeton (1836-1865) the English writer on cookery. She was educated in Heidelberg and became an accomplished pianist. In 1856 she married Samuel Orchard Beeton, a publisher, and her Book of Household Management, first published in parts in (1859-60) in a women's magazine founded by her husband covering cookery and other branches of domestic science, made her name a household word. When the coast of England was invaded by William The Conqueror in the year 1066, the Normans brought with them a store of French personal names, which soon, more or less, entirely replaced the traditional more varied Old English personal names, at least among the upper and middle classes. A century of so later, given names of the principal saints of the Christian church began to be used. It is from these two types of given name that the majority of the English patronymic surnames are derived and used to this day.
This most interesting name has a number of distinct origins. Firstly, it may be a Norman locational surname, introduced into England and Scotland after the Conquest of 1066, from the place called "Bethune" in Pas-de-Calais, Picardy. The placename was recorded in the 8th Century in the Latin form "Bituinia", and is thought to be so called from an ancient Germanic personal name "Betto", from "berht", bright, famous. Secondly, Beaton may be derived from the medieval given name "Be(a)ton", a diminutive of a short form of either the female personal name Beatrice, originally "Viatrix", meaning "traveller" or the male personal name Bartholomew, from the Aramaic "bar-Talmay", son of one rich in land. The latter source applies particularly in Scotland, and indeed the name Beaton is now found mainly in the Angus and Fife regions of that country. A branch of the family settled in Skye in the mid 16th Century, and found fame and success as physicians for several generations. One 18th Century source says that a Dr. Beaton was sitting on the upper deck of the "Florida" of the Spanish Armada when it blew up in Tobermory Bay in 1588; he was thrown "a good way off", but apparently lived several years after. The christening of John, son of John Beaton, was recorded at St. Margaret's, Westminster, London, on August 30th 1615. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Betoun, which was dated 1311, in the "Court Rolls of the Borough of Colchester", during the reign of King Edward 11, known as "Edward of Caernafon", 1307 - 1327. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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