Last name: Batten
This unusual name has two possible origins, both from old personal names. The first and most generally applicable to bearers of the modern-day surname is a diminutive form of the medieval given name 'Battle', itself a diminutive of 'Bartholomew', derived from the Aramaic patronymic 'bartalmay'. The name means 'having many furrows' and therefore 'rich in land'. Bartholomew was a very popular personal name in the Middle Ages, partly due to the fame of St. Bartholomew, the patron saint of tanners, vintners and butlers. There are literally hundreds of European surnames from 'Bartholomew', among them the English forms 'Batten', 'Battin(g)' and 'Baton'. 'Batten' could also derive from an Old English pre 7th Century personal name 'Bata', meaning 'thickset', 'powerfully built'.The Coat of Arms granted to the Batten family has the blazon of a blue field thereon three battle-axes proper, headed in silver, handle garnished in gold. The crest being a hand couped in fesse charged with an eye. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Batun, witness, which was dated 1248, in the Fines Court Records of Essex, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as 'The Frenchman', 1216 - 1272. 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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