Last name: Beeton
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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Interesting. I have traced my branch of the name successfully back to 1585. This was near the beginning of recorded church records of Wickhambrook in Suffolk. The Beetons lived there for two hundred years before expanding to the Stowmarket area, then on to London. I have a few clues (wills) of earlier Beetons, but am not positively sure that they are related. There are certain other clues (a John de Beeton involved with a court case in London I am interested in researching of 1309 but can't make the link to him).
John F. Beeton, Apsley, ON. Canada
I have traced my ancestors back to Wickhambrook in the 1560's through Ancestry.com and appreciated the comment by Martin Beeton possibly a distant relative. My immediate family comes from Barking, Essex, St. Margarets Parish where my Grandparents Fred & Agnes Beeton were married in 1900 and my father was born in 1902. My Great Grandfather Thomas Beeton is buried in St. Margaret's cemetery. Hope this helps anyone reading this. John F. Beeton