Last name: Best

This most interesting English surname, is recorded in the spellings of Best, Beste, Bester, and Bestar. It is usually job descriptive and derives from the pre 7th century 'beste' - meaning a 'beast', and hence refers to a cow-herd or cattle dealer. Sometimes, in the robust fashion of the Middle Ages, it was a nickname for a 'brutal person', and as such probably applied to Wilkin le Best, in the 1260 Assize Rolls of Cheshire. Whatever its original meaning, the surname holders have been prominent in British History. The name is recorded eight times in the National Biography, and it was Captain Thomas Best (1570-1638) who, in the year 1612, broke the power of Portugal in the East. He was later Master of Trinity House, whilst W.D. Best (1767-1845) was the Lord Chief Justice and the first Baron Wynford. As a point of social history, Thomas Best was 'convicted' as a Monmouth rebel by 'Bloody Judge Jefferies' in 1685, and sentenced to ten years hard labour in Barbadoes. The earliest recordings include John le Bestare, who was a farmer, recorded in the 1279 Hundred Rolls of Huntingdonshire, whilst Richard Bestar was a witness at Colchester Court in the year 1311. The earliest coat of arms associated with the name is believed to have the blazon of a black shield, thereon two gold cross crosslets fitchee in chief, and a gold cinquefoil pierced, in base. The crest being, out of a mural coronet a demi ostrich, holding in it's beak a cross crosslet fitchee of the first. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Best, which was dated 1201, a witness at the Somerset Assize Court, Taunton, during the reign of King John of England, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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jeff best

jeff best

my name is Jeff best well mcentegart now since my mom married my grandfather was William john jr best his father was the same but senior his father was Stephen best he first came to canada from i dont know somewere in europe and landed in labrador canada thats all i can find out but there are a lot of bests on the east coast of north america maybe we could be related never know


My last name is best but as a child I was noted to be a basterd or a heathen help me

I am Timothy Best, from Corry Pa. My Father was Donald Best from New York.

Heather Best
My grandfather has a unique name; Farquard Smith Best. Not sure about any of the history; wish I had asked more questions before it was too late. We are on the east coast

Wayne Best
Live in Canada. Seems my family came from a village called Milton Abbas, in Dorset England. Any connections feel free to email me.

Mine come from Somerton, Somerset, UK only an hour away from there.

My grandmother was Lillian Best Shaver. She was born in England and traveled to the USA at a tender age. She died September 12, 1934. I am looking for information regarding her family. I believe some of them lived in the Troy, NY area.

cynthia merritt

I am looking for Lillian Best's sister who also married Richard Lewis Shaver. I am trying to find my grandmother's family possibly in troy, ny area.

K best
My surname is best originating back from st Lucia

Monique Best
I wonder if we are related?

Alex Best
I'm looking for family members, dating back from what my father told me my great grandfather was born in the virgin islands back in 1905. his name was Alaric William best, then it was my grandfathet Alaric William Best jr. in 1940's, my father Alaric William Best lll in 1969 in brooklyn, ny , then me and my twin brother Alaric William Best IV & me(Alex Willie Best)in portsmouth,va in1988

Hello Alex, I have been looking for your dad, whom, is a friend of mine from back in the Bronx well over 20 years ago. I met you and your twin brother briefly way back then. Please have your dad contact me at

Hi, my surname is best also. I am trying to trace my family history. I am from the island of Barbados.

Hi, my grandmother's name was Stella Best from Barbados and I'm trying to track my family history as well.

Nancy, we have traced my great great great grandfather to SC, his name was Edward Best. I believe he married lady by the name of Sarah Henderson back in the 1700s.

Arlen Best
My father is 74 and his clan is based out of Glendale, Kentucky (Hardin County). His father (Carlton Best, born 1905) and his uncle (Homer Rowe Best, born 1921) inherited the family farm from their father Dave Best who was apparently born in Kentucky. It is my understanding that the father of Dave Best traveled north out of the Carolina's in the 1800's and for a period of time lived and worked in Washington, DC where he learned the trade of masonry work. We are told that he participated in constructing the brick streets in D.C. then moved on to Kentucky where he bought the farms. I am now in communication with two large clans of Best's, one in North Carolina and one in South Carolina. They may be one and the same, but as yet I am not certain as I am awaiting to hear back from one of their family historians who researched and documented their history. Members of the Best's in South Carolina tell me that their ancestor(s) came into the U.S. at the Carolina's from Haiti or somewhere in the Caribbean. I would appreciate any information relative to Best's in the Carolina's coming out of the Caribbean. Bishop Arlen L. Best email:

Nancy Best Cook
Looking for the Irish Bests, one of whom came to the US in mid 1800s, Thomas Best

Mathew Best
My great great.... Grandfather and his brother moved to Canada and USA respectively from Ireland when they stole potatoes as were sentenced to death, America, Australia, or Canada. One stayed on America and my Grandfather came to Canada. Pretty close to Irish/1800's arrival etc.


i have a great great uncle named thomas best i was told

Thomas Best
I have always been told that 2 brothers came to the US from Ireland and setteled in NC. My great-grandfather's name was B D Best. That's as far back as I have been able to track. My grandfather's name was Thomas Love Best, my father, Thomas Lemuel Best, and my name is William Thomas Best.

We could have a connection. I am from Northern Ireland, I am Christopher Thomas Best, my grandfathers name is Thomas Gerald Best, and his grandfather was Thomas Best. It's a traditional family name, where there are many more Thomas Best's in the Graveyard of Jerettspass Presbyterian. Hope this helps. we might have no connection whatsoever but the way your family has a tradition of using Thomas could originate from a common denominator.

Mark Best, londonderry

My ancestors apparently came over from germany in the 17th century and where carpenters. There where three brothers, one staying around Lurgan another Jerettspass and the other in Newry, later some moved to America


my great great uncle was thomas best came to canada in the 1800

Jean Wismer-Nieder
I'm looking for family members related to Carolyn Best Duplain her father Robert Best as my Grandmother was Nellie Best who emigrated to the United States, married John Robert Sutton of Michigan, and she died July 1, 1967 only one child, daughter, Marina Sutton

Billy Best
My dad's name was ' Richard Hobson Best'

Karen Smith
Hi all, Best was my maiden surname, my dad is scottish so are relatives going back several generations, though my grandfather was born in Dublin barracks as his scottish father was a serving soilder! We have heard that the name was of dutch decsent, spelt Van- Beaste?? I have also been told it is a popular surname in Jamacia. All very interesting.


Hi, I'm from the Dutch line. My line lived in England then moved to Holland during the middle ages. I think we came from Denmark during dark age to England but I am not sure. Dutch traded everywhere so not surprising to find the name in old colonies.

Shamrock Best
I'm a Best with southern roots but born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. I'm African American. So I doubt any of us are cousins. Joking! I found the information very interesting.

Billy Best
There was a famous basketball player from North Carolina named Best. He was black, he may be your cousin.

Shamrock Best
I think his name is Travis Best. I'm not sure though. If we are kin I sure hope he share some of his fortune with his long lost cousin. Haha!

Nancy Best Cook
Black Bests in SCk live in or near Gallivant's Ferry, SC There are both White and Black Bests here in SC

Darryl Best
Very interesting indeed.

Ramona Mclean

Hey my maiden name is Best. Is this my brother Darryl? And yes this is all very interesting.

Kelly Best
My Grandad once said he was George Bests cousin..he is maybe!!

are any of you got relations in chatham kent if so please contact me at

Joylun Best
For years I have been trying to search my family tree and could find no connection. Now I know my origination because my Dad's father was from Barbados, West Indies. WOW!


What was your father's name?

shayle bester
i was under the impression that my surname. Bester, was of german origin.... So was interesting to read of english origins. I am south african.

Carl Bester
i thought it was German - My granddad did a family tree back dating to Nobel times

Scott Best
Yes. Very interesting! I have been under the impression i was very German. Also, I find it more than ironic that my father grew up in Bucyrus, Ohio and went to Wynford High School. "Baron Wynford". Wierd.

Brian Best

Scott I am also from Ohio (cinci) and my father Ben, grandfather William (bill) and grandmother Ruth all german?

SEO Company
nickname for "brutal person" lol.. quality.

Ann Jackson Best
Very interesting indeed! Here`s me thinking I was partially Irish with strong Scottish roots!

Joylun Best
I also thought I was partially Irish so this is very interesting indeed!

R Best
Some of the Bests did go to Ireland and Scotland, after the Norman conquest. My line went to Holland. @ Scott and Shayle, we are of Germanic origin, anglo-saxons are germanic people who entered England after the Romans left.

Billy Best
My ' Best' ancestor came to North Carolina from England from my understanding back in the 1700s then had three sons one came to Florida, one to Georgia and another to Alabama.

Joylyn Best
My father told me we had Irish ancestry.

Sebrina Branch-Best
I love the name Best. It is one of the sexiest names in the world I am so proud to be wearing the title of Mrs. Best.

rachael best
:) im quite young and my surname is best im supposed to do a talk on either famous scottish inventors or my surname but im not quite sure if i should do it on this subject because i am not a "beast" haha :3 or maybye i am.,.........naww im not

Monique best
Looking for any family my dad is Lionel Best and came from St lucia he passed away in 1996 and would love to hear from family members

Daphne Best
Daphne Best Minique, what i gather from my Grandfather is that all the best in the English speaking Caribbean are related. He told us tBarbados is the central point He passed away in 2004 at 100 years.

don best
dad, james best from kentucky. german dutch, irish and cherokee blood. family tree has been traced back to the relation of danirl boon

My great gran dad was Samuel Best it was said that he had 100 children. There are a lot of people here in Barbados with that surname.