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

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

K best
My surname is best originating back from st Lucia

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.

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.

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

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


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

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

jeff best