Recorded in various forms including Bart, Barth, and diminutives Bartle, Bartell, the occupational Bartleman, double diminutives Bartley and Bartolett, and many others, this is an Anglo-Scottish surname. However spelt its origination is from the biblical name Bartholomew. This 'name' was introduced into Europe in the 12th century by Crusaders returning from the Holy Land. These knights had made many, all unsuccessful, attempts to wrest the country and specifically Jerusalem, from the infidel Muslim.It became the fashion in a period of Christian revival, for these returning warriors to call their subsequent children by names which had associations with the early days of the birth of the Christian faith. The Crusades themsleves may have had a low success rating, but the introduction of these 'given' names and ultimately 'surnames', was the opposite. They swept away many of the more cumbersome multi compounds of the Saxons and later Normans, leaving only the 'royal' names of William, Richard, and Henry with any measure of popularity. Curiously the only early kings to be given Christian names were Stephen (1135 - 1154) and John (1199 - 1216), and theirs were two of the worst reigns in British history. 'Bartholmew' was one of the most popular forms, and provided over fifty British surnames. The name means 'He who makes furrows' or more simply a farmer, Robert Bartelmeu being recorded in the Hundred Rolls of Huntingdon, in 1273. Other examples include Thomas Batelot of Sussex in the Subsidy Tax rolls of 1327, Robertus Bartlet of York in the Poll Tax Rolls of 1379, Janne Bartleman who married Thomas Scott in 1750, and Sarah Bartle, who married Sam Spencer, in 1752, both at St. Georges chapel, Hanover Square, London.
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