Recorded in a number of spellings as shown below, this is ultimately of 12th century biblical origins. Deriving from the popular personal name Bartholomew, it was introduced into Europe by returning Crusader soldiers and pilgrims from the Holy Land in the 12th century. In some cases it may arise from an olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Bata". Bartholomew means "having many furrows" and originally described a farmer, and its initial fame was due to St. Bartholomew, the patron saint of tanners, vintners and butlers. The Olde English "Bata" derives from the word "batt", meaning a cudgel, and was used as a byname for a stout man. As to how Batt became (sometimes) Bass and the diminutives or patronymics Basson etc can only be put down to dialectal changes in the middle ages and later. The modern surname from either source can be found as Batt, Battson, Battison, Batts, Batson and the dialectals Basam, Bassam, Bassom, Basan, Basen, Basin, Bason, Basson, and others. Early examples of the surname recordings taken from surviving charters and registers include Thomas Bateson in the Poll Tax rolls of the West Riding of Yorkshire in 1379. In the surviving early registers of the diocese of Greater London, we have the recordings of Edmunde Basan, christened at St Giles Cripplegate, on March 21st 1562, Vertue Basson, christened at the same church on August 11th 1567, the Huguenot Catherine Basin, christened at Threadneedle Street French church, on April 26th 1618, and Bathia Basen, the daughter of George Basen, christened at St Clement Danes, on June 20th 1734. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Bate de Butwick, Lincolnshire. This was dated 1273, in the Hundred Rolls of the county of Lincolnshire. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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