This interesting surname of Olde English origins, is locational name from 'Butterton' of which there are two places so called in the county of Staffordshire. The one near Leek is recorded as Buterdon in the Curia Regis Rolls of 1200, and derives from the Old English pre 7th Century "butere" meaning "butter" plus "dun" "hill" hence "butter hill" i.e. hill with good pastures giving plenty of butter. The one near Newcastle which is recorded as Butereton in the Pipe Rolls of 1182, derives from "butere" plus "tun" meaning "farm", hence "butter farm". The name dates back to the mid 16th Century, (see below). Agricultural changes forced many people off the land at this time, and many went to London seen then as now as 'The Mecca'. In so doing they took as their name, that of their original village, with variations such as Batterton, Betterton, Bitterton, Buterton, etc.. Recording examples include Agnes, daughter of Roger Bitterton was christened at St. Mary Magdalene, Bermondsey on September 2nd 1560, Margaret Batterton who married James Burrowes at St Giles Church, Cripplegate, London, and Thomazin Betterton who married Nicholas Cosen on November 26th 1564, at St. Mary at Hill, London. Thomas Betterton (1635-1710), was an actor and dramatist of international renown. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Betterton, which was dated 1555, who married at the church of St. Mary Magdalene, London, during the reign of Queen Mary 1 of England, known as "Bloody Mary", 1553 - 1558. 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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