This unusual English surname has two possible origins, both from old personal names. The first and most generally applicable to bearers of the modern-day surname is a diminutive form of the pre-medieval given name 'Batt', itself a diminutive of the Crusader introduced 'Bartholomew', introduced in the 12th century. Derived from the Aramaic patronymic 'Bartalmay', the name translates as 'having many furrows' and describes an early farmers. Bartholomew was a very popular personal name in the Middle Ages, partly due to the fame of St.Bartholomew, the patron saint of tanners, vintners and butlers. The second possible origin is from the pre 7th century Olde English 'Bata', meaning brave or strong. This was originally a baptismal name, and it is now quite impossible to tell whether the modern surnames Batt, or the diminutives Batten, Battin, Batkin, or Baton, derive from Bata or Bartholomew. Early recordings include Robert Batin in the 1261 Assize Rolls of Somerset, William Baton in the 1275 Subsidy Rolls of Worcester, and Hugh Batkyn in the 1332 Subsidy Rolls of Staffordshire. The Coat of Arms most associated with the nameholders has the blazon of a blue field thereon three battle-axes proper, headed in silver, handle garnished in gold. The crest being a hand couped in fesse charged with an eye. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Batun, witness, which was dated 1248, in the Fines Court Records of Essex, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as 'The Frenchman', 1216 - 1272. 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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