Recorded as Bead, Beade, Beed, and the patronymics Beads and Beades, this is an ancient English surname. Indeed arguably it is THE very oldest of all English names, being that of the first known historian and writer in the English language, the Venerable Bede, (a.d. 675 to 735). Bede in his famous book Historia Anglorum, has left the only known true accounts of the later Roman occupation of Britain, and the coming of the Anglo-Saxons in the 5th century. Bede died in Jarrow, Northumberland, and later his bones were removed to Durham Cathedral. The actual meaning of the (sur)name is obscure. It was used originally purely as a personal name, and did not become a surname until the 13th century when one Raymond Bede appears in the court rolls of Cambridge in the year 1260, and Robert Beda in the Hundred Rolls of Wiltshire in 1275. The name probably means what it says, and was either used as a name of endeament similar to Gold, Silver, and Jewel, or like them could also have been occupational for a maker or seller of jewelry.
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