This interesting name, recorded in Cornish church registers with Beatyne, Beaten, Be(a)ton and Beten, is a metronymic from Bete or Beton, a medieval pet form of the female given name Beatrice, itself coming from the Latin "Beatus", blesses, but originally spelt "Viatrice" meaning "Traveller". The following quotation from "Piers Plowman" crica 1360 reads, "Beton the Brewestere\Bade hime good morrow", and in "Promptorium Parvulorum", a medieval Dictionary, the following entry appears, "Bete, or Betune, propyr name, Beatrix". Beton, and its variants, were recorded concurrently both as personal names and as surnames from the early 14th Century, (see below). One, Beton, servant of Robert, appears in the 1379 "Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire". On June 29th 1559, John Beaton, an infant, was christened in St. Neot, Cornwall, and in 1629 one, Beaten, daughter of Thomas Bayley, was christened in St. Columb Major Cornwall. The christening of John Beaten took place in St. Pauls on October 8th 1635 and on November 4th 1665 Anne, daughter of John and Elizabeth Beatens, was christened in Germoe, Cornwall. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Beton, which was dated 1311, "The Court Rolls of the Borough of Colchester", during the reign of King Edward II, "Edward of Caernafon", 1307 - 1327. 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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