This is a well-known 'Border' surname i.e. one found equally in the counties on either side of the border between Scotland and England. It has been thought to have been a metronymic from the female personal name 'Beatrice' but in fact derives from 'Bate' or 'Baty' which are diminutives or pet forms of the name 'Bartholomew' a name which is from the Aramaic patronymic 'bar-Talamy' and means 'rich in land'. St. Bartholomew was popular in medieval times and was the patron saint of tanners, vintners and butlers. One John Betty was 'admitted' burgess of Aberdeen in 1473. Sir William Beatty (d. 1842) was physician to Greenwich Hospital from 1806-1840, and attended Lord Nelson at Trafalgar. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hew Batie of Berwick-on-Tweed. which was dated 1334, Scottish Rolls in the Tower of London. during the reign of David 11 of Scotland, 1329-1371. 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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