This very unusual name has a number of possible origins, each equally likely to be the original source for any bearer of the name. The personal name "Bette(s)" was used for both men and women as in "Bette the boches" in Langland's "Piers Plowman" and was a diminutive of both Beatrice and Bartholomew. "Betser" would then form a diminutive patronymic form of "Bette". The form "Bettes" is common and frequently used as a toponymic, descriptive of one who lived by the hollows", as in John del Bettis (1379, Nottinghamshire).The derivation is from the Old English "bytt", butt cask, flagon or womb, used topographically for a hollow in the land. The form "Betser" shows the common southern English agent suffix "er", meaning "dweller by" as in "Brooker" Betser could also be an anglicized form of the French "beat-soir" a medieval streeting. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Betser, married Elizabeth Fish. which was dated 22nd January 1585, Bramshott, Hampshire. during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Good Queen Bess, 1558 - 1603. 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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