Recorded in various spellings as shown below, this is an English locational siurname. It orginates from the village of Beetham in the former county of Westmoreland, near Milnthorpe. Beetham is first recorded in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 as Biedun, and thereafter at various times as Bethome and Bethun. According to the Oxford Dictionary of English Place Names the place name translates as "The house on the flat area" from the pre 7th century Norse-Viking word "bior", a table, but used in a transferred sense. Certainly the region is renowned for its rocky lanscape and it was also in the famous Border Country of disputed territory between England and Scotland. This area was fought over for more than a thousand years English and Scots armies who during lull times handed over their responsibilities to brigands such as the infamous Border Reivers who took full advantage of the chronic security situation to raid as far as York. As a result many inhabitants of the area took advantage of the growing industrial situation, and moved south. This name in its varied spellings is well recorded in the English Midlands where forms include Beetham, Bettam, Bettom, Betham, Bethom, and probably Badham, Batem and others. Examples of recordings include Nicholas Bethom of Weeford, on July 5th 1597, and Ann Bettam who married Joseph Athersmith at Stoke on Trent, on August 25th 1822.
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