This ancient surname, recorded in over two hundred spelling forms, from Bart, Barta, Bartomieu, Berthelemey, Bettaney, Bettanay, Beaney, Bertome, and Bartos to Berthelemot and Bartholin, is first recorded in the 13rh century. It is of Ancient Arabic origins, and as a surname it was originally not Hebrew but Christian. It was 'brought' to Europe by crusaders and pilgrims returning from the Holy land. The given name dates back to the very beginings of history. It has the meaning of the "son of Talmay", with Talmay itself describing one who "had many furrows", a farmer or perhaps landowner. Jesus said of Bartholmew, the apostle, 'Behold an Israelite without guile'. The name was only used in Europe before the 12th century a.d. by the clergy or monks, and then quite rarely. An early recording was that of "Bartholomeus Canonicus" (Batholomew, the Canon), in the Danelaw Charters of London, England, in the year 1199. England was the first country in the world to adopt hereditary surnames as we know them today, and equally the first to record them. Early examples of these recordings include Nicholas Bertelmev of the county of Sussex in the year1296, and Walter Berthelmeu in the city of London in 1334. Wernus Bartholomei was recorded in Hamburg, Germany, in the year 1274, and Henry Bettaney, at St Mary Aldermary, city of London, on February 15th 1727. John Bate, one of the many short forms of the name, was recorded in the first muster of the inhabitants of Virgina colony, America,on February 7th 1624. The first recording of the family name is believed to be that of Robert Bartelmeu, which was dated 1273, in the rolls of the county of Huntingdonshire. This was during the reign of King Edward 1st of England, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Throughout the following centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop", often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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