This interesting surname is of early medieval English origin, and is a metronymic form of the female given name "Beton", from a diminutive of "Bete", a pet-form of "Beatrice". The name was originally "Viatrix", Traveller, a feminine form of "viator", from "via", way; the name was adopted by early Christians in reference to the journey through life, and Christ's description of Himself as "the way, the life, and the truth"; it was later altered as a result of folk etymological association with the Latin "beatus", blessed. This is one of a handful of surnames surviving which were derived from the name of the first bearer's mother. This is because European society has been almost invariably patriarchal throughout history, and as a result the given name of the male head of the household has been handed on as a distinguishing name to successive generations. Adam le fit (son of) Betun is noted in the 1285 Feet of fines of Essex, and Roger Betissone is listed in the 1327 Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk. In the modern idiom the surname can be found as Bettinson, Bettenson, Bettison and Betteston. On January 25th 1586, Anna Bettinson married Richardus Warde at Allerton Mauleverer, Yorkshire, and Robertus Bettinson married Anna Foster at the same place, on October 3rd 1587. The Coat of Arms most associated with the family is a silver shield with a red fesse, in chief a black lion passant guardant, all within an ermine bordure engrailed, the Crest being a black lion's head, collared silver. The Motto. "Qui sera sera", translates as, "What will be, will be". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Betonessone, which was dated 1316, in the "Feet of Fines of Essex", during the reign of King Edward 11, known as "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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