This very interesting surname has undergone many changes in its long career. Certainly it has nothing to do with either beetles or stones! It is locational and almost certainly from the village now called Biddlestone in Northumberland but in the 1181 Court Rolls the spelling is Bitnesden, and in 1265, Bitellisden. the village of Biddlesden in Hertfordshire has a similar pedigree, but is not thought to be the origin of the surname. The village names mean the same and derive from the Olde English pre 6th century "Byple" (a dwelling place) and "den(u)" - a valley. However the surname is barely recorded at all in either county, and therefore the possibility exists that the modern spelling form may derive from the early medieval (Norman) nickname "Bet", the short form of "Beatrice", which developed into "Betel" (Little Ber), and then "Betelson" and hence by dialectal transposition to the known forms of Bottleson, Bittleson, Battleson, Bettleson etc. An early possible "link" is Jane Bettlestone who married Elles Sarire (Sawyer?) at St. Botolphs, London on October 20th 1538. In the midlands recordings commence with John Bettlestone at St. Philips, Birmingham on September 24th 1795. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Mary Biddlestone which was dated January 8th 1633, married Cirus Manderston at St. Dunstans, Stepney. during the reign of King Charles 1, known as "The Martr", 1625 - 1649". 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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