Recorded in many forms as shown below, this is an English surname. It has undergone many changes in its long career and is locational and almost certainly from the village now called Biddlestone in Northumberland. This village is recorded as Bitnesden in 1181, and in 1265 as 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" meaning a dwelling place and "denu", 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 Bel), and then Betelson and hence by dialectal transposition to the known forms of Baggleston, Biddlestone, Biddleston, Bigleston, Bigglestone, Bottleson, Bittleson, Battleson, and Bettleson. An early recording is that of Jane Bettlestone who married Elles Sarire at St. Botolphs without Bishopgate in the city of London on October 20th 1575, whilst Mary Biddlestone married Cirus Manderston at St. Dunstans, Stepney on January 8th 1633, and Triffenay Biglelstone who John Mue at St James Clerkenwell on July 20th 1669 during the reign of King Charles 11nd (1660 - 1685). Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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