Recorded as Belt, Belte, Belts, Bilt and possibly others, this is an English surname. It is occupational and usually described a maker of leather belts and straps as in the very early recording of Arnold Belt in the tax rolls known as the Feet Of Fines for the county of Essex in the year 1203, and possibly that of Benedict le Beleter in Friary Rolls of Yorkshire in 1295. However it is with this second recording that we have some difficulty. In our opinion Beleter is actually a miss-spelling of Billiter, as in the earlier recording of William le Belytor in the register of the abbey of Oseney, Oxfordshire, in 1247. A billitier was primarily a caster of church bells, but more generally the name and occupation applied to a wide range of iron and bronze objects including buckles, pots and possibly pieces of armour. As such we believe that the surname spelling as Bilt may be from this source. However as spelling over the centuries was at best indifferent as shown with this name, it is very difficult to decide with absolute accuracy, the meaning of surnames created seven hundred or more years ago.
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