This interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from a place, north west of Rothbury in Northumberland, called Biddlestone, or from Biddlesden, north east of Brackley, in Buckinghamshire. The former place, recorded variously as "Bitnesden" in the "Newminster Chartulary", dated 1181, as "Bidlisden" in the 1242 Feet of Fines, and as "Bitellisden" in the 1265 Pipe Rolls of Northumberland, is so called from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Bitel", with the Olde English "denu", a valley.The latter place, appearing as "Betesdene" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Bitlesdena" circa 1150 in early manuscripts of Buckinghamshire, is believed to have as its initial element the Olde English bythle, a side-form of "gebytle", dwelling, with "denu" (as above). Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. On November 7th 1585 Roger Bitlestonn and Isabella Watsonn, were married in Morpeth, Northumberland, and on July 1st 1679 Mary, daughter of Joseph Bittlestone, was christened in Haydon Bridge, Northumberland. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Bitlesden, which was dated 1220, in the "Curia Regis Rolls of Berkshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, "The Frenchman", 1216-1272. 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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