Recorded in over two hundred spelling forms including Bart, Bartomieu, Bertome, Berthelemot, Bartholin, and the nickname or slang forms such as Meo (Spanish) Meus, Meuse (German), Tolomei (Italian) and many others, this is a Crusader surname. It originates from the male given name "Bartholomew", itself deriving from the Aramaic patronymic "bar-Talmay", meaning "son of the farmer from Talmay meaning "having many furrows", and therefore someone who was rich in the sense of owning land. The Apostle Bartholomew, of whom Jesus said, "Behold an Israelite without guile", was believed to have been a landowner. The name was only used before the 12th century a.d. by the clergy or monks, an early recording being that of "Bartholomeus Canonicus" Danelaw charters of London, England, in the year 1199. England was the first country in the world to adopt hereditary surnames as we know them today, and was also the first country to accurately record peoples names. Early examples of these recordings include Nicholas Bertelmev of the county of Sussex in the year1296, and Walter Berthelmeu in the city of London in 1334. Wernus Bartholomei was recorded in Hamburg, Germany, in the year 1274, whilst John Bate, one of the many short forms of the name, was recorded in the first muster of the inhabitants of Virgina colony, America,on February 7th 1624. Throughout the following centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop", often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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