Heraldic lionHeraldic lionThe surname history of


The surname of BEST was a nickname 'the beast', probably not in the complimentary sense. Derived from the Middle English BESTE, early records of the name mention Richard le Beste of the County of Cambridgeshire, England, in 1273. William Best of the County of Buckinghamshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Robert Best, sheriff of Norwich in 1495. Mathew Topham and Hannah Best were married at St.George's, Hanover Square, London in 1732. Families acquired a place name, as a surname, under three different sets of circumstances. Either the man lived or worked in, on, or near, some topographic formation or landscape feature (either natural or artificial). Or, he formerly lived in a village, town or city, and acquired the reputation of being from that place. Finally, he owned or was 'lord of the village' or manor, designated. In the overwhelming majority of cases, it is impossible to say whether a remote ancestor owned the manor or had merely once lived in that place. However, it is safe to say, that in most cases, a manor or village name merely identified the place where the original bearer of the name resided. When the coast of England, was invaded by William The Conqueror in the year 1066, the Normans brought with them a store of French personal names, which soon, more or less, entirely replaced the traditional more varied Old English personal names, at least among the upper and middle classes. A century or so later, given names of the principal saints of the Christian church began to be used. It is from these two types of given name that the majority of the English patronymic surnames are derived and used to this day. Best, was a common name in Worcestershire from the early 15th century. One family can be traced back to Edward Best (died 1628/9) a yeoman from Old Swinford, whose descendants included mailers and clothiers and, after the Industrial Revolution, a firm of Birmingham lamp-makers, founded by Robert Best (born in 1834). The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.

ARMS - Sable in chief two cross crosslets fitchee And in base a cinquefoil pierced argent

CREST - A demi ostrich argent issuing out of a mural Crown in the beak a cross crosslet fitchee

MOTTO - SOLA CRUCE - Salvation through the cross

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