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BEST Family History

This most interesting English surname, is recorded in the spellings of Best, Beste, Bester, and Bestar. It is usually job descriptive and derives from the pre 7th century 'beste' - meaning a 'beast', and hence refers to a cow-herd or cattle dealer. Sometimes, in the robust fashion of the Middle Ages, it was a nickname for a 'brutal person', and as such probably applied to Wilkin le Best, in the 1260 Assize Rolls of Cheshire. Whatever its original meaning, the surname holders have been prominent in British History. The name is recorded eight times in the National Biography, and it was Captain Thomas Best (1570-1638) who, in the year 1612, broke the power of Portugal in the East...

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