This French surname of BEQUETTE was a Norman habitation name from any of the various places in northern France, for example BEC HELLOUIN in Eure. The earliest French hereditary surnames are found in the 12th century, at more or less the same time as they arose in England, but they are by no means common before the 13th century, and it was not until the 15th century that they stabilized to any great extent; before then a surname might be handed down for two or three generations, but then abandoned in favour of another. In the south, many French surnames have come in from Italy over the centuries, and in Northern France, Germanic influence can often be detected. Surnames derived from placenames are divided into two broad categories; topographic names and habitation names. Topographic names are derived from general descriptive references to someone who lived near a physical feature such as an oak tree, a hill, a stream or a church. Habitation names are derived from pre-existing names denoting towns, villages and farmsteads. Other classes of local names include those derived from the names of rivers, individual houses with signs on them, regions and whole countries. The name was also an occupational name for a maker or seller of a mattock or pickaxe. The name was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066, and early records of the name mention Richerus del Bek, 1273 County Lincolnshire. William Becke was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). Ricardus del Bek of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Joseph Beck married Catherine Andrews at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1759.
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