The Beautements - Origins and History
Before my father, Alan Beautement, died in 1970 he had started to collect information about the history and origins of the Beautement family. Sadly, much of what he collected was lost. However, since 1994 - when the original Beautement website (called TBT, now closed) had its first origins, I have been trying to pick up where he left off. To my amazement the web site brought us in contact with long-lost relatives in Australia, Canada, France, South Africa and the USA - and I had always thought my British relatives were the only Beautements around!
The original website attempted to bring together all the Beautement information that had been provided - but we kept on finding new material. If you can help by telling us more - please email with any information you have. Thank you.
In time, there will be more about our ancestors on this site - covering what they did and how they lived their lives, and including photographs and anecdotes.
The Family History
We know little about our origins. We originally thought that the family came to England as Huguenot refugees. We now think (June 2007) that the French Normans married into a Huguenot family in the early 1700s for religious reasons.
The Beautement spelling was first used in England in the Domesday Book (other derivations, such as: Bootman, Butement, Beautyman, make it difficult to determine the exact line of ancestry) - source: "The Origins of English Surnames" P H Reaney. We probably came from the town of Bouttemont (see Chateau Boutemont, near Ouilly-le-Vicomte) in the Calvados Departement of Normandie, France. Maybe Chateaux Boutemont, which we have visited, north of Lisieux in France, might once have been our home. Who knows?
The Family Tree
Following a visit to Hull in June 2003 with our Australian relatives, we have produced an improved version of the 'family tree' as we know it to date. If you would like a copy, please email me with your request - please provide your full name and your research interest - as the Family does not wish the Tree to be made widely available. Thank you.
A key person in the family’s history was Alderman John Beautement who lived in Kingston-upon-Hull, England. He was born in 1834 and married Mary Anne Bielby in 1861 at Lund Forest in Yorkshire. They had one daughter and four sons who all grew up and raised families in the Hull area. In 1865 he became a Freeman of the city of Kingston-upon-Hull. In 1872 his first wife sadly died and in 1874 he married Annie Ursulah Jackson. They had a five boys (one died as an infant) and one girl. By 1898 he was a Councillor, a founder of the Conservative Salisbury Club and then an Alderman (this photograph of him is from about the 1910s). He died in 1915.
From his second family, his son Harold Beautement gained an OBE and emigrated to Australia on HMS Ballarat in 1924. This wing of the family has grown and Harold’s direct descendants (of his marriage to Marion Bryden in 1909) now number over fourteen people. To this day, many of the Beautement sons have the first name of John - which is at least a simple first name to have (as a counter to our unusual surname, pronounced ‘bew-tem-ent’).
In 1840, John Beautement (born in 1770 and who had joined the British Navy under the name ‘Thomas Beautyman’), was awarded a Medal with Pension for two actions against the Spanish fleet off Cadiz - one of them the Battle of St Vincent in 1797. He was a shipwright on the 32-gun frigate the Terpsichore, shown below in action.
Hereditary Freemanship of the City of Kingston-upon-Hull, UK
The family acquired an Hereditary Freemanship of the City of Kingston-upon-Hull in 1835 when William Beautement (son of the John Beautement mentioned above) became a master shipwright in the shipyards of Samuel Standidge Walton in Hull, England - a skill which seems to have passed down the generations.
Many family members have taken up the Freemanship Right to this day. There is more about the Freemen of Hull here.
Beautements tend to be good at arts, crafts and practical skills (such as textiles, printing and boat-building) which has shown itself more recently as an interest in technology and an aptitude for attention to detail. Both Alan Beautement and William Alan Stewart Butement (in the 1940s and 50s) worked on radar and electronics engineering, for example.
Alan Beautement was in the Royal Air Force (RAF) and worked on wireless and radio installations with the Czech and Polish Free Air Forces during World War II. Then, in the 1960s, he worked on small boat radar and on Top Secret ELF technology (extremely low frequency communications, such as for Project Sanguine) at EMI Feltham, UK.
He was a radio amateur, with the call sign G2CNX, and a member of the UK’s RAEN - RAYNET (Radio Amateur Emergency Network) till his early death in 1970. The photograph below shows him with his radio equipment in his ‘shack’ at Welwick (near Spurn Point on the river Humber) in the early 1950s. His log book still exists, as do his ‘QSL Cards’ which provide a fascinating insight into the places across the planet which could be reached by his amateur radio equipment.
[As at 31 Jul 2023]