There are several potential origins for this name, but the most likely is from the French "bel or Bev" meaning beautiful, a semi-baptisimal nickname. However it is also possible that some name holders will derive from the French town of Bayeux, and this is particularly so with the "plural" variants of the name Bews and Bewes, as the original recording was John de Baiocis, The Court of Fines, Lincoln in 1212, and the later William Baives, 1235 - Berkshire. There is also a claim that the name derives from the Welsh-Cornish Ap Hugh - son of Hugh to Bew, as Ap Evan is to Bevan, but this is a 16th Century variant. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert le Bev. which was dated 1242 - The Pipe Rolls of Somerset. during the reign of King Henry III, The Frenchman 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.