When William Best was born on 23 December 1849, in Malta, Morgan, Ohio, United States, his father, Emanual Best, was 38 and his mother, Rosanna Pennell, was 26. He married Caroline Towns on 26 March 1874. They were the parents of at least 2 daughters. He lived in Webster, Vernon, Wisconsin, United States for about 10 years and Wisconsin, United States in 1870. He died on 29 October 1921, in Viroqua, Vernon, Wisconsin, United States, at the age of 71.
English and northern Irish: nickname from Middle English best(e) (Old English betst) ‘best, finest (person)’.
English, northern Irish, and French: nickname from Middle English best(e), Old French beste ‘beast, animal’ (especially those used for food or work), applied either as a metonymic occupational name for someone who looked after beasts, such as a herdsman, or as a nickname for someone thought to resemble an animal. Compare English Bester 1.
English: from a Middle English adverbial expression of the Best, but the meaning is unknown.