Armorial of the Bettencourt family.
|Current region||Azores, Brazil, Canary Islands, France, Madeira|
|Place of origin||Normandy|
Madre de Deus Manor
|Name origin and meaning||Toponymic name meaning Betten's Estate|
Bettencourt is a surname and noble family of Norman origin. The head of the family in the 14th century, Jean de Béthencourt, organized an expedition to conquer the Canary Islands, resulting in his being made King of the Canary Islands. Though the royal title would be short-lived, it allowed the family to firmly establish itself afterwards in the Azores and Madeira islands. The family is one of the most expansive and established families of the Portuguese nobility.
Variants of the name
Though the spelling Bettencourt is the most widely used and standardized spelling of the family, both in Portuguese and French, other spellings of the name have arisen, mainly in Spanish. Some of these spellings include: Bettencour, Bethancourt/Betancourt, Béthencourt, Bitencourt/Bittencourt, Betancur, Betancurt, Betancurth, Betancor, Bitancurt, Betancurt, and Betencur
Bettencourt and Béthencourt are originally place-names in Northern France. The place-name element -court (courtyard, courtyard of a farm, farm) is typical of the French provinces, where the Frankish settlements formed an important part of the local population. It translated the Old Low Franconian word *hof "courtyard", "courtyard of a farm", "farm" (Dutch, Old English hof, German Hof)
The surname Bettencourt/Béthencourt with various spellings extended throughout Spain, Portugal and their colonies, after the Norman-French explorer Jean de Béthencourt, who conquered the Canary Islands for Spain and received the title King of the Canary Islands.
To this day, Betancourt and other forms of his surname are quite frequent among Canary Islanders and people of Canary Islander descent, in spite of his death without issue, thanks to his nephew Maciot de Béthencourt who succeeded him as king of the islands.
Examples include former Colombian president Belisario Betancur, former Venezuelan president Rómulo Betancourt, and Hermano Pedro de San José de Betancurt, a saint of the Roman Catholic Church. Other modern notables in recent news are Venezuelan baseball player Rafael Betancourt, Azorean (Portuguese)-born American musician Nuno Bettencourt, and Colombian-French activist/politician Ingrid Betancourt.
- Liliane Bettencourt – French businesswoman, majority shareholder of L'Oréal, currently richest woman in history
- André Bettencourt – French politician, served as Foreign Minister under President Georges Pompidou
- Tiago Bettencourt – Portuguese singer and songwriter
- João de Bettencourt de Vasconcelos - Portuguese nobleman and governor
- Diogo de Barcelos Machado Bettencourt - Portuguese magistrate and politician
- Nuno Bettencourt – Portuguese-American guitarist and songwriter
- Paul Bettencourt – American politician, currently Texas Senator from the 7th district
- Agustín de Betancourt (1758–1825) – prominent Spanish structural engineer, educator, and urban planner
- Alfredo Betancourt (1914–2013), Salvadoran writer
- Antonio Esparragoza Betancourt, Venezuelan boxer
- Carlos Betancourt – American artist
- Carmelo Betancourt (born 1993), Puerto Rican basketball player
- Christian Rogelio Benítez Betancourt – Ecuadorian footballer.
- Danny Betancourt – Cuban baseball player
- Francisco Demetrio Sánchez Betancourt – Venezuelan swimmer.
- Gabriel Betancourt – Colombian politician and father of Íngrid Betancourt
- Íngrid Betancourt – French-Colombian politician
- Jeanne Betancourt – American author
- John Gregory Betancourt – science fiction writer
- Jorge Betancourt – Cuban diver
- Justo Betancourt – Cuban singer
- Kim Betancourt – American publisher
- Lázaro Betancourt – Cuban triple jumper
- Manuel Arteaga y Betancourt – Archbishop of Havana
- María Cristina Betancourt – Cuban discus thrower
- Michael Betancourt – critical theorist, art and film historian, and animator
- Mick Betancourt – writer
- Miguel Betancourt – Ecuadorian artist
- Nelson Betancourt – West Indian cricketer.
- Peter of Saint Joseph Betancur, Spanish saint and missionary.
- Philip Betancourt – American Archaeologist
- Porfirio Armando Betancourt – Honduran soccer player
- Rafael Betancourt – Major League Baseball pitcher for the Colorado Rockies
- Rómulo Betancourt – President of Venezuela (1945–1948 and 1959–1964)
- Yuniesky Betancourt – Cuban professional baseball player
- Christian Bethancourt - Panamanian athlete
- Joe Bethancourt – American musician
- Mat Bethancourt – American musician
- Amaro Soares Bittencourt, Brazilian Major General, diplomat, military and civil engineer, and the first recipient of the United States Legion of Merit (October 1942)
- Danny Bittencourt Morais (born 1985), Brazilian central defender
- Franklin Bittencourt (born 1969), Brazilian football coach and a former player
- Jacob Pick Bittencourt – Brazilian composer and musician
- Leonardo Bittencourt (born 1993), German football player
- Márcio Bittencourt (born 1964), retired Brazilian professional footballer
- Rafael Bittencourt (born 1971), Brazilian guitarist, composer and co-founder of the band Angra
- Rafael de Andrade Bittencourt Pinheiro (born 1982), Brazilian goalkeeper
- Rodrigo Oliveira de Bittencourt (born 1983), Brazilian defensive midfielder
- Simone Bittencourt de Oliveira, Brazilian singer and a major performer of MPB
- Betancourt v. Trinitas – U.S. medical ethics case
- Betancuria, municipality in the Canary Islands, Spain.
- Bettencourt-Rivière, a French commune located in the Somme department.
- Bettencourt-Saint-Ouen, a French commune located in the Somme department.
- Maurits Gysseling, Toponymisch Woordenboek van België, Nederland, Luxemburg, Noord-Frankrijk en West-Duitsland (vóór 1226), 1960, p. 135 (Dutch, French and German) 
- Gysseling 135
- Albert Dauzat et Charles Rostaing, Dictionnaire étymologique des noms de lieu en France, Librairie Guénégaud, 1979, Paris, ISBN 2-85023-076-6, p. 78b – 79a.
|This page lists people with the surname Bettencourt. If an internal link intending to refer to a specific person led you to this page, you may wish to change that link by adding the person's given name(s) to the link.|