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English (of Norman origin) and French: habitational name from any of the five places in Normandy or several others elsewhere in France so named. The place name comes from Old French beu, bel ‘fair’, ‘lovely’ + mont ‘hill’. There are also places in England so named under Norman influence (in Cumberland, Lancashire, and Essex, the last of which changed its name in the 12th century from Fulepet ‘foul pit’ to Bealmont ‘beautiful hill’); these may also have given rise to cases of the surname. The surname is now widespread throughout England, but most common in Yorkshire.