The Beaton name in Scotland has two completely unrelated origins which often leads to confusion when discussing the ancestry of the clan.
Firstly, the Beatons can be linked to the Beaton medical kindred, a kindred of professional Scottish physicians that practised medicine in the classical Gaelic tradition. It is believed that the kindred moved to Scotland from Ireland around the year 1300 and would go on to be prominent in the Highlands and Islands, especially the island of Islay. They would also be employed by every Scottish monarch from Robert the Bruce in the early 14th century until Charles I who died in 1649. The last scholar of the Beaton medical kindred would die in 1714 and afterwards, the family would cease to produce physicians.
Another Branch of the Beaton clan also shares a common ancestry with the larger, more well known, Betune clan. Both names can trace their origins back to France and the city of Béthune in the North of the country and would settle in the areas of Fife and Angus in the east of Scotland in the 13th century.