From the name of a biblical town, possibly derived from Hebrew בֵּית־תְּאֵנָה (beit-te'enah)
meaning "house of figs". In the New Testament
the town of Bethany was the home of Lazarus and his sisters Mary and Martha. It has been in use as a rare given name in the English-speaking world since the 19th century, used primarily by Catholics in honour of Mary of Bethany. In America it became moderately common after the 1950s.