This unusual surname is of Medieval English origin. It is probably a dialectal variant of the surname Bunting, derived from a nickname for a person with some fancied resemblance to the small bird so called. The bird's name is of unknown origin; it may possibly be a derivative of a Germanic element "bunz" meaning "short and thick", or "little barrel". The word is recorded early on as the first component of the name Buntingford, a place in Hertfordshire, which appears as "Buntingeford" in the 1185 Records of the Templars in England. The surname first appears in the late 13th Century, and has a number of variant forms ranging from Bunting, Banting, Buntin(e), Bunten and Bunton to Banton, Bantin, Buntain, Bontein, and Bontne, although it is also possible that some at least of these may also have locational origins. Early church records include Anne Banton who was christened at St Margarets church, Westminster, on July 1st 1606, Elizabeth Bantin, who married John Bartlett at Christ Church, Spitalfileds, London, on December 31st 1711, and the marriage of Sarah Banting to Michael Martindale on July 6th 1732 at Christ Church, Greyfriars, Newgate, London. The Coat of Arms associated with the name has the blazon of a silver field, a purple chevron between three blue buntings. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alice Buntyng, which was dated 1273 in the "Hundred Rolls of Suffolk", during the reign of King Edward 1st - The Hammer of the Scots, 1272-1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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