This unusual and interesting surname, found recorded mainly in Scotland, is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is locational from Batchem, near Pluscardyn, Moray, in Scotland, of uncertain etymology. The placename may be derived from the Middle English (1200 - 1500) "bache" (similar to the Middle High German "bach"), a stream, itself from the Olde English pre 7th Century "baece, bece" (the Old High German "bah"). This element is used in many placenames, both as a first element and a second element, throughout England and Scotland, including, Bathcott in Shropshire, Beachampton in Berkshire, and Colebatch in Shropshire. Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. The modern surname can be found as Batchan, Batchen, Botchen, Batchion and Batchin. Recorded in the Scottish Church Registers are the marriage of Alexander Batchan and Isabel Allen, on February 28th 1812 at Forres, Moray, and the christening of William, son of William Batchan and Elizabeth Taylor, on December 7th 1840, at Boharm, also in Moray. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jonet Botchen, which was dated 1688, in the "Register of Marriages for the Parish of Edinburgh", during the reign of King James 11, known as "The Last Catholic King", 1685 - 1688. 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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