Recorded as Bush, Bushe, Busk, Buske, Bish, Bishe and Byshe, this is a surname of English origins. It is not only one of the earliest of all recorded surnames in the Old World, it is also one of the very first in the "New", with John Bush, being recorded as living at "Elizabeth Cittie, Virginea" on February 16th 1623. The name origin is topgraphical and derives from the pre 7th century word "busc"; for a person who lived by a distinctive thicket, probably a defensive wall of briar and thorn trees which surrounded many farms and settlements. The early recordings include Roger atte Buske, also known as Roger del Bushe, in the Pipe Rolls of the county of Suffolk in 1305, and Roger Byssh, who may even have been the same person, in the Fines Court of Suffolk in 1309. Other early recordings from London Church Registers include Agnes Bush, who married William Harnson on June 26th 1568, at St. Dunstan's Stepney, and Anna Bishe at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on June 23rd 1617. On December 16th 1629, George Bush was christened at St. Giles' Cripplegate. He may have been a forebearer of the American Presidents, George Bush and his son George W Bush, who are of original New England stock, although apparently from Skipton in Yorkshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de la Busce. This was dated 1181, in the Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire, during the reign of King Henry 11nd, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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