This interesting surname of French origin is a topographical name for someone who lived in an area of scrub land or by a prominent clump of bushes. The derivation is from the old French "buisson" meaning bush or scrub. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle-Ages. The surname is first recorded in the early half of the 16th Century (see below). In the modern idiom, the surname has many variant spellings including Beeson, Besson, Buisson, Boisson, Beston, etc.. The marriage of William Beston and Elizabeth Milborne took place at St. Antholin, London on January 14th 1541 and Marguerite, daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth Bisson was christened at the French Huguenot Church, Threadneedle Street, London on November 18th 1711. A Coat of Arms granted to the Bisson family depicts a holly-bush proper on a green curved base, and eight gold pierced, six pointed stars, on a black border, all on a gold shield. On the crest is a blackbird proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Byston, (witness at a christening), which was dated April 2nd 1540, St. Nicholas Cole Abbey, London, during the reign of King Henry V111, "Good King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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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