This most interesting and unusual surname is of Scottish origin, and is locational from, according to one source, the old lands of Both in Angus, but it may also derive from either Boath, a hamlet near Alness, in the former Scottish county of Ross and Cromarty, or a seat adjacent to Auldearn, in the former county of Nairnshire. These placenames may be composed of the Old Scandinavian "both", the Olde Norse "buth", common element in placenames, which translates as "cow-house", or "herdsman's hut". 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 first recorded namebearer (see below) is said "to have acquired the lands of Bal-in-Bridget, now Panbride, along with the heiress in marriage, in reward for his services to David 11 at the battle of Dupplin in 1332". The earliest recording of the surname from London Church Registers is that of Martyn Both, who was christened on November 16th 1557. David Both is recorded in Cottoun of Gardin, Scotland in 1606, while John Boath married Alce Witherale on November 30th 1620, at St. Andrew by the Wardrobe, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugh de Boath, which was dated 1332, in "Bamff Charters, 1232 - 1703", Scotland, during the reign of King David 11 of Scotland, 1329 - 1371. 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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