This intriguing name is of Old Norse origin, and derives from the Old Norse "bodi" meaning "messenger", and in a secondary sense, preacher. Thus, it follows that such names as "Truebody" and "Freebody" originally meant a "faithful messenger" and "ambassador of peace" respectively. The spelling, "Body" is found chiefly in North England, while the variant "Boddy" is more common in the West Country. In August 1635, Robert Boddy, aged 19 years, was listed among the passengers to set sail for America from the Port of London on the "Safety", captained by John Graunt. In Gloucester in 1589, one Ann Boddie married Robert Whitehead on the 3rd July, at Shipton Moyne; and the infant Nathaniel Body was christened on the 5th July, 1607 at the same location. In Yorkshire, Phillip Boddy married Ann Grounds on 29th January 1673 at St. Mary's Lowgate, Kingston upon Hull. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is a gold shield, with an eagle in full aspect red standing on a perch, issuing out of the sinister side, silver. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugh Body, witness, which was dated 1219, in the "Assize Rolls of Yorkshire", during the reign of King Henry III, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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