This unusual and interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and may be either a topographical or a locational surname. As the former, the name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "bothl, botl", dwelling house, hall, palace, and was used to denote someone who lived or worked at a particular large house. The first recording of the surname, below, is from this source. 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.As a locational surname, Bodill and its variant forms Boodle, Buddle, Bodle, Bodell and Boydell derive from any of the places in England named with the Olde English "bothl", botl", such as Buddle in Hampshire, Buddle in Somerset, Bodle (Street) in Sussex, Bootle in Lancashire and Cumberland, or Budle in Northumberland. Bootle in Cumberland is "Bodele" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and Budle is recorded as "Bodle" in the Northumberland Pipe Rolls of 1197. Locational surnames were used particularly as a means of identification by those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Examples of the surname from Church Registers include: the marriage of Thomas Bodill and Elizabeth Barfoot, on June 8th 1563, at Fillongley, Warwickshire, and the christening of William, son of Robert Bodill, at Heckfield in Hampshire, on May 12th 1612. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John atte Bothele, which was dated 1327, in "Middle English Local Surnames", Somerset, during the reign of King Edward 11, known as "Edward of Caernafon", 1307 - 1327. 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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