It would not be too difficult to write a whole book on the travels and possibly travails, of this interesting surname. However to take the easy part, it is locational and derives from the village of Bodicote in Oxford. The name has nothing to do with bodies! It does however have something to do with money lenders or bankers, the original Mr Boda, after whom the village was named is recorded in Domesday Book (1086) as a "moneyer." The word "cott" is Olde English pre 10th century, and describes a very large house or even a hamlet, not a simple cottage. It would seem that around the middle of the 16th century, there was a substantial upheaval, the surname appearing in relatively large numbers in London. This would suggest that the village was cleared under the Enclosure Acts. The residents then left taking as their surname, the name of the village, and as few could spell, at the same time creating a wide range of variant forms such as Bodycoate, Bodicott, Beddicot, Badicot etc. Examples include Richard Bodycoat who married Joan Thomson at St Andrews by the Wardrobe, London on June 16th 1562, and Mary Bodycote who married William Willmot at St James Church, Dukes Place, London, on April 22nd 1691. The first church recording in Oxfordshire is that of Joan Boddicott, at Bicester on July 1st 1541. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Bodicot, which was dated 1273, in the Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire, during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The hammer of the Scots" 1272 - 1307 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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