This noble French surname was introduced into England by French Huguenot refugees, fleeing religious persecution in their own country from the late 16th Century onwards. The great French immigration into England and other countries occurred following the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes by King Louis X1V on October 22nd 1685, and the new settlers brought with them several crafts and skills including glass-making, woollen-weaving, cloth manufacture, and the making of steel implements, which served to reinforce or expand pre-existing industries. The surname itself is topographical in origin from residence in an area planted with wood, the root word being the Old French "bois", wood. On June 22nd 1614, Pierre, son of Pierre Boisseau and Anne Gaudin, was christened at St. Augustin, Angers, Maine-et-Loire, France, and on March 10th 1754, Philbert Boisseaus, an infant, was christened in Sapogne-et-Feucheres, Ardennes, France. In the modern idiom the name is also spelt: Boiseau, Bossu, Boizeau and Boissieux. A Coat of Arms granted to the Boissieux family is a blue shield charged with a golden eagle, beaked and membered black, and three silver roses emerging from a single stem. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Abraham Boisseau, which was dated September 2nd 1606, witness at the christening of his daughter, Marie, at the French Huguenot Church, Threadneedle Street, London, during the reign of King James 1 of England and V1 of Scotland, 1603 - 1625. 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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