This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and has two possible sources, the first being an occupational name for someone concerned with books, generally as a scribe or binder, derived from the Middle English (1200 - 1500) "boker", from the Old English pre 7th Century "bocere", a derivative of "boc", book. The second source is also occupational, in this case, for a bleacher of cloth, derived from the Middle English "bouken", to bleach, steep in lye, from the Middle Low German and Middle Dutch "buken". The surname development since 1246 (see below) includes: William le Buker (1246, Lancashire), William le Bocer (1255, Shropshire), John Boker (1275, Norfolk) and Elias le Boukere (1296, Sussex). Among the recordings in London are the christening of John, son of Rowland Booker, on July 27th 1572 at St. Giles, Cripplegate, and the marriage of Bartholomew Booker and Elisabeth Painter on May 1st 1622 at St. Benet Fink. The marriage was also recorded in London of Daniell Booker and Mary Fern on December 11th 1655 at St. Margaret's, Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert le Bukere, which was dated 1229, The Assize Rolls of Lancashire, during the reign of King Henry 111, "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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