This unusual name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and has three possible interpretations, from the same derivation, the Olde English pre 7th Century "bur", bower, cottage, chamber, inner room. Firstly, it may be a topographical surname for someone who lived in a small cottage, and secondly an occupational name for a house- or chamber-servant. Finally, it may be a locational surname deriving from Bower (East and West) in Somerset, or from Bowers (Gifford) in Essex. The settlement in Somerset was first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Bur, Bure", and that in Essex as "Bura" in the Domesday book, and as "Bures" in the Essex Curia Rolls of 1203; these places are both named with the Olde English "bur", cottage. The modern surname has a number of forms, ranging from Bower(s), Bour and Bow(e)rer to Bo(o)rer, Boarer, Burra and Bowra. Early examples of the name include: Alice Burrer (1279, Cambridgeshire); Henry del Boure (1287, Cheshire); William le Bourere (1332, Surrey); and John Bowrer (1498, ibid.). In London, the christening of Mary, daughter of Christian Boorer, was recorded at St. Katherine by the Tower, on March 14th 1591. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugo le Burer, which was dated 1218, witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Lincolnshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, 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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