This most interesting surname has two possible sources. Firstly, it may be of Old French origin, deriving from the Old French "bote" (Middle English "bote"), boot, plus the suffix "-s", hence it was an occupational name for a maker of boots. The name may also be of locational origin from a place called Boot, near Ravenglass in Cumbria, named with the Olde English pre 7th Century element "butt", a tree stump. The final "s", which when attached to a placename, means "of that place". The surname itself appears on record in the late 12th Century (see below), while other early examples include: Adam de Botte, in the 1273 Hundred Rolls of Norfolk; William Bote, in the Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire, dated 1279; and Adam Boot, in "A Descriptive Catalogue of Ancient Deeds" (Kent, 1345). Arnold Boot (1600 - 1653) was a noted herbalist and was physician-general of English forces in Ireland. Anthonye, son of James Boots, was christened on May 18th 1606, at St. Botolph without Aldgate, London, and on December 6th 1701, Thomas Boots, an infant, was christened in Hartshead, Yorkshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugh Bote, which was dated 1186, in the "Pipe Rolls of Warwickshire", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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