This unusual name is of early Medieval English origin, and is a metonymic occupational surname, used in the first instance of someone employed as a maker or as a seller of boots and other footwear. The name derives from the Old French and later Middle English word 'bote', boot, introduced into England by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066. The modern surname can be found as Boot, Boote, and the patronymic variants Boots and Bootes, meaning 'son of Boot', i.e., the boot-maker. The county of Nottinghamshire is particularly associated with the surname 'Boot' and its variants, the most famous bearer of the name being perhaps Jesse Boot (1850-1931), founder of the chain of chemists' shops. The marriage of Elizabeth Bootes and Charles Mollett was recorded on February 25th 1593 at St. Helen's, Bishopsgate, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugh Bote, which was dated 1186, The Warwickshire Pipe Rolls, during the reign of King Henry 11, '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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