This most interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is an occupational name for a cowman or herdsman, or someone who worked in a cowhouse, from the Olde English pre 7th Century elements "bothe", a cowhouse, herdsman's hut, and "man", a man, worker. The initial element "bothe" also gives us the surname Booth or Boothe, which is today popular and widespread in the North of England. Job descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. The surname itself first appears in records in the late 13th Century (see below), while other early recordings of the name include Nicholas le Bouthman, mentioned in the Assize Court Rolls of Cheshire in 1287, and one Henry Bootheman, who was recorded in the Calendar of Pleadings, during the time of Elizabeth 1 (1558 - 1603). Gilbert Bothe was listed in 1274, in the Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield (Yorkshire). One John Boothman was a landowner in the parish of St. Andrew's, in the Barbadoes, according to parish registers of June 1680. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Bothman, which was dated 1279, in the "Hundred Rolls of Huntingdonshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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