Recorded as Button, Botton, Bootton, Bottoner and Butner, this is an English surname. It is ultimately of Old French origin, and was introduced into England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. It is a metonymic occupational name derived from the words bouton and botonier, and it describes a maker of buttons. Job descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and only later became hereditary when a son followed the father or sometimes the mother, into the same business or profession. The surname was first recorded in the late 13th century and early recordings include: Reginald Botoner in the Hundred Rolls of the city of London in 1273, Ambrose Button of Wiltshire, listed in the register of students of the University of Oxford for the year 1568, whilst Thomas Button was an early namebearer who appeared on a list of those living in Virginia in February 1623, as a resident of "the plantation over against James City". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Boton. This was dated 1272, in the "Hundred Rolls" of the county of Sussex. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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