This rare and interesting surname is of Dutch origin, and is a topographical name for a "dweller by the small harbour or little boats". The derivation of the name is from the Dutch "bootje", little boat, and it is interesting to note that the English word "buoy" comes from the Middle Dutch "boeie, boeye", which may also contribute to the origin of the name. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages.In the modern idiom the surname can be found as Booi, Booij, Boij and Booy. Recordings of the surname from Dubbeldam Church Registers, Zuid Holland, include: the marriage of Jan Booy and Ariaantje Meyboom on August 5th 1691; the marriage of Joris Booy and Myntje van Bree on March 3rd 1717; and the marriage of Ariaantje Booy and Cleis Bravenboer on May 1st 1735. A Coat of Arms granted to the family in Holland depicts a black bird on a gold star, on a green shield, the Crest being a gold star. In Heraldry, black denotes Constancy, and sometimes, but more rarely, Grief, Gold was a symbol of Generosity and Elevation of Mind, and Green signifies Hope, Joy, and sometimes, Loyalty in Love. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Cornelis Boij, which was dated December 18th 1661, witness at the christening of his daughter, Maertje, at Benthuizen, Zuid Holland, during the reign of Leopold 1, Habsburg Emperor", 1658 - 1705. 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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