Recorded as Boslie, Bosley and Boseley, this is an English surname. It is locational and originates from a place called Bosley in the county of Cheshire near the town of Congleton. The place name is first recorded in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Boselega', and in 1278 as 'Boseleg'. The name means 'Bosa's farm', from the Old English pre 7th Century personal name 'Bosa', meaning audacious or daring, with 'leah', a fenced clearing in a wood. Locational surnames were usually given to the lord of the manor, or to former inhabitants who moved to another area, and thereafter were most easily identified by the name of their birthplace. Early examples of the surname recording taken from surviving church registers include that of Roger Boseley who married Margareta Lysan at the church of St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on December 1st 1555, during the reign of Queen Mary 1st of England (1554 - 1558), and the christening of Betty Bosley at Maltby in Yorkshire, on October 14th 1748. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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