This unusual name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from the place in Cheshire near Congleton, called 'Bosley'. The place name is first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Boselega', and in 1278 as 'Boseleg'. The name means 'Bosa's clearing or glade', deriving from the Old English pre 7th Century personal name 'Bosa', adopted from the Germanic given name 'Boso', derived from an element meaning 'audacious, daring', with 'leah', clearing, glade, thin wood. Locational surnames were usually given to the lord of the manor, and especially to those former inhabitants of a place who moved to another area, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. The christening of Betty Bosley was recorded in Maltby, Yorkshire, on October 14th 1748. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Bosley (marriage to Margareta Lysan), which was dated December 1st 1554, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London, during the reign of Queen Mary 1, 'Bloody Mary', 1553-1558. 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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