Recorded as Bastock, Bistick, Bostock, Bostick, and probably others, this is an English surname. However spelt it is locational from the village of Bostock in the county of Cheshire. First recorded as "Botestoch" in the famous Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Bostoc" in the pipe rolls of 1260, the placename derives from the Olde English pre 7th century personal name "Bota", originally, perhaps a nickname from the word bot meaning a butt or cask, with the second element of "stocc". This has various meanings such as simply a place, or a council meeting place, a look out post, or even a holy place. Locational surnames are usually 'from' names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original homes. Spelling being at best indifferent and local accents very thick, lead to the development of alternative spellings. In this case early recordings include those of David de Bostok, in Earwaker's "History of Cheshire" in 1428, as was Philip Bostocke of Bostocke, gentleman, in 1634. Many bearers of the name claim descent from a certain Sir Gilbert of Bostock, who lived in the 12th Century. His great grandson fought at the Battle of Evesham in 1265. 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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