This interesting and unusual surname, widely recorded in church registers of Herefordshire from the early 16th Century, is of locational origin from a lost settlement or hamlet originally believed to have been in the Bromyard or Bishops Frame area of that county. The prime cause of the "lost" village phenomenon was the enforced "clearing" and dispersal of the former inhabitants to make way for sheep pastures at the height of the wool trade in the 14th Century, along with natural causes such as the Black Death of 1348. It is estimated that between seven and ten thousand villages and hamlets have now disappeared from the maps in Britain. The component elements of this placename are the Old English pre 7th Century personal name Bosa from the Germanic "Bose", bold, daring, plus the Old English "wudu", a wood; hence, "Bosa's wood". On July 28th 1541, Margateta, daughter of Richardi Boswood, was christened in Bromyard, and on November 27th 1557 Margaretam Boswood(e) and Henricum Whopper were married in the same place. The christening of Elnor Boswood, an infant, took place in Bishops Frome on March 11th 1572. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Williamus Boswood, (christening), which was dated February 20th 1539, Bromyard, Herefordshire, during the reign of King Henry V111, "Bluff King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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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