This interesting name is of Norman French origin. It was introduced into England after the famous Conquest of 1066, and has a number of possible origins. It may be a locational surname from Les Bottereaux in Eure, Normandy, thought to be so called from "bottereau", meaning toad, and hence a place infested with toads. The placename is recorded in the late 12th Century in the Latin form of Boterelli. The place now called Boscastle in Cornwall was originally recorded as Boterelescastel in 1302, when it was held by William de Botereus, whose family took their name from Les Bottereaux. Secondly, the surname may have been developed from a Norman French nickname for one who was thought to resemble a toad in some way, perhaps from having pockmarked skin, from the Old French "boterel". The place in Shropshire called Aston Botterell was held by William Boterell in 1203 (recorded in the Curia Rolls of that year), whose surname is derived from the nickname. Finally, the surname may derive from a diminutive form of Buttery, an occupational name for a keeper of provisions, from the Old French "boterie", meaning a cask or bottle. Examples from surviving church registers include John Botterell, a christening witness on December 15th 1589, at Hillmorton, Warwickshire. An early coat of arms has the blazon of a silver shield charged with a black lion rampant. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hamo Boterel. This was dated 1155, in documents relating to the Danelaw in Lincolnshire, during the reign of King Henry 11nd, 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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