Recorded in many spellings including Botler, Bottler, Botiler (English), Boutellier, Bouteler (French), Botger, Bottger, Bottjer, Botterman, (Austrian, German and Dutch) and others, this is an occupational surname. It is pre medieval, and was one of the most important of all skills in ancient times describing a maker of (leather) bottles. The derivation is said to be from the pre 8th century French word bouteille, meaning bottle. Job descriptive surnames generally became hereditary when a son or possibly a grandson, followed the father into the same occupation. Early examples of the the surname recording in Germany include Sifridus Botterman of Hamburg in 1251, and in England William le Botilier and Hugo le Botyler who were recorded respectively in the Hundred Rolls of landowners of Nottinghamshire and Cambridgeshire in 1273. A quotation from the Miracle Plays in about 1440 and appertaining to the city of York reads, "The pouchemakers, botellers, and capmakers acted together in the York Plays", suggesting that all worked leather in their trades. Other recordings include Andreas Bottjer, a clockmaker of Heiligenstadt who was recorded in 1520, whilst in 1575, Henry Botler was entered in the Marriage Register of St. Thomas the Apostle, London. 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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