Recorded as Boshier, Boucher, Bouchier, Bucher, Boutcher, Bouker, and Bowker, this is a surname of early French origins. It is occupational for a butcher or slaughterer, an important occupation in medieval Europe. The derivation is from the Old French word of the pre 10th century "bouchier" and the Middle English development "boucher". Introduced into England by the Normans after the 1066 Conquest, the following recordings illustrate the surname development: Richard le Bucher of Essex in the year 1240, William Bochier of Sussex in 1327, Thomas le Bouker in the Subsidy Rolls of Lancashire in 1332. Richard Boutcher (1583 - 1665) was the town clerk of Stamford, Lincolnshire in 1646, whilst in the Baptismal Register of St Michaels Parish, Barbados is the recording on December 1st 1678 of the baptism of Richard Boucher, the son of John and Mary Boucher. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ailwardus le Bochere which was dated 1184, in the Pipe Rolls of London, during the reign of King Henry 11 of England, 1154 - 1189. 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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