This interesting and unusual name, with variant spellings Boutet, Boute, Bouete, Bowet(te), etc., is either a diminutive form of the old French "boeuf", a bull, originally given as a nickname to a powerfully built man, or a metonymic occupational name for a fisherman. The derivation in the second case is from the French "bouette", or "Boetle", bait attached to a hook for sea fishing. Recordings from Cambridgeshire church registers include the christening of Elizabeth, daughter of William Boute, in Bourn on January 20th 1597. 18th Century recordings from London church registers indicate that the name was re-introduced by French Huguenot refugees fleeing religious persecutions in their own country. On August 5th 1716 Pierre Boutet, an infant, was christened in the Artillery French Huguenot, Spitalfields, and on November 10th 1734 Jaque Bouete was christened in La Patente French Huguenot. The christening of Analise Amer, son of Florentin Bouette, took place in St. Giles Cripplegate, London on January 8th 1845. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Anthony Bowet, (christening), which was dated January 6th 1557, St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, during the reign of Queen Mary, "Bloody Mary", 1553 - 1558. 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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