Recorded as Boar, Bore, Bour, Bower, and possibly others, this surname is English. It has a number of origins. The first of these is topographical from residence in a small cottage. This deribation is from the Olde English pre 7th century word "bur", meaning a bower, cottage, or inner room. Natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages, and consequently gave rise to many surnames. The addition of "-er" to topographical terms was particularly widespread in the counties of Sussex, Surrey, Kent and Essex at the beginning of the 14th Century. In these cases the origin is not occupational but residential, meaning "dweller at". The name may also be occupational for a house servant, deriving from the same source, or as Bore and Bower can be locational from any of the various places thus called in Somerset and Essex. These places are recorded in spellings of Bur, Bure and Bura in the famous Domesday Book of 1086. Early examples of the surname include: Matthew de Labur of Surrey, in 1194, Mayfflin Attebur of Somerset, in 1280, and Robert le Bower of Staffordshire, in 1332. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Teodricus Bour. This was dated 1187, in the Pipe Rolls of the county of Herefordshire, during the reign of Henry 11nd of England, and known as "The church builder", 1154 - 1189. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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