this interesting and long-established surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from any of three places in England thus called: Bovingdon, a parish and village, south east of Berkhampstead in Hertfordshire; Bovingdon Green, a locality in the Wycombe rural district of Buckinghamshire; and Bovingdon in the Braintree rural district of Essex. The Hertfordshire place, recorded variously as "Bovenden" and "Buuenden" in the Episcopal Registers of that county, dated 1216 - 1248, and as "Bovindon" in the 1291 Charter Rolls, was so called from the Olde English pre 7th Century phrase "bufan duen" (place) on, or upon the hill. The other two localities are likely to share the same meaning and derivation. The surname may also have arisen as a topographical name from the above phrase, i.e., "bufan dune", used independently. There is some confusion with Bovington, itself either a locational name from Bovington in Dorset, so called from the Olde English pre 7th Century "Bofingtun", settlement ("tun") of Bofa's people, or a topographical name from residence above the main settlement, from the Olde English "bufan tune". In 1581, one Richard Bovingdon, of Buckinghamshire, was entered in the Oxford University Register. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Bove'don, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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