This interesting surname is of French origin and is an occupational name for a butcher or slaughterer, an important occupation in medieval England. The derivation is from the Old French "bouchier" and the Middle English development "bo(u)cher". The following examples illustrate the name development after 1184 (see below), Richard le Bucher (1240 Feet of Fines of Essex), William Bochier (1327 Subsidy Rolls of Sussex), Alan le Boucher (ibid), Thomas le Bouker (1332 Subsidy Rolls of Lancashire). In the modern idiom the variants include Bucher, Bou(t)cher, Boucker, and Bowker. Occupational surnames originally denoted the actual occupation followed by an individual, and later became hereditary. One Richard Butcher (1583 - 1665) was town clerk of Stanford (1646) and the name is recorded in Barbados, on the Baptismal Register of December 1678, in St. Michael's parish, with the baptism of Richard, the infant son of John and Mary Butchep. 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, known as "The Builder of Churches", 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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