This interesting surname is of Scottish and Irish origin, and is thought to be locational from the island of Bute in the Firth of Clyde; the placename being of uncertain etymology. Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. The name is very numerous in Ulster and in some cases appears as O'Boyd. There is also a Manx name which is the same as the Irish "MacElwee", but which was changed to Boyd. This name was from "MacGiolla Buidhe", meaning the yellow-haired youth's son. The modern surname can be found as Boyd, Boyde and Boyda. Among the sample recordings in Scotland are the marriage of Robert Boyd and Marie Irving on December 3rd 1639 at St. Nicholas', Aberdeen, and the christening of George Hay, son of William Boyd and Janet Mackie, on June 19th 1796 at Old Machar, Aberdeen. A Coat of Arms granted to a Boyd family of Trochrig depicts, on a blue shield, a fesse chequy silver and red between two crosses crosslet fitchee in chief, and as many stars, silver, in base. The Crest is a sun dial, gold, and the Motto, "Eternitatem cogita", translates as "Think on eternity". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Boyd, which was dated 1205, recorded at Irvine, Scotland, during the reign of King William "The Lion" of Scotland, 1165 - 1214. 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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