It would be a very brave person who stated categorically the origin of this most interesting name. It has been suggested that it could have Huguenot (French refugee) origins, and certainly Pierre Bouine, the son of Phillipe Bouine was christened at the French or Strangers Church, at Canterbury on January 1st 1681. It has also been suggested that the name is Welsh and a form of Ab Owen, the son of Owen, anglicised to Bowen, Beowen and then to Boyen, but this seems unlikely as the surname Beowen is later than Boyen. The third and most likely is as a variant of the French "Bohun" a famous family from the very earliest days of the Norman Invasion of 1066, and created Earls of Hereford in 1199. The Bohun's were prominent through the medieval period, although thereafter the family seems to have lost its impetuous. However recordings continue to this day in the original spelling, as well as in variant forms. What is certain is that recordings as Boyan and Boyen are found from the mid 17th century in their own right, and examples of these recordings include John Boyen of London, who married Elizabeth Carter at the church of St Katherines by the Tower, on March 31st of that year, whilst on October 15th 1686, Thomas Boyen married Anna Shaw at Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire. Later recordings show Thomas Boyan who married Sarah Baker at Norton in the Moors, Staffordshire on January 17th 1776, and Henry Boyan, who married Elizabeth Grange at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on May 28th 1860. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Humphrey de Bohun, which was dated 1187, died in London whilst attending at Court, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The church builder", 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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