This interesting surname with variant spellings Boissier, Bozier, Bowshire, Bosher, Bousquier and Boshier has two possible origins. Firstly it could be from the old French "bois" meaning wood plus the agent suffix "(i)er", one who works with; hence an occupational surname for someone who works with wood e.g. a forester, carpenter or joiner. It may also be from the old French "beau" fair and "sire" sir; hence "fair sir", an address of respect or courtesy towards an important person. The surname is first recorded in the early 13th Century, among the first being Henry Boscher, witness, the Assize Rolls of Warwickshire (1221) and Roger Beausire registered in Herefordshire (1272). In July 1635, "one Mabell Busher imbarqued from London on board the "Merchant's Hope" bound for Virginia," this was one of the earliest namebearers to settle in America. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Boschier, which was dated 1205, in "The Pipe Rolls of Dorset", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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