This is an English medieval surname. Recorded in many spellings, mostly very rare and including Boobier, Boobyer, Bowber, Bowbeer, Bauber, Baubier, Bubbear, and Bubeer, this is considered a West County surname. It has at least two possible origins. Firstly it may be a locational name from a now "lost" place, believed to have been situated in either Devon or Somerset because of the high number of early recordings from this area. The component elements of the placename were most likely the pre 7th century word "bur", meaning a cottage or bower, with the Olde English "bearu" meaning a grove or small wood. The initial element is found frequently in West Country placenames such as Bower in Somerset, recorded as "Bur" in the Domesday Book of 1086. The second element of "bearu", occurs as beer, bere, bear or beare in compound placenames, for example, in Shebbear and Rockbeare, both in Devonshire. A second possible and distinct origin is French. If so the name for some nameholders at least may be from "Baubier". This is itself a nickname for someone with a speech defect, from "begue", meaning a stammer. Recordings of the surname from church registers include: the christening of George Boobyer, at North Petherton, in Somerset, on November 7th 1585; the christening of Jacob Boubier on October 5th 1603, in Meurthe-et- Moselle, France; and the marriage of William Bubeer to Mary Crispin at East Teignmouth, in Devon, on December 3rd 1758. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Johanna Bowber. This was dated April 27th 1539, at Knowstone, Devonshire. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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