This interesting surname, widely recorded in Church Registers of England, Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark, is a post 15th Century form of Bugge, Bug(e) or Bueg, itself having a number of possible sources. Firstly, Buggs may be of Old Scandinavian origin, and a patronymic form of the Old Norse personal byname "buggi", Old Swedish "Bugge", found widely throughout Europe, and also as an initial element in Bugthorpe village (Yorkshire), recorded as "Buggatorp" in 1157. The surname from this source is frist recorded in the mid 12th Century (below), and in 1297, the birth of one Jan Bugge was registered at Delft, Zuid Holland.Early English recordings of the name, such as Osbert le Bugge (Essex, 1327), suggest that Bugge, and its variants, may belong to that sizeable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from nicknames. The derivation, in this instance, is from the Middle English "bugge", hobgoblin, scarecrow, denoting an uncouth or weird man. Finally, Buggs may be of German/Dutch topographical origin from residence by a muddy or swampy place, "Zu bug" and "Bugge" being recorded as medieval German habitation names. Recordings of Bugs and Buggs include: Margret Bugs (Cowden, Kent, 1576); John Buggs (London, 1623); Christian Buggs (Holmens, Sogn, Kobenhavn, Denmark, 1826); and Carl Frederich Albert Buggs (Samora or Zamoro, Pommern, Germany, 1848). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Bugge, which was dated 1169, in the "Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire", 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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