This long-established surname, now chiefly found in Northumberland, is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is an occupational name for a keeper of a bull, deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "bula", which became "bul(l)e" and "bol(l)e" in Middle English, with "mann", man. The surname Bull, though frequently taken as a nickname for a large aggressive man, may also be a metonymic occupational name for a bull-herd or bull-keeper. Early recordings of same include: Wulfwin Bule (Hampshire, 1170), and William Bull (Lincolnshire, 1216).Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. One John Boleman was noted in the 1273 Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire, and in 1392, Walter Bulleman was rector of Intwood, Norfolk. Blomefield and Parkin's "History of Norfolk" records Thomas Bulman, prior of Wayborn in 1530, and on June 10th 1599, Catherine, daughter of John Bulman, was christened at Morpeth, Northumberland. In the modern idiom the name is spelt Bulman and Bullman, one John Bullman being a christening witness at Morpeth on April 20th 1634. A Coat of Arms granted to the Bulman family of Northumberland is a red shield with three silver bars wavy, on a gold chief, an annulet between two black bulls' heads cabossed through each of their nostrils an annulet of the last. Crest: on a green mount a silver bull passant, the dexter foot on an azure roundle. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ailward Buleman, which was dated 1209, in the "Pipe Rolls of Norfolk", 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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