This interesting surname is of Scottish origin, and is a locational name, from a parish of the name in north-east Berwickshire. The derivation of the name is from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Buna" (also found in such placenames as Bunbury, Buncton and Bungay), or "bune", reeds, and "hyll", hill; hence, "Buna's hill" or "reedy hill". During the Middle Ages, when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. In 1212, Ranulf de Bonekil was excused from an Assize and Suits in Cumberland while in the service of the king of Scotland. Four individuals of this name rendered homage in 1296: Johan de Bonekil, Thomas Bonequil, Anneys de Bonkhille, all three from Berwick, and Alisaundre de Bonkhille, Edinburgh. In the modern idiom the surname can be found as Buncle, Bunkall, Bunkhall, Bunkill and Bunkle. On March 25th 1593, Thomas, son of Peter Bunckle, was christened at St. Olave's, Hart Street, London, and Sebastian, son of John and Margaret Bunkle, was christened at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, London, on November 12th 1621. A Coat of Arms granted to the family depicts three gold buckles on a black bend on a silver shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam de Bonekil, a charter witness, which was dated 1160, in the "Register of Kelso Abbey", during the reign of King Malcolm 1V of Scotland, 1153 - 1165. 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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