This ancient surname is recorded in many spelling forms and from several countries. The spellings include Busch, Bush, Buscher, Bosch, Bosche, Boschmann, and the Rhineland Zumbusch. In all cases the derivation is from the pre 7th century Norse-Viking 'buski', which developed into the German, Anglo-Saxon and Olde English 'bysce'. It is claimed in various etymological directories that the name describes 'one who lived by a thicket of bushes'. This may be so, but as the ancient countryside was full of such forestation, it seems logical that the original meaning was much more specific. If so it probably described either a very prominent tree or that sometimes at least, the word (or name) was a short form of a compound such as 'thorn bush'. Perhaps not surprisingly the surname was one of the first to be recorded in almost all northern European countries, and it was also (as Bush) one of the very first of all settler surnames in the USA. President George Bush being a direct descendant of John Bush who was living in Virginia in 1624 when the first 'muster' was carried out. Amongst the very earliest of recordings in Germany was that of Hans Buscher of Rottenburg in 1483, and Hermann von dem Bussche, of Dulmen, in 1554. The surname seems to be an 18th century 'import' into England, and therefore may be Huguenot or is possibly associated with the Hanoverians. Cornelius Busch is recorded as marrying Elisabeth Blackmore, at St Leonard's church, Shoreditch, London, on January 2nd 1766. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hartmut Busch, which was dated 1283, the charters of Spier, Germany, during the reign of Rudolf, Emperor of Germany and Count of Hapsburg, 1273 - 1291. 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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