This interesting surname, with variant spellings Boissier, Bowsher, Bosher, Bousquier and Boshier, has two possible origins. Firstly, it could be derived from the Old French "bois" meaning "wood", plus the agent suffix "-(i)er", one who works with; hence an occupational surname for someone who works with wood, for example, a forester, carpenter or joiner. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. It may also be from the Old French "beau", fair, and "sire" sir; hence, "fair sir", an address of respect or courtesy towards an important person. The surname is first recorded in the early 13th Century (see below), and other early recordings include: Henry Boscher, who was recorded as a witness in the Assize Court Rolls of Warwickshire, dated 1221, and Roger Beausire, who was registered in Herefordshire in 1272. In July 1635, one Mabell Busher embarked from the port of London on board the ship "Merchant's Hope", bound for Virginia; she was one of the earliest namebearers to settle in the New World Colonies. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Boschier, which was dated 1205, in the "Pipe Rolls of Dorset", 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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