This very early English surname recorded in the spellings of Buss, Busse, and Buse, is English, although perhaps with some Norman-French influence. It derives either from the word "busse", meaning a cask, or "bush", meaning what is says, somebody who lived by a prominent bush. If the former, it was probably introduced into England at the time of the 1066 Norman Invasion, and describes a maker of wooden casks or barrels, although there are indications that occassionally it may have been used as a descriptive nickname for a rotund person, one who was 'barrel' shaped! In the second case of 'Bush', given the lack of spelling and the 'thick' local dialects of the medieval period, a change from Bush to Bus(se), would be quite logical. The surname is first recorded in the latter part of the 11th Century, (see below), and other early recordings include such examples as Walter Buss, in the 1191 Pipe Rolls of Norfolk, Matilda Bus, in the 1273 Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire, and Adam Busse in the 1379 Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire. Later examples taken from the early church registers include on November 15th 1590, Richard Buse and Margaret Bill who were married at St. Bride's church, Fleet Street, London, and on April 23rd 1600, William Busse who married Mary Riches at the famous church of St. Dunstans in the East, Stepney. An interesting namebearer was the Victoriam painter Robert Buss (1804-1875). The Coat of arms granted in Lincoln, has the blazon of a silver field, charged with three black bars. The crest is a sea wolf. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Siward Buss, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book for the county of Kent, during the reign of King William 1, known as "William the Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. 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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