This interesting surname is of Old French origin, and was introduced into England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. It is a metonymic occupational name for someone who made or sold buttons, derived from the Old French word "bo(u)ton", button, in Middle English "boton". Job descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. The surname is first recorded in the late 13th Century (see below). Robert Boton is listed as witness in the Assize Court Rolls of Kent (1317) and Stephen Bouton is noted in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex (1327). The surname may also be found as Bouton, Button, Botten and Butner. Recordings of the surname from English Church Registers include; Ann, daughter of Randall and Susan Buten, who was christened on February 8th 1690, at West Dean by Seaford, Sussex; Thomas Buten who married Sarah Pardon on July 22nd 1707 at Swannington, Norfolk; and Sarah, daughter of Charles and Ellena Buten, who was christened on September 20th 1776 at Tudeley and Capel, Kent. The Coat of Arms most associated with the family is a blue shield with three gold lions rampant and a silver chief, the Crest being a black wivern erect on the tail. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Boton, which was dated 1296, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Sussex", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272-1307. 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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