Recorded in many spellings including Butten, Button, Buttoner, Bottoner (English), Boutet, Bouton, Bouttet, Boutton, (French), and Butner, Buttner, Buttiner (German), this is usually an occupational surname. However whilst the spelllings overlap in many countries, there are at least theee possible origins. In general in both England and France the origin is from the pre 9th century Old French word "bouton", meaning a maker of buttons. The usual German meaning is similar but but in a sense reversed, in that the meaning usually relates to a maker of shoes that may have been fastened with buttons as in the recording of Henrich Buttner of Tauberbischofsheim in 1367. In Germany there is also possibility that the name can be locational from a place called Buttenen. An example being that of Friedrich Buttiner recorded at Luzern, Switzerland in 1365. In England the surname is first recorded in the late 13th century (see below), and other early recordings taken from authentic surviving rolls and charters include: Ambrose Button of Wiltshire, listed in the Register of the University of Oxford for the year 1568, and in 1589 the same register lists Richard Button of Staffordshire. Thomas Button appears in a list of those 'living in Virginia in February 1623', as a resident of 'the plantation over against James Cittie.' The first recorded spelling of the family name in England is shown to be that of William Boton. This was dated 1296, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Sussex". Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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