This very unusual surname has two possible sources. Firstly, the surname may be of early rench origin, derived from the French elements "butte", hill, "de", of, and "vent", wind; hence the "windy hill", and may have been a locational name from some minor or unrecorded place, perhaps a "lost" village, or a topographical name for a "dweller on a windy hill". The surname may also be of Anglo-Saxon origin, and would have been a dialectal variant of a topographical name for someone who lived by a pasture for cattle or at a dairy farm, or a locational name from Butterfield in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "butere", butter, with "feld", pasture, open country. Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. Topographical names were from some of the earliest names to be created, as topographical features, whether natural or man-made, provided obvious and convenient means of identification. The surname is first recorded in the late 12th Century (see below). Recordings of the surname from English Church Registers include; May(hew) Butherfunt, who married Mary Withers on December 8th 1800, at St. John's, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland; and Maria Ann Butterfint, who married Richard Hudson on May 14th 1819, at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugh de Buteresfeld, which was dated 1199, in the "Pleas before the King", Berkshire, 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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