Recorded in several spellings including Butterwick, Buttrick, and Butterick, this is an English locational surname. It originates from places called Butterwick in the counties of Durham, Lincolnshire, and Yorkshire. However it is the latter place which seems to have been the epi-centre of the early surname. Locational surnames are "from" names. That is to say that they are names which originally were given to the lord of the manor and his descendants, or to people who for whatever reason had left their original homes to move somewhere else. Surprisingly although for most people any form of movement meant walking everywhere, and "foreigners" which was to say people from the next town or village, were very unpopular, migration was popular. This is why London was at least five times biger than any other city in medieval times and has not changed much. The place name of Butterwick does translate as the dairy farm (wic) where butter was made, and is perhaps one of the few surnames which actually means what it says! The earliest recordings are in Yorkshire with those of Elena de Butterwyk in the poll tax rolls of Yorksire in 1379, and Simon de Baterwyk, so much for spelling, in the same register.
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