This most interesting and unusual name may derive from two possible sources. Firstly it may be an Old English pre 7th century nickname for a brewer of bad beer, from the Old Norse-Scandinavian element "saurr", sour and "butt", a cask for holding beer, from the Old French "botte". Secondly the name may be of English locational origin from one of the many villages that have "disappeared" from maps as a result of "clearings" for sheep at the height of the wool trade in the 14th Century, or as a result of the Black Death of 1348. The original place, believed to be situated in Lancashire, was composed of the elements "saurr", as above, and "butt", a hill or mound, perhaps ground where crops would'nt grow. John and William Sowerbutes, twin sons of James Sowerbutes were christened on August 28th 1552, at Kirkham, Lancashire. Richard Sowerbuts married Margret Higinson also at Kirkham, on January 22nd 1564. James Sowerbutts was christened on February 13th 1791 at St. Sepulchre, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of James Sowerbutes, which was dated August 28th 1552, christening witness at Kirkham, Lancashire, during the reign of King Edward V1, "The Boy King", 1547 - 1553. 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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