This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from any of the places so called, in Buckinghamshire, recorded as "Bottlea" in 1167 in the Pipe Rolls; in Berkshire, "Boteley" in 1242 in the Book of Fees; in Hampshire, "Botelie" in the Domesday Book of 1086; and in Warwickshire appearing as "Butteleia" in 1199, in the Feet of Fines. The placenames may be composed of the Olde English personal name "Bota", and "leah", the Olde English word for "wood or clearing in a wood", but "Botleah" is more likely to have been a wood in which tenants had a right to take timber for "bot", repair or firewood. The surname itself is first recorded in the early 13th Century (see below). Ursaley Bowtley was christened on November 22nd, 1567 at Twyford in Buckinghamshire, and Alice Bowtley was also christened there on September 30th 1570. At Ivinghoe in Buckinghamshire William Botley married Jane Higbed on June 30th 1600, while the marriage of Margaret Botley and Edward Thomson occurred on October 28th 1604 at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Mathew de Botheleheye, which was dated 1328, in the "Kirby's Quest for Somerset", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327-1377. 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.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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