- This interesting name is of Norman French origin, introduced into England after the Conquest of 1066, and has a number of possible interpretations. Firstly, it may be a locational surname from Les Bottereaux in Eure, Normandy, thought to be so called from the Old Norman French "bottereau", toad, thus "place infested with toads". The placename is recorded in the late 12th Century in the Latin form "Boterelli". The place now called Boscastle in Cornwall was recorded as "Boterelescastel" in 1302, when it was held by William de Botereus, whose family took their name from Les Bottereaux. Secondly, the surname may have been developed from a Norman French nickname for one who was thought to resemble a toad in some way, perhaps from having pockmarked skin, from the Old French "boterel", Old Norman French "bottereau". The place in Shropshire called Aston Botterell was held by William Boterell in 1203 (recorded in the Curia Rolls of that year), whose surname is derived from the nickname. Finally, the surname may derive from a diminutive form of Butt(e)ry, an occupational name for a keeper of provisions, one who worked in the "buttery", from the Old French "boterie", from "botte", cask, bottle. Examples from Church Registers include, John Botterell, a christening witness on December 15th 1589, at Hillmorton, Warwickshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hamo Boterel, which was dated 1155, in "Documents relating to the Danelaw", Lincolnshire, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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