This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "bolla", meaning a bowl or drinking vessel, plus the agent suffix "-er" (one who does or makes something), and was originally given as an occupational name to a maker or seller of bowls. In medieval times bowls were hewn from wood as well as made from earthenware. The surname from this source is first recorded in the latter half of the 13th Century (see below), and other early recordings include: Robert le Boller, who appeared in the Writs of Parliament for London, dated 1301, and John Foune, "boller", recorded in the Register of the Freemen of the City of York, dated 1336. The name, with variant spellings Bowler, Bouller, Booler and Boler, is particularly well recorded in London Church Registers from the late 16th Century. On April 23rd 1581, Raphe Bowler and Agnes Bradley were married in St. Margaret Pattens; on October 22nd 1592, Nicholas Bouler married Emry Barles in St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury; and Rachel Boller and Edward Nash were married in Ealing, on September 28th 1763. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John le Bolour, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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