This long-established surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a topographical name from residence in a dell, hollow or broad valley, deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "bothm, botm", bottom, depression, the lowest part of a valley. In some instances, the name may also be specifically locational from any of the various places in the north of England named with the above word, for example, Bottom (o'the Moor), Lancashire, and Bottoms in South Nottinghamshire and the West Riding of Yorkshire. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognizable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages, and locational surnames were originally given as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Early examples of the surname include: Laurence de Bothum and Richard del Bothom (Yorkshire, 1297 and 1307 respectively). In the modern idiom the name is variously spelt Bottom(e), Bottoms, Battams and Botham(s). On September 1st 1628, Robert Botham and Elizabeth Hill were married in Bradfield, Yorkshire. A Coat of Arms granted to the Botham family of Yorkshire is a silver shield with six pellets. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Dowe de Bothemes, which was dated 1246, witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Lancashire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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.