There are a number of possible sources for this unusual name. The first is from an Olde Frisian personal name "Botha", meaning "messenger", which has a (usually Germanic) patronymic form "Boden". The second and following related sources are as variants of the name Bowden or Bowdon and are locational or topographical surnames. If locational, Boden is from one of the places so called in England and Scotland. In England, in the counties of Devon, Derbyshire and Cheshire, "Bowden" means "hill shaped like a bow", from the Old English pre 7th Century "boga", bow, "Buga's hill". The surname can also be topographical, referring to someone who lived at the top of a hill, from "bufan dune", "above the hill". One "Thomas Boden" appears on the Register of the University of Oxford in 1583. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Bodin. which was dated 1273, The Oxfordshire Hundred Rolls. during the reign of King Edward I, 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.