This interesting and uncommon name is of early medieval German origin, and is one of the variant forms of the occupational surname more usually found as "Bottcher" or "Boettcher", one of several names for a cooper. The medieval cooper was a maker and repairer of wooden vessels such as barrels, tubs, buckets, casks and vats. The name derives from the Middle High German "botecher, botticher, butticher", an agent derivative of "botige, butche", wine barrel, from the Old High German "potega, poteche", from the Greek "apotheke", wine cellar, store room. The prevalence and variety of European surnames such as Bottcher and Cooper are a good indication of the status of coopers as some of the chief specialist tradesmen, of the Middle Ages. The German form, bottcher, was found mainly in North and East Germany, and had many variants; for example, Boetcher (1572), Botkers (1583), and Boedker (1685). The surname appears in England during the early 18th Century: One John Bodker was christened at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London, on June 1st 1712. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gregor Boettiger (baptism), which was dated 1557, Leipzig, Saxony, Germany, during the reign of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, 1519 - 1558. 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.