This famous surname is of Norse-Viking origins and derives from the three villages so named in Lincolnshire. The translation is - the farm (bi) with the stables (both), and the origin is pre 8th century. The villages are recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book as 'Bodebi', the first surname recording being 12th century as shown below. For some reason the name spelling has proved difficult even to the native population of the area, because it is safe to say that around the 16th century almost every possible combination was used. These spellings included such forms as Bothbie (1588), Boothebie (1599), and Botteby in 1643, although the 'usual' spelling as Boothby is recorded at least as early as 1588, when William Boothby was recorded at Thornton Curtiss, Lincolnshire. Amongst the earliest recordings are those of Adam de Boothby, abbot of Peterborough in (circa) 1250, and John de Botheby, rector of Ryton in Durham in 1312. Amongst the famous name holders were Sir Brooke Boothby, poet and political analyst (1743 - 1824), and Miss Hill Boothby, authoress and friend of Dr Johnson (1708 - 1756). The blazon of the coat of arms of Boothby, is that of a silver field, a red canton, charged with a lions gamb erect. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugo de Bodebi, which was dated 1190, in the Pipe Rolls of the county of Lincoln, during the reign of King Richard 1, known as 'The Lionheart', 1189 - 1199. 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.