The development of names is often a surprise even to those involved in such research, this is one of these names! In this case the origin is Olde English and the derivation is from "Boga-Straet" (Bow Street) and refers to a person from that locality presumably in London. The name is first recorded in the 16th Century, the name development including Sarah Bowstrid (1624), St. Dunstans, Stepney, Soloman Bowstrid (1647), John Bowstridge of Deptford (1690), Mary Bowstreed of Clerkenwell (1724) whilst Mary Ann Boustred was baptised at St.Martins in the Field, Westminster in 1791. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Joane Bowstreete which was dated 1584 married John Jell at St. Giles, Cripplegate. during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Good Queen Bess, 1558 - 1603. 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.