This most interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a variant of "Bowcott", an English locational surname from a minor place in Worcestershire, which is composed of the Olde English pre 7th Century words "boga", an arched bridge, and "cot", cottage, dwelling. The surname itself is quite popular and widespread in Worcestershire, where it is found regularly in Church Registers from the 16th Century. Locational surnames were originally given as a means of identification to those who left their village or place of origin to settle elsewhere. The surname itself first appears in Church Registers in the late 16th Century (see below), while other early examples of the surname include the marriage of Robert Bowcote and Margett Crosse on August 23rd 1593 at St. Giles Cripplegate, London; the christening of Robarte, son of Robert Bowcote, on April 10th 1603 at Bromsgrove in Worcestershire; and the christening of Ann Bowkett on January 19th 1743 at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of James Bowcott, which was dated January 30th 1584, a christening witness at Lindridge, Worcestershire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "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.