This interesting surname has two possible origins. Firstly, it may be of Anglo-Saxon origin, and locational from a place called Bovingdon in Hertfordshire, recorded as "Bovenden" in the Episcopal Registers of 1248. The placename derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century phrase "bufan dune" meaning "upon the hill". It may also be of topographical origin for a "dweller on the hill", or for a "dweller above the village", from the Olde English elements "bufan", above, and "tun", a homestead or village. Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually in search of work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. The surname is first found recorded in the early half of the 13th Century (see below), and another early recording was that of Roger Abovetoun, who was registered in the Chartulary of Ramsey Monastery, Huntingdonshire, circa 1240. In the modern idiom, the name is found as Bowton, Bufton and Bovingdon. Early recordings of the surname from Worcestershire Church Registers include: the christening of Joane, daughter of Thomas Bufton, on August 14th 1558, at South Littleton; the christening of Rycharde, son of Thomas and Alice Bufton, on February 5th 1662, in the same place; and the christening of William, son of Humphry Bufton, on August 27th 1598, at Clifton on Teme. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Buveton, which was dated 1222, in the "Curia Regis Rolls of Bedfordshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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.