This surname BURKET was a occupational name 'the butcher' a seller of meat. The name was of French origin, and brought to England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066. The earliest of the name on record appears to be Gaufridus nepos Bocardi, who was documented in London in 1086. Many of the early names recorded in medieval documents denote noble families but many also indicate migration from the continent during, and in the wake of, the Norman invasion of 1066. There was a constant stream of merchants, workmen and others arriving in England during this time. In 1086 the Record of Great Inquisition of lands of England, their extent, value, ownership and liabilities was made by order of William The Conquerer. It is known as the Domesday Book. Other records of the name mention Burekardus de Burewelle, who appears in 1220 in County Suffolk, and Robert Bocard was recorded in 1227 in County Sussex. Edward le Boucher was mentioned in the year 1273 in the County of Somerset and Johannes Bowchier of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Richard Burkett was recorded in County Suffolk in the year 1524, and Peter Barchard appears in 1702 in County Yorkshire. The French name of Bouchard is first recorded in Haute Savoie in the early 18th century. A certain Jean-Antoine Bouchard went from there to Pondicherry in India in 1757, and in about 1788 he or his son Maurice changed their family name to La Bouchardiere and the family became well established in British India. There does not seem to be any direct connection with either of the places called La Bouchardiere in Normandy. The name has many variant spellings which include Buchard, Burghard and Burkett. French, or rather Norman French, was the language of the aristocracy and the upper classes in England at the time fixed surnames were being developed, it is therefore not surprising that many of our well-known family names are derived from French words. Originally only Christian or personal names were used, and although a few came into being during the 10th century, surnames were not widely used until much later, when people began to realize the prestige of having a second name.
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