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Bosschaerts - Persyn Genealogical research - Explanetion of our Familyname

Explanetion of our familyname

What could the familyname BOSSCHAERT(S) mean?

Bosart, Bossaert, Bosschaert, Bossers, Boussart etc. are Germanic in origin and are derived from Bossart.
Bossart is a nickname and a variant of Bossu.

The various possible meanings are, because of their associations, difficult to tell apart.

One possible explanation is that it is derived from a masculine familyname: Bos-Hart or Boshard, (Bos [Dutch word meaning wood or forest]: angry, rage; Hard [Dutch word meaning: hard]: strong, rough); ' the furious’.
Bossart, Bossert or Bosshard (mainly in Swiss) or other alternatives can be a term of affection of Boshard.
Diminutives such as Boseret and Bosier (Bôshari) have the meaning ' in the raging army'.
Bosman is a combination of Forest/Wood and man, ie: someone living/working in the forest; logger.
Bostin, Bustin and Buston are the diminutives of Bos or Bus. Alternatives are Bosson, Bossin and Bossicart.
Boseret is the diminutives of or Bossart, or Boissier, and means: 'he who works or lives in the forest'.
The derivative forms of Bossart are also mixed with its variation: Bos.

Furthermore, there is a link with Bos:
either as an occupant (eg. Bosscher, in The East-Netherlands meaning the same as van den Bossche, so meaning: he who lives in the forest);
either as a logger, ranger, or owner of a forest (eg. Bosscher, Bosschert, Bosschaert; compare with De Bosschere and Boisard).
In the Medieval Old-Dutch language we find a profession: "Van eene bosschere, die me vercofte wood in sijn foreest". (From a bosschere who sold me wood/lumber from his forest)

Names on - ker are characteristic of the province of Groningen in the Netherlands, in particulary of the people who live and work in the fens and the peat industry and of Westerwolde.
Bosker is an orthographic alternative to Bosscher, a name which is common to Groningen.
The name Bosker has also a topographical association (vide Schanker and Stoepker): ie. a person living in or near to a wood or a forest. The word 'bosk' is a particularly regional word: the word for bunch or clump, in Westerwolde; and in West-Westerquarter for the peaty soil above the 'klien' (the peat-layer). The verb 'bosken' refers to the digging up the peat.

Bossart and its variants could perhaps be a derivation of the French word Bosse, meaning hunch.
It could be a slightly derogative derivation of Bossu, what means hunchback.

Bosser could also be a Germanic reference to a German profession: moulder (of wax), model maker; derived from the Dutch verb ‘bossen’ (or French verb 'Bosseler' and the English verb: ‘to boss’ ie. to create moulded bosses for ceiling decorations, etc.
There is still another meaning: ‘bossen’ bump, beat; or bowl, ie. - or bowler, bowling with bowling balls or cricket balls.

Toponimy: the explanation of names derived from to places (Greek word “Topos”) suggests:
’s Her Bossaert (about 1620 in French part of West-Flanders (near to France), Planchove) and 's Heren Bosschaert (in Hardifort, France), could refer to places where the “Heer” (or Lord) Boss(ch)aert or Bossard has lived.
Several other notations: ‘Een leen ghenaemt sher bossarts in de prochie van Hardiffort’ (A fief named sher bossarts in the parish of Hardiffort), 1494; Messire Charles de Bryaerde, la Coye, S’Herbossaert, Planchove, 1620; Hardifort- la Seigneurie S’heerensbosschaert, 1750; ‘s Heer Bossart - a subfief of Kerckhove (Hazebroeck); a 18th century subfief viscount ‘S’heer Bossart’ in Hardifort; otherwise translated as ‘Cile Besats’ (French) or ‘s’Heerens-Boschaert’ (Dutch).
Similar places exists: Bossaert at Hondschote; Bossart at Coyecques and Herly;
Boussaer at Oxelaere and at Reningelst; Bussaert at Reninge; Busschaert at Zwevegem etc.

Most probably the familyname Boss(ch)aert is derived from the Christianname or firstname.
Bossaert is derived from Burghard (combination of ‘Burg’: protection/ ‘Hard’: strongly),
In old documents it is Latinised to Burchardus,
Later on (by the disappearance of the ‘r’): Buchardus,
Afterwards it (without Latin termination, but with conservation of ‘k’-sound) Bucard, Bocard, Bouckaert, eg.
And finally (by the change of k to ch) Buchard, Bochard, Bouchard, Bouchard, etc.
The Romanesque ‘ch’ changed into the Dutch language by means of ts to ss, hence the transition of Bochard via Botsaert to Bossaert.

It could be a Flemish version of a Romanised alternative on a Germanic name, let’s call it a linguistic border phenomenon.

Burghard has always been a rather unusual first name, which was only used in the first centuries after the christianisation of our districts. Thanks to the popularity of St Burghard, a companion of St. Boniface, who became bishop of Würzburg in 741 and died in 754. We keep the feast of St. Burghard on 14 October.

The most famous bearer of that name is undoubtedly Burchard or Bouchard alias Boekaard of Avesnes. He was the first husband of Margareta of Constantinople.

In the late Middle Ages the name Bosschaert, as a baptismal name gradually fell into disuse.

A summary of possible explanations by:
‘Wat betekent mijn familienaam?’ by J. Van Overstraeten
‘Oorsprong van Belgische familienamen’ by A. Carnoy.
‘Woordenboek der Toponymie’ by Karel de Flore.
‘De voornaam Bussaert’, an article of W. Beele.

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© Rudi Bosschaerts, 2003
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