The surname of Botha was originally of Dutch origin. The Dutch language is most closely related to Low German, and its surnames have been influenced both by German and French naming practices. The preposition ‘van’ is found especially with habitation names, and the ‘de’ mainly with nicknames. The name was brought to England from Holland. It was an occupational name ‘the fisherman’ one who lived by the river banks. Local names usually denoted that the man held the land on which he lived.
The earliest hereditary surnames in England are found shortly after the Norman Conquest of 1066 and are of Norman French origin rather than native English. On the arrival of the Normans they identified themselves by references to the estates from which they came in northern France. These names moved rapidly on with their bearers into Scotland and Ireland. Others of the Norman Invaders took names from the estates in England which they had newly acquired. Botha is a very common Afrikaner name in South Africa, where it has been established since 1672.
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