This interesting surname is of early medieval French origin, and is an example of that sizeable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. The nicknames were given in the first instance with reference to a variety of occupations or to personal characteristics, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, mental and moral characteristics, supposed resemblance to an animal's or bird's appearance or disposition, or to habits of dress and behaviour. In this instance the name refers to someone bearing some resemblance to a bunting bird, perhaps a beautiful singer. Thomas Bunetun (Oxfordshire) and Henry Buntyng (Suffolk) are listed in the 1273 Hundred Rolls. In the modern idiom the surname can be found as Bunting, Buntin(e), Bunten, Bunton, Buntain, Bontein and Bontine. On September 30th 1599, Henricus Bunting married Katherina Clarke at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, London, and Richard Bunting married Susan Asley at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, also London, on May 31st 1631. One of the earliest settlers in the New World was Richard Bunting, who departed from the Port of London aboard the "Dorst", bound for the Bormodos, in 1635. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugh Bonting, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Lincolnshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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.