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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English, German, Scottish

Where did the English Boley family come from? When did the Boley family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Boley family history?

Boley is one of the many new names that came to England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Boley family lived in Lincolnshire and various other areas throughout Britain. The name of this family, however, does not refer to these areas, but to the French Channel port of "Boulogne."

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Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Bullen, Bulen, Bullan, Bulloyne, Bouleyne, Bulleyn and many more.

First found in various counties throughout Britain. The earliest listing of the name appears to be Gilebert de Bollon who was listed in Northumberland in 1168. Over one hundred years later, the Hundred Rolls of 1273 listed: Pharamund de Boloynne in Buckinghamshire; Richard de Boloyne in Somerset; John de Boloyne in Cambridge; and Thomas Boloyne in Essex. Interestingly, the rolls also listed Simon, Count of 'Buloyne' as residing in Oxford. In the reference "History of Norfolk," Simon de Boleyn was listed about the same time.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Boley research. Another 187 words(13 lines of text) covering the years 1451, 1505, 1501, 1507, 1536, 1533, 1536, 1480, 1538, 1406, 1463, 1504, 1536, 1499, 1543, 1477 and 1539 are included under the topic Early Boley History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 233 words(17 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Boley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Boley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 149 words(11 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Boley name or one of its variants:

Boley Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Johan Carl Boley, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1764

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  1. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  2. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  4. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  5. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  6. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  7. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  8. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  9. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  10. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  11. ...


This page was last modified on 8 July 2013 at 14:07.

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