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

Where did the English Buckley family come from? What is the English Buckley family crest and coat of arms? When did the Buckley family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Buckley family history?

The name Buckley first arose amongst the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is derived from their having lived in any of the places named Buckley, or Buckleigh, in England. Buckley is a local surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. The name may derive from the Old English "bok lee," meaning meadow, or field. The likely meaning of the name was "clearing in a beech wood" (with boc meaning beech tree and ley meaning wood, glade or clearing). The name could also have been construed from "bucc" meaning a buck or deer; or from the Welsh "bwlch y clai," meaning clay hole.


One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Buckley has appeared include Buckley, Bucklie, Buckly, Bulkely, Bulkley, Bulkelly, Boukley, Bulkaly, Bulkly, Bulklay and many more.

First found in Cheshire where Buckley was an Anglo-Saxon local, with some of its houses later recorded in the Domesday Book. The first documented evidence of its existence dates from 1294 when it was described as the pasturage of the Manor of Ewloe, spelled as "Bokkeley". Alternatively, the original spelling of the name was Bulclough, meaning "large mountains," and related specifically to a chain of mountains in central Cheshire in England. Whichever derivation, you choose, all point to Cheshire.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Buckley research. Another 329 words(24 lines of text) covering the years 1524, 1572, 1547, 1571, 1593, 1584, 1593, 1583, 1659, 1635, 1641 and 1698 are included under the topic Early Buckley History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 127 words(9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Buckley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Buckley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 173 words(12 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Buckley arrived in North America very early:

Buckley Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Daniel Buckley settled in New England in 1635
  • Humphrey Buckley settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Ben Buckley, aged 1, landed in America in 1635
  • Ben I Buckley, aged 1, landed in New England in 1635
  • Daniell Buckley, aged 9, arrived in New England in 1635

Buckley Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Beni Buckley, who arrived in Virginia in 1700
  • Wm Buckley, who landed in Virginia in 1703
  • Martha Buckley, who landed in Virginia in 1704
  • Abraham Buckley, who landed in Virginia in 1704
  • Phineas Buckley in Philadelphia in 1713

Buckley Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Christian Buckley, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1810
  • Catherine Buckley, who landed in New York, NY in 1811
  • Samuel P Buckley, aged 30, landed in North Carolina in 1812
  • Joshua Buckley, who arrived in Wilmington, Del in 1813
  • Joseph Buckley, who landed in New York in 1822


  • James R. Buckley (1870-1945), U.S. Representative from Illinois
  • William Frank Buckley Jr. (1925-2008), American author and commentator, founder of the political magazine "National Review" in 1955 and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Jack Boyd Buckley (1926-2007), American civil engineer and building consultant
  • Betty Lynn Buckley (b. 1947), American theater, film and television actress and singer
  • Tim Buckley (1947-1975), American vocalist, and musician
  • William Francis Buckley (1928-1985), U.S. Army officer and intelligence agency operative
  • Jeff Buckley (1967-1997), American singer-songwriter
  • Eldra Clemond Buckley (b. 1985), American football running back
  • John C. Buckley (1842-1913), Union Army soldier during the American Civil War who received the Medal of Honor for his gallantry during the Siege of Vicksburg on May 22, 1863
  • Samuel Botsford Buckley (1809-1884), American botanist, geologist, and naturalist



  • The Buckley Family Genealogy by Shirley Gray Buckley.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Nec temere nec timide
Motto Translation: Neither rashly nor timidly.


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  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  3. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  4. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  6. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  7. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  8. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  9. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. 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).
  11. ...

The Buckley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Buckley Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 18 June 2014 at 18:30.

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