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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, German, Scottish


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 Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed: Pharamund de Boloynne in Buckinghamshire; Richard de Boloyne in Somerset; John de Boloyne in Cambridge; and Thomas Boloyne in Essex. [1] 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 United States in the 18th Century


  • Johan Carl Boley, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1764

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  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)

Other References

  1. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  2. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  3. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  4. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  6. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  7. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  8. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  9. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  10. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  11. ...


This page was last modified on 21 September 2015 at 10:19.

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