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


Of all the Anglo-Saxon names to come from Britain, Boyden is one of the most ancient. The name is a result of the original family having lived in the village of Bodden, Staffordshire, where traces of the family dating from before the Norman Conquest have been found.

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The surname Boyden was first found in Staffordshire, where evidence suggests they held a family seat before the Norman Conquest of 1066.

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Boyden has been spelled many different ways, including Boden, Boyden, Bodin, Bodinus, Boydinus, Boidin and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Boyden research. Another 420 words (30 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1156, 1200, 1208, 1401, 1500, 1565, and 1797 are included under the topic Early Boyden History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Boyden Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Boydens to arrive in North America:

Boyden Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Thomas Boyden, who landed in Massachusetts in 1634
  • Ann Boyden, who arrived in Maryland in 1672
  • John Boyden, who arrived in Maryland in 1673
  • James Boyden, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1682

Boyden Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Mr. Boyden, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • J Boyden, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851

Boyden Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • William Boyden, aged 26, a farm labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1879
  • Elizabeth A. Boyden, aged 26, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1879
  • John W. Boyden, aged 6, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1879
  • Zachariah Boyden, aged 4, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1879
  • Jane Boyden, aged 1, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1879

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  • Nathaniel Bostwick "Nate" Boyden (b. 1982), retired American soccer player
  • David Dodge Boyden (1910-1986), American musicologist and violinist
  • Uriah Atherton Boyden (1804-1879), American civil and mechanical engineer and inventor, best known for the development of the Boyden Turbine c. 1844
  • Edward "Ed" S. Boyden, American neuroscientist at MIT
  • Frank Learoyd Boyden (1879-1972), American headmaster of Deerfield Academy from 1902 to 1968
  • Amanda Boyden, American novelist
  • Ed Boyden, American neuroscientist at MIT
  • Nathaniel "Nate" Boyden (b. 1982), American soccer midfielder
  • Nathaniel Boyden (1796-1873), U.S. Congressman
  • Elbridge Boyden (1810-1898), prominent 19th century American architect

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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: Contra audentior
Motto Translation: Bodly against the enemy

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  1. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  3. 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).
  4. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  5. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  6. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  7. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  8. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  10. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  11. ...

The Boyden Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Boyden 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 16 November 2015 at 10:43.

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