Bocklay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The present generation of the Bocklay family is only the most recent to bear a name that dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name comes from having lived in any of the places named Buckley, or Buckleigh, in England. Bocklay 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. [1]

Early Origins of the Bocklay family

The surname Bocklay was 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". [2]

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.

"The Buckleys of Cheshire have been for probably 200 years in the parish of Mottram-in-Longdendale. The name is at present best represented on and near the Lancashire border in the vicinity of Manchester, but it is also established in the counties of Derby, Lancashire, Stafford, Worcester, and in the West Riding." [3]

Early English rolls provide us a glimpse of the spelling variations used through Medieval times. Today we typically need to look beyond the spellings of these entries and concentrate on on a phonetic appreciation of the entries. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 include: David de Buckelay, Yorkshire; and Michael de Bokele, Suffolk. The Lay Subsidy Rolls include an entry for Christian de Bukkelegh, Lancashire, 1332. [4]

Early History of the Bocklay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bocklay research. Another 165 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1570, 1537, 1517, 1610, 1524, 1572, 1547, 1571, 1593, 1584, 1593, 1641, 1698, 1583, 1659, 1635, 1568, 1650, 1650 and 1702 are included under the topic Early Bocklay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bocklay Spelling Variations

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Bocklay include Buckley, Bucklie, Buckly, Bulkely, Bulkley, Bulkelly, Boukley, Bulkaly, Bulkly, Bulklay and many more.

Early Notables of the Bocklay family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include William Buckley (d. 1570?), an English mathematician, a native of Lichfield, educated at Eton, whence he was elected to a scholarship at King's College, Cambridge, in 1537. Robert or Sigebert Buckley (1517-1610), was a Benedictine monk who was professed at Westminster in Queen Mary's reign. "He was imprisoned on refusing to take the oath of supremacy, and remained in captivity during the whole of Elizabeth's...
Another 71 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bocklay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Bocklay family to Ireland

Some of the Bocklay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 198 words (14 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Bocklay family

Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Bocklay were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: Daniel Buckley settled in New England in 1635; Humphrey Buckley settled in Virginia in 1635; Luce Buckley settled in Barbados in 1660; John Buckley settled in Pennsylvania in 1682.



The Bocklay Motto +

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.


  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)


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