Bodaley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The illustrious surname Bodaley finds its origin in the rocky, sea swept coastal area of southwestern England known as Cornwall. Although surnames were fairly widespread in medieval England, people were originally known only by a single name. The process by which hereditary surnames were adopted is extremely interesting. As populations grew, people began to assume an extra name to avoid confusion and to further identify themselves. Under the Feudal System of government, surnames evolved and they often reflected life on the manor and in the field. Lords and their tenants often became known by the name of the feudal territory they owned or lived on. Unlike most Celtic peoples, who favored patronymic names, the Cornish predominantly used local surnames. This was due to the heavy political and cultural influence of the English upon the Cornish People at the time that surnames first came into use. Local surnames were derived from where a person lived, held land, or was born. While many Cornish surnames of this sort appear to be topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees, many are actually habitation surnames derived from lost or unrecorded place names. The name Bodaley is a local type of surname and the Bodaley family lived at Bodley, the name of which is derived from the Old English personal name Budda, and the Old English word leigh, meaning clearing. The name indicates that the area once belonged to someone name Budda. Alternatively the name could have been derived from "the house on the lea; from Bod, a house, and ley." 
Early Origins of the Bodaley family
The surname Bodaley was first found in Devon, at Bodley, a small village, north of Parracombe or at Bodilly, a hamlet in south Cornwall.
"This surname is derived from a geographical locality. 'of Budleigh.' Two parishes in the Diocese of Exeter, in which district Bodilly is well known, and whence Sir Thomas Bodley, (1545-1613) the founder of the Bodleian Library, sprung. His father was a Bodleigh, 'descended from an ancient family of Bodleigh, or Budleigh, of Dunscombe-by-Crediton" 
Some of the first records of the family include: Hamelin de Bodlei who was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Devon in 1196; Roger de Bodele who was listed in the Feet of Fines for Oxfordshire in 1269; and later, Emma Bodely who was listed in the Feet of Fines for Surrey (1457-1458.) 
The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list John de Bodel in Cambridgeshire and the Placita de Quo Warranto, temp. Edward I-III list William de Bodele in London and Dennis de Buddelegh in Devon.
Early History of the Bodaley family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bodaley research. Another 34 words (2 lines of text) covering the years 1600, 1545, 1613, 1521, 1615, 1550 and 1618 are included under the topic Early Bodaley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bodaley Spelling Variations
Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Bodley, Bodlegh, Bodleigh, Bodly, Bodlie, Bodilies and many more.
Early Notables of the Bodaley family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family at this time was Sir Thomas Bodley (1545-1613), an English diplomat and scholar, founder of the Bodleian Library, Oxford. The library is home to the Codex Bodley, an important pictographic Mixtec historiography which is believed to have been completed before the 1521...
Another 46 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bodaley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Bodaley family to Ireland
Some of the Bodaley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Bodaley family
An examination into the immigration and passenger lists has discovered a number of people bearing the name Bodaley: Arthur Bodilies who settled in Virginia in 1635; John and Samuel Bodley settled in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1766.
Related Stories +
- ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)