Bodilay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The proud Bodilay family originated in Cornwall, a rugged coastal region in southwestern England. In early times, people were known by only a single name. However, as the population grew and people traveled further afield, it became increasingly necessary to assume an additional name to differentiate between bearers of the same personal name. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames are derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. The Bodilay family originally 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 Bodilay family
The surname Bodilay 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 Bodilay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bodilay 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 Bodilay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bodilay 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 Bodilay 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 Bodilay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Bodilay family to Ireland
Some of the Bodilay 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 Bodilay family
In the immigration and passenger lists a number of early immigrants bearing the name Bodilay were found: 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)