Cornwall, a rugged coastal region in southwestern England. Quite distinct from Devon, the adjoining county, Cornwall had its own spoken language until the late 18th century. The Bodlegh history began here. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames were derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. Unlike most Celtic peoples, who favored patronymic names, the Cornish predominantly used local surnames. The Bodlegh 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." CITATION[CLOSE]
Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
Early Origins of the Bodlegh family
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, 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" CITATION[CLOSE]
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.) CITATION[CLOSE]
Early History of the Bodlegh family
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Bodlegh 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 Bodlegh family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Bodlegh family to Ireland
Some of the Bodlegh family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 172 words (12 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 Bodlegh family to the New World and Oceana
In the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Bodlegh Arthur Bodilies who settled in Virginia in 1635; John and Samuel Bodley settled in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1766.
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