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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the Scottish Bodwell family come from? What is the Scottish Bodwell family crest and coat of arms? When did the Bodwell family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Bodwell family history?

The Scottish surname Bodwell comes from a place in Lanarkshire, derived from the Middle English words "bothy," meaning a "small hut," and "well," meaning a "spring," or "stream," or "wyell," which denoted a fishing pool in the river.

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Bothwell, Borthwell, Bothwel, Borthwel, Bothewell, Boduel and many more.

First found in Lanarkshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, possibly even before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D. The earliest record found of the name is of William de Bothvile, who witnessed a grant in Circa 1190-1220. A Rger de Bodevill was a juror on inquisition relating to the lands of Hopkelchoc, in 1259.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bodwell research. Another 261 words(19 lines of text) covering the years 1347, 1366, 1369, 1342, 1536, 1578, 1617, 1663, 1640, 1644, 1st and 1609 are included under the topic Early Bodwell History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 97 words(7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bodwell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Bodwell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 105 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Bodwell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • James Bodwell, who landed in Maryland in 1657
  • Andrew Bodwell, who arrived in Maryland in 1662
  • William Bodwell, who arrived in Maryland in 1670

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  • Robinson Bodwell (1818-1887), American politician, 40th Governor of Maine
  • Ebenezer Vining Bodwell (1827-1889), Canadian businessman and politician who represented Oxford South in the Canadian House of Commons from 1867 to 1874, Superintendent for the Welland Canal and served (1875-1879)


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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: Obdura adversus urgentia
Motto Translation: Not yielding to provocations.

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  1. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  2. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  3. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  4. Bain, Robert. The Clans and Tartans of Scotland. Glasgow & London: Collins, 1968. Print. (ISBN 000411117-6).
  5. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  6. Martine, Roddy, Roderick Martine and Don Pottinger. Scottish Clan and Family Names Their Arms, Origins and Tartans. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1992. Print.
  7. Browne, James. The History of Scotland it's Highlands, Regiments and Clans 8 Volumes. Edinburgh: Francis A Niccolls & Co, 1909. Print.
  8. 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).
  9. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  10. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  11. ...

The Bodwell Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bodwell 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 14 February 2013 at 13:12.

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