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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


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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The surname Bodwell was 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.

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


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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. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  2. Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
  3. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  4. Fairbairn,. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  5. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  6. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and Don Pottinger. Clan Map Scotland of Old. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1983. Print.
  7. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  8. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  10. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  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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