Bokan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The distinguished surname Bokan originated in Cornwall, a region of southwest England that is celebrated in the Arthurian romances of the Middle Ages. Though surnames became common during medieval times, English people were formerly known only by a single name. The way in which hereditary surnames were adopted in medieval England is fascinating. As the population of Europe burgeoned, 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. Despite the fact that occupational surnames are rare among the Cornish People, they nevertheless sometimes adopted surnames derived from the type of work they did. The surname Bokan was an occupational name for a maker of bows. Further research revealed that the name is derived from the Old English word buga or boga, meaning to bend.
Early Origins of the Bokan family
The surname Bokan was first found in Cornwall, in Treleage.
"There can be very little doubt that the manor of Lan-Keverne or St. Kyeran, is the same that is mentioned in Doomsday Survey, under the name of Lan-Achebran, which at that time belonged to a college of canons, called in that Survey the canons of St. Achebran. This property was afterwards in the family of Bogan, from whom it passed by marriage to the late Thomas Vyvyan, Esq. of Trewan." 
Again in Cornwall, "the church of St. Keverne is ornamented with a lofty steeple, which, standing on rising ground, is a conspicuous object at a great distance. Within the church there are memorials of the several families of Bogan, Sandys, and Squier." 
Early History of the Bokan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bokan research. Another 115 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1625 and 1659 are included under the topic Early Bokan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bokan 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 Bogan, Boggan and others.
Early Notables of the Bokan family (pre 1700)
Another 38 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bokan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Bokan family to Ireland
Some of the Bokan family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 41 words (3 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 Bokan family
Early immigration records have shown some of the first Bokans to arrive on North American shores: Ann Bogan who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1849; Bernard, John, Michael, Patrick, Walter, and William, all arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1840 and 1860..
Related Stories +
- ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print