Show ContentsBokeane History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The birthplace of the surname Bokeane is Cornwall, a rugged peninsula in southwestern England that is noted for its strong Gaelic traditions. 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. 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 Bokeane 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 Bokeane family

The surname Bokeane 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." [1]

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." [1]

Early History of the Bokeane family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bokeane research. Another 115 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1625 and 1659 are included under the topic Early Bokeane History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bokeane 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 Bokeane family (pre 1700)

Another 38 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bokeane Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Bokeane family to Ireland

Some of the Bokeane 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 Bokeane family

Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Bokeane were among those contributors: 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..

  1. Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print on Facebook