Boleyn History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Boleyn arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Boleyn family lived in Lincolnshire and various other areas throughout Britain. The name of this family, however, does not refer to these areas, but to the French Channel port of "Boulogne."
Early Origins of the Boleyn family
The surname Boleyn was first found in various counties throughout Britain. The earliest listing of the name appears to be Gilebert de Bollon who was listed in Northumberland in 1168. 
Over one hundred years later, the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed: Pharamund de Boloynne in Buckinghamshire; Richard de Boloyne in Somerset; John de Boloyne in Cambridge; and Thomas Boloyne in Essex.  Interestingly, the rolls also listed Simon, Count of 'Buloyne' as residing in Oxford. In the reference "History of Norfolk," Simon de Boleyn was listed about the same time. 
Anne Boleyn (c. 1501-1536), Queen of England from 1533 to 1536 as the second wife of King Henry VIII, claimed descendancy from Geoffrey Boleyn (d. 1440), a yeoman of Salle, Norfolk.
Important Dates for the Boleyn family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Boleyn research. Another 94 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1406, 1463, 1440, 1451, 1505, 1501, 1507, 1536, 1533, 1536, 1480, 1538, 1504, 1536, 1499, 1543, 1477, 1539, 1603, 1576, 1550, 1554, 1454 and 1539 are included under the topic Early Boleyn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Boleyn Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Bullen, Bulen, Bullan, Bulloyne, Bouleyne, Bulleyn and many more.
Early Notables of the Boleyn family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Geoffrey Boleyn (1406-1463), Lord Mayor of London, son of Geoffrey Boleyn (d. 1440) yeoman of Salle, Norfolk; Sir William Boleyn (1451-1505), the son of Sir Geoffrey Boleyn, a wealthy mercer and Lord Mayor of London; Admiral Sir Charles Bullen; Anne Boleyn (c.1501 or 1507-1536), Queen of England (1533-1536), 1st Marquess of Pembroke, second wife of King Henry VIII; Elizabeth Boleyn (1480-1538), Countess of Wiltshire, mother of Anne Boleyn; George Boleyn (1504-1536), Viscount Rochford, brother of Anne, executed with her for incest, adultery and treason; Mary Boleyn (c.1499-1543), Anne's sister and a long-term...
Another 156 words (11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Boleyn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Boleyn family to Ireland
Some of the Boleyn family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 80 words (6 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 Boleyn family
Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Boleyn name or one of its variants: Silvester Bullen who settled in Virginia in 1624; John Bullen settled in Maryland in 1775. Richard Bullen arrived in New York State in 1752.
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print