The name Bolger has changed considerably in the time that has passed since its genesis. It originally appeared in Gaelic as O Bolguidir, which likely meant yellow belly (from bolg odhar).
Early Origins of the Bolger family
The surname Bolger was first found in Wexford
(Irish: Loch Garman), founded by Vikings
as Waesfjord, and located in Southeastern Ireland
, in the province of Leinster
, where they held a family seat
from very ancient times, and, even today, the name is only very rarely found outside the province of Leinster
Early History of the Bolger family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bolger research.Another 315 words (22 lines of text) covering the years 1570, 1608, 1672, and 1679 are included under the topic Early Bolger History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bolger Spelling Variations
Names during the Middle Ages were often recorded under several different spelling variations
during the life of their bearers. Literacy was rare at that time and so how a person's name was recorded was decided by the individual scribe. Variations of the name Bolger include Bollger, Bulger, Boulger, O'Bolger, O'Bulger, Bolger, Bolgire, Bulgire, O'Bulgire, O'Bolgire and many more.
Early Notables of the Bolger family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Bolger Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Bolger family to the New World and Oceana
Many destitute Irish families
in the 18th and 19th centuries decided to leave their homeland, which had in many ways been scarred by English colonial rule. One of the most frequent destinations for these families was North America where it was possible for an Irish family to own their own parcel of land. Many of the early settlers did find land awaiting them in British North America, or even later in America, but for the majority of immigrants that arrived as a result of the Great Potato Famine
of the late 1840s the ownership of land was often a long way off. These Irish people were initially put to work on such industrial projects as the building of bridges, canals, and railroads, or they worked at manufacturing positions within factories. Whenever they arrived, the Irish made enormous contributions to the infant nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the earliest immigrants to bearer the name of Bolger were found through extensive research of immigration and passenger lists:
Bolger Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- John Bolger who settled in Boston Massachusetts with his wife Cathy in 1804
- Philip Bolger, who arrived in Mississippi in 1816 CITATION[CLOSE]
Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
- Thomas Bolger, his wife and five children who sailed on the "Ann Kenny" from County Waterford, Ireland and arrived in New York State, January 17th 1851
- Edward, James, Patrick, and Stephen Bolger all, who arrived in Philadelphia between 1855 and 1865
- Anastasia Bolger, aged 16, who settled in America from Rathdowney, in 1899
Bolger Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Annie Bolger, aged 27, who emigrated to America from Ireland, in 1902
- Annie L. Bolger, aged 28, who emigrated to the United States from Rathanagar, Co. Wexford, in 1902
- Aidan Bolger, aged 20, who landed in America from Ermiscorthy, Ireland, in 1907
- Annie Bolger, aged 23, who landed in America from Graigue, Ireland, in 1908
- Bride Bolger, aged 23, who landed in America from Dublin, Ireland, in 1910
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Bolger Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
- Bride Bolger, aged 27, who settled in Torbay, Newfoundland, in 1920
Bolger Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- Ann Bolger, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Navarino" in 1848 CITATION[CLOSE]
State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) NAVARINO 1848. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1848Navarino.htm
- Johanna Bolger, aged 22, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Lismoyne"
- Patrick Bolger, aged 20, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Agincourt"
Bolger Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Anne Bolger, aged 21, a housemaid, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "City of Auckland" in 1872
Contemporary Notables of the name Bolger (post 1700)
- William F. Bolger (1923-1989), 65th Postmaster General of the United States from 1978 to 1985
- Ray Bolger (1904-1987), American entertainer known for his portrayal of the Scarecrow and Kansas farmworker Hunk in the 1939 film, The Wizard of Oz
- John Michael Bolger (b. 1957), American actor
- John Bolger (b. 1954), American actor
- Sarah Bolger (b. 1991), Irish actress
- Jim Bolger (b. 1941), Irish racehorse trainer
- Emma Bolger (b. 1996), Irish child actress
- Dermot Bolger (b. 1959), Irish novelist, playwright and poet
- James Brendan "Jim" Bolger (b. 1935), New Zealand politician, Prime Minister from 1990 to 1997
The Bolger Motto
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: Deus nobis Haec Otio Fecit
Motto Translation: God made ??us this leisure