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The name Bosley was brought to England by the Normans when they conquered the country in 1066. The ancestors of the Bosley family lived at Bosley in Cheshire, where they were established since the early Middle Ages.
It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Bosley are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Bosley include Bosley, Boasley, Bozley, Boazley, Bosely, Bozely, Bosleigh, Boslea, Bozleigh and many more.
First found in Cheshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Bosley. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book,  indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, at the time of the taking of the Domesday Book the small village of Bosley was held by Hugh FitzNorman, Lord of Lea (Leigh,) otherwise known as Hugh de la Mare, held Bosley as an undertenant from Earl Hugh Lupus the great Earl of Chester. Conjecturally, the Bosleys are descended from this Hugh FitzNorman who adopted the name Baron Hugh of Bosley. Bosley is now the site of a reservoir. Since he is recorded in a Breton charter in 1070, Hugh may have been a Breton Baron by marriage, but his main stem family came from Lamare at St.Opportune, in Normandy where the family castle was built on piles by the side of the lake.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bosley research. Another 209 words (15 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bosley History in all our PDF Extended History products.
More information is included under the topic Early Bosley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Bosley, or a variant listed above:
Bosley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Bosley Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
Bosley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
The Bosley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bosley 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 7 January 2016 at 11:58.