Show ContentsBosley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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.

Early Origins of the Bosley family

The surname Bosley was 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, [1] 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.

Early History of the Bosley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bosley research. Another 92 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bosley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bosley Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Bosley family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Bosley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bosley Ranking

In the United States, the name Bosley is the 4,883rd most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [2]

United States Bosley migration to the United States +

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
  • William Bosley, who settled in Mississippi in 1844
  • William M Bosley, who landed in Mississippi in 1844 [3]
  • Ellen Rose Bosley, aged 31, who landed in America from Liverpool, in 1892
  • R. Armytage Bosley, aged 26, who immigrated to the United States, in 1893
  • Geo Bosley, aged 26, who landed in America, in 1894
Bosley Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • A. M. Bosley, aged 52, who immigrated to the United States, in 1901
  • George Bosley, aged 18, who landed in America from Nottingham, in 1904
  • Harriet Bosley, aged 29, who settled in America from Kingston, in 1906
  • William Ed. Bosley, aged 24, who immigrated to the United States from London, in 1906
  • Wm. Bosley, aged 49, who landed in America, in 1906
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Bosley migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Bosley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

New Zealand Bosley migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Bosley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Sarah Bosley, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Andrew Jackson" in 1865

Contemporary Notables of the name Bosley (post 1700) +

  • Freeman Robertson Bosley Jr. (b. 1954), American, lawyer and politician, mayor of St. Louis
  • Bruce Bosley (b. 1933), American football (NFL) player
  • Tom Bosley (1927-2010), Tony award winning American actor perhaps best known for his role as Mr. Cunningham on "Happy Days" [6]
  • Kenneth T. Bosley, American Democratic Party politician, Democratic Candidate for U.S. Representative from Maryland, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004 [7]
  • Kenneth P. Bosley, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Kentucky, 1996 [7]
  • J. L. Bosley, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Kentucky, 1888 [7]
  • Helen Bosley, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Connecticut, 1988 [7]
  • H. Hugh Bosley (b. 1919), American Democratic Party politician, Member of West Virginia State House of Delegates from Fayette County, 1957-58 [7]
  • Freeman Bosley Jr., American Democratic Party politician, Mayor of St. Louis, Missouri, 1993-97; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Missouri, 1996, 2000 [7]
  • Daniel E. Bosley, American Democratic Party politician, Elected Massachusetts State House of Representatives First Berkshire District 2002; Member, Credentials Committee, Democratic National Convention, 2008 [7]
  • ... (Another 5 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Hood
  • Mr. Frank W Bosley (b. 1919), English Leading Sick Berth Attendant serving for the Royal Navy from Portsmouth, Hampshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the HMS Hood sinking [8]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Kenneth Leroy Bosley, American Electrician's Mate Third Class from Iowa, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [9]

  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  3. 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)
  4. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 5th November 2020). Retrieved from
  5. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 3rd November 2020). Retrieved from
  6. Tom Bosley. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Tom Bosley. Retrieved from
  7. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 7) . Retrieved from
  8. H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from
  9. Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from on Facebook