Bough History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The illustrious surname Bough is classified as a habitation surname, which was originally derived from a place-name, and is one form of surname belonging to a broader group called hereditary surnames. Habitation names were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Topographic names, form the other broad category of surnames that was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree.

Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties. As a general rule, the greater the distance between an individual and their homeland, the larger the territory they were named after. For example, a person who only moved to another parish would be known by the name of their original village, while people who migrated to a different country were often known by the name of a region or country from which they came. Bough is a place-name from in the village of Bowes in Durham. The place and the surname both are derived from the Old English word bogas, which meant "bend in the river" The village was renamed Bogas in 1148.

Another source claims " about the time of the Conqueror, there was a town (on the site of the Castle of Bowes), which the tradition of the family states, was burned. It then belonged to the Earls of Brittany and Richmond. The castle was built, as Mr. Horseley thinks, out of the ruins of the Roman Fortress, by Alan Niger, the second earl of that title, who, it is said, placed therein William, his relation, with five hundred archers to defend it against some insurgents in Cambridge and Westmorland confederated with the Scots, giving him for the device of his standard the arms of Brittany, with three bows and a bundle of arrows, whence both the castle and the commander derived their names; the former being called Bowes Castle, and the latter, William de Arcubus, or William Bowes." [1]

Early Origins of the Bough family

The surname Bough was first found in Durham where they held a family seat as the Lords of Streatham Castle. "The family of Bowes held some lands [in Ingleton] under the Nevills, who possessed the greater part of the township as a member of Raby." [2]

They were related to Alan Niger who was Duke of Brittany. His descendant Sir William Bowes was Captain of 500 archers and Governor of Bowes Castle, which was responsible for the defense of the Kingdom against the Scots. He was great, great grandfather of Sir Adam Bowes, Steward of Richmondshire, living in 1345.

Early History of the Bough family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bough research. Another 134 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1424, 1749, 1800, 1389, 1465, 1466, 1657, 1707, 1679, 1685, 1695, 1698, 1702, 1707, 1517, 1556, 1585, 1527, 1580, 1502, 1568, 1510, 1521, 1616, 1691, 1767, 1718 and 1725 are included under the topic Early Bough History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bough Spelling Variations

Since the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules, Breton surnames have many spelling variations. Latin and French, which were the official court languages, were also influential on the spelling of surnames. 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. Therefore, 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 after the Norman Conquest, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. The name has been spelled Bows, Bow, Bowes, Bowe, Bough, Boughs and others.

Early Notables of the Bough family (pre 1700)

Notable of this family during the Middle Ages was Sir William Bowes (1389-1465); and his son, Sir William Bowes (died 1466), Sheriff of Northumberland; and Sir William Bowes (1657-1707), an English landowner and politician, Member of Parliament for County Durham (1679-1685), (1695-1698) and (1702-1707.) Sir George Bowes (1517-1556), was Commander in Border warfare and was a posthumous son of Sir Ralph Bowes of Dalden, Streatlam, and South Cowton. Marmaduke Bowes (d. 1585), was a Catholic martyr, described as a substantial Yorkshire yeoman, of Angram Grange, near Appleton, in Cleveland. [3] Sir George Bowes (1527-1580), was a military commander, the son of Richard Bowes and...
Another 205 words (15 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bough Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Bough family to Ireland

Some of the Bough family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 72 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Bough migration to the United States +

Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Bough, or a variant listed above:

Bough Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Bough, who arrived in Virginia in 1665 [4]
Bough Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Henry and Thomas Bough, who settled in Philadelphia in 1739 and 1772 respectively
  • Thomas Bough, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1750 [4]

Canada Bough migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Bough Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Frederick Bough Jr., U.E. who settled in Eastern District [Cornwall], Ontario c. 1783 [5]
  • Mr. Frederick Bough Sr., U.E. who settled in Eastern District [Cornwall], Ontario c. 1783 [5]
  • Mr. John Bough U.E. who settled in Eastern District [Cornwall], Ontario c. 1783 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Bough (post 1700) +

  • James A. Bough, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Virgin Islands, 1936, 1960; U.S. Attorney for Virgin Islands, 1937-46 [6]
  • Charles F. Bough, American politician, Representative from Ohio 18th District, 1900 [6]
  • Samuel Bough (1822-1878), English landscape painter, third child of a shoemaker, originally from Somerset, born at Carlisle on 8 Jan. 1822 [7]
  • Frank Joseph Bough (1933-2020), English television presenter and host of BBC sports and current affairs shows including Grandstand, Nationwide and Breakfast Time

The Bough 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: Quaerere verum
Motto Translation: To seek the truth.

  1. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 29) . Retrieved from
  7. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 5 Feb. 2019 on Facebook
Fastest Delivery Possible

Digital Products on Checkout, all other products filled in 1 business day

Money Back
Money Back Guarantee

Yes, all products 100% Guaranteed

BBB A+ Rating

The Best Rating possible

Secure Online Payment

Entire site uses SSL / Secure Certificate