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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

The illustrious surname Boughner 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. Boughner 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.


The surname Boughner 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." [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
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.

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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Boughner research. Another 269 words (19 lines of text) covering the years 1424, 1749, 1800, 1389, 1465, 1466, 1657, 1707, 1679, 1685, 1695, 1698, 1702, 1707, 1691 and 1767 are included under the topic Early Boughner History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


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.) "Streatlam Castle, [in Streatlam, Durham] a...

Another 64 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Boughner Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Some of the Boughner family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 101 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Boughner, or a variant listed above: Jo Bowes who settled in Virginia in 1635; John Bowes settled in Barbados in 1634; Katherin Bowes settled in Virginia in 1635; Margaret Bowes settled in Maryland in 1723.


  • Daniel W. Boughner, American Republican politician, Postmaster at Clarksburg, West Virginia, 1890-93
  • Charles B. Boughner (b. 1825), American politician, Member of Michigan State Senate 14th District, 1891-92
  • Barry Michael Boughner (b. 1948), Canadian former professional ice hockey right winger
  • Robert Boughner (b. 1971), nicknamed The Boogieman, Canadian retired professional ice hockey defenceman, and current head coach of the OHL Windsor Spitfires, two-time winner of the Brian Kilrea Coach of the Year Award (2008 and 2010)

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.


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  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  2. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  3. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  4. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  5. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  6. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  7. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  8. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  9. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  10. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  11. ...

The Boughner Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Boughner 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 20 June 2016 at 15:36.

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