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Bozleigh is one of the many new names that came to England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Bozleigh family lived at Bosley in Cheshire, where they were established since the early Middle Ages.
Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled 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 Bozleigh research. Another 209 words (15 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bozleigh History in all our PDF Extended History products.
More information is included under the topic Early Bozleigh Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Bozleigh or a variant listed above were: William Bosley settled in Mississippi in 1844.
The Bozleigh Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bozleigh 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 27 October 2010 at 13:21.