Buckelay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient history of the Buckelay name begins with the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the family resided in any of the places named Buckley, or Buckleigh, in England. Buckelay is a local surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. The name may derive from the Old English "bok lee," meaning meadow, or field. The likely meaning of the name was "clearing in a beech wood" (with boc meaning beech tree and ley meaning wood, glade or clearing). The name could also have been construed from "bucc" meaning a buck or deer; or from the Welsh "bwlch y clai," meaning clay hole. [1]

Early Origins of the Buckelay family

The surname Buckelay was first found in Cheshire where Buckley was an Anglo-Saxon local, with some of its houses later recorded in the Domesday Book. The first documented evidence of its existence dates from 1294 when it was described as the pasturage of the Manor of Ewloe, spelled as "Bokkeley". [2]

Alternatively, the original spelling of the name was Bulclough, meaning "large mountains," and related specifically to a chain of mountains in central Cheshire in England. Whichever derivation, you choose, all point to Cheshire.

"The Buckleys of Cheshire have been for probably 200 years in the parish of Mottram-in-Longdendale. The name is at present best represented on and near the Lancashire border in the vicinity of Manchester, but it is also established in the counties of Derby, Lancashire, Stafford, Worcester, and in the West Riding." [3]

Early English rolls provide us a glimpse of the spelling variations used through Medieval times. Today we typically need to look beyond the spellings of these entries and concentrate on on a phonetic appreciation of the entries. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 include: David de Buckelay, Yorkshire; and Michael de Bokele, Suffolk. The Lay Subsidy Rolls include an entry for Christian de Bukkelegh, Lancashire, 1332. [4]

Early History of the Buckelay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Buckelay research. Another 165 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1570, 1537, 1517, 1610, 1524, 1572, 1547, 1571, 1593, 1584, 1593, 1641, 1698, 1583, 1659, 1635, 1568, 1650, 1650 and 1702 are included under the topic Early Buckelay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Buckelay Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Buckelay include Buckley, Bucklie, Buckly, Bulkely, Bulkley, Bulkelly, Boukley, Bulkaly, Bulkly, Bulklay and many more.

Early Notables of the Buckelay family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include William Buckley (d. 1570?), an English mathematician, a native of Lichfield, educated at Eton, whence he was elected to a scholarship at King's College, Cambridge, in 1537. Robert or Sigebert Buckley (1517-1610), was a Benedictine monk who was professed at Westminster in Queen Mary's reign. "He was imprisoned on refusing to take the oath of supremacy, and remained in captivity during the whole of Elizabeth's...
Another 71 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Buckelay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Buckelay family to Ireland

Some of the Buckelay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 198 words (14 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Buckelay family

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Buckelay or a variant listed above: Daniel Buckley settled in New England in 1635; Humphrey Buckley settled in Virginia in 1635; Luce Buckley settled in Barbados in 1660; John Buckley settled in Pennsylvania in 1682.



The Buckelay 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: Nec temere nec timide
Motto Translation: Neither rashly nor timidly.


  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)


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