Bulkely History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Bulkely comes from when the family resided in any of the places named Buckley, or Buckleigh, in England. Bulkely 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 Bulkely family

The surname Bulkely 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 Bulkely family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bulkely 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 Bulkely History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bulkely Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore,spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Bulkely has been recorded under many different variations, including Buckley, Bucklie, Buckly, Bulkely, Bulkley, Bulkelly, Boukley, Bulkaly, Bulkly, Bulklay and many more.

Early Notables of the Bulkely 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 Bulkely Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Bulkely family to Ireland

Some of the Bulkely 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.


New Zealand Bulkely 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:

Bulkely Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Francis Bulkely, aged 22, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Lady Nugent" in 1850

West Indies Bulkely migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [5]
Bulkely Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • William Bulkely with son and servants settled in Barbados in 1679

Contemporary Notables of the name Bulkely (post 1700) +

  • Lieutenant John Bulkely, American who received the Medal of Honor for his many daring missions in the Philippines in the months from December 8, 1941 to April 10, 1942


The Bulkely 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)
  5. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies


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