Show ContentsBulmer History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Bulmer family name dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. The name comes from when an early member worked as a keeper of bull calves. This surname may also refer to an exuberant young man

"The most ancient of all the timeworn towers of Raby [Castle in Durham] bears two gigantic sculptured B's for Bertram de Bulmer, placed there when it was restored and heightened in the fourteenth century by John Lord Nevill; and the same letter is shown on his seals, and appears on the bordure of his shield in Durham Cathedral. " [1]

Early Origins of the Bulmer family

The surname Bulmer was first found in the Ryedale district of North Yorkshire, where one of the first records of the name was Antetin de Bulemer (Bulmere), one of the witnesses of a letter to King David I regarding the consecration of Robert, Bishop of St. Andrews at York in 1128. The village dates back to at least the Domesday Book where it was listed as Bolemere and literally meant "pool where bulls drink." [2]

The township of Sheepwash (or Shipwash) in Northumberland was home to another branch of the family. " The ancient mansion of the Bulmer family, here, is beautifully situated amidst gardens, orchards, and shrubberies of great luxuriance; and the parsonage-house of the parish, which is within the township, surrounded by the windings of the river, is also a very interesting feature." [3]

And another branch of the family was found at Thorpe-Bulmer in Durham. "This township derives the adjunct to its name from the family of Bulmer, one of whom, Sir John Bulmer, was attainted in the reign of Henry VIII." [3]

And yet another branch of the family was found at Wilton in the North Riding of Yorkshire. "Wilton Castle, recently built upon the site of the ancient baronial castle of the Bulmers, who possessed it for many generations, till Sir John Bulmer, Knt., was attainted of high treason, when his estates were confiscated." [3] Sheriff Hutton in the North Riding of Yorkshire was another ancient family seat. "This place is celebrated for its castle, erected in the time of Stephen (1140) by Bertram de Bulmer, from whose family it descended by marriage to the Nevilles, who held it till the battle of Barnet, in 1471, when Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, was slain, and his estates confiscated." [3]

Early History of the Bulmer family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bulmer research. Another 119 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1128, 1300, 1342, 1310, 1465, 1531, 1503, 1516, 1517, 1481, 1537, 1558 and 1537 are included under the topic Early Bulmer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bulmer Spelling Variations

Bulmer has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Many variations of the name Bulmer have been found, including Bullmer, Bilmer, Bulmar, Bulmore, Bulmer and others.

Early Notables of the Bulmer family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Sir Bertram Bulmer of Thirsdale; Lord Bulmer, Distinguished Parliamentarian 1342; Sir Ralph Bulmer, Lord of the Manor of Wilton in 1310; Sir William Bulmer (1465-1531), of Wilton, High Sheriff of Durham (1503-1516) and High Sheriff of Yorkshire in 1517; and his son, Sir John Bulmer...
Another 53 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bulmer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Bulmer migration to the United States +

In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Bulmers to arrive on North American shores:

Bulmer Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Benis Bulmer, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [4]
  • Tho Bulmer, who landed in Virginia in 1636 [4]
  • Thomas Bulmer, who settled in Virginia in 1636
  • Bevis Bulmer, who arrived in Virginia in 1638 [4]
Bulmer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Bulmer, aged 21, who arrived in New York in 1812 [4]
  • Frank Bulmer, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1878 [4]

Canada Bulmer migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Bulmer Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • John Bulmer who settled in Nova Scotia in 1774 with his wife and three sons
  • George Bulmer, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1774
  • George Bulmer, aged 14, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1774
  • Grace Bulmer, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1774
  • James Bulmer, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1774
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Bulmer migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Bulmer Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss. Mary Ann Bulmer, British Convict who was convicted in Durham, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Asia" on 9th March 1847, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [5]
  • John Bulmer, aged 22, a miner, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Nabob"

New Zealand Bulmer 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:

Bulmer Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Peter Bulmer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ionic" in 1884

Contemporary Notables of the name Bulmer (post 1700) +

  • Gerald Bulmer (b. 1920), English Rector of Liverpool Polytechnic
  • William Bulmer (1757-1830), English printer and typographer, known for his eponymous type face [6]
  • Agnes Bulmer (1775-1836), née Collinson, an English poet, born in London, and belonged to the Wesleyan community, having been admitted by Wesley himself [6]
  • John Robert Leopold Bulmer (1867-1917), English first-class cricketer who played in the 1891 Roses match at Bradford Park Avenue, for Yorkshire County Cricket Club in 1891
  • John Bulmer (b. 1938), English photographer, grandson of Percy Bulmer
  • Henry Percival "Percy" Bulmer, English founder of H.P. Bulmer, a cider-making company founded in 1887
  • James Esmond Bulmer (b. 1935), British Conservative Party politician, Member of Parliament for Kidderminster (1974–1983) and for Wyre Forest (1983–1987)
  • Ralph Bulmer (1928-1988), New Zealand ethnobiologist
  • Henry Kenneth Bulmer (1921-2005), British author of science fiction, known for his many "cycle" series
  • Captain Roscoe Carlyle Bulmer (1874-1919), American officer in the United States Navy, eponym of the USS Bulmer (DD-222/AG-86), a Clemson-class destroyer

Bradford City stadium fire
  • Christopher James Bulmer (1974-1985), from Burley-in-Wharfedale who attended the Bradford City and Lincoln City Third Division match on 11th May 1985 when the Bradford City stadium fire occurred and he died in the fire

  1. Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
  2. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, 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. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th February 2020). Retrieved from
  6. Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 5 Feb. 2019 on Facebook