Bulson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Bulson family

The surname Bulson was first found in Cambridgeshire at Balsham, a rural village and civil parish which dates back to Saxon times when it was known as Bellesham in 974. In 1015, Balsham was destroyed by Viking raiders and a marker on the village green commemorates the sole survivor of the attack who escaped by hiding in the parish church. By the Domesday Book of 1086, the village was known as Belesham [1] and literally meant "homestead or village of a man called Baelli," from the Old English personal name + "ham." [2] At that time, Balsham was a small village with a Mill. Other sources concur the name is: "from Balsham in Cambridgeshire, which Fuller characterizes as 'an eminent village,' and the only one in England bearing the name. " [3] [4]

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 sound of the entries. Pinna de Belesham was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086. [1] Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Balsham who was a Norman noble named Hardwin of Scales who held his lands from the Abbot of Ely who was recorded in the Domesday Book. Later, Margaret de Balsham was listed in the Assize Rolls for Cambridgeshire in 1260. Years later, William Balsham was found in the Assize Rolls for Kent in 1317. [5]

Adam of Balsham (Latin: Adam Balsamiensis or Adam Parvipontanus) (c. 1100-c. 1157) was an Anglo-Norman scholastic and churchman born in Balsham, near Cambridge.

Hugh de Balsham (died 1286), a Benedictine monk was Bishop of Ely and founder of Peter-house College, Cambridge. He was born and is interred here. A brass in the church at Balsham, Cambridgeshire of the bishop can still be seen today. He "was born in the earlier part of the thirteenth century, most probably in the Cambridgeshire village from which he may be presumed to have taken his name. Matthew Paris, in the only passage where he mentions the bishop by name, calls him Hugo de Belesale, which is doubtless the reason why Fuller introduces him as 'Hugo de Balsham (for so he is truly written)' 'It was fashionable,' says Fuller, 'for clergy-men in that age to assume their surnames from the place of their nativity;' and 'there is no other village of that name throughout the dominions of England.' The bishop's supposed birthplace lies about ten miles from Camhridge and nine from Newmarket, in a pleasant neighbourhood, which justifies to this day Henry of Huntingdon's description of it, cited by Fuller, as 'amœnissima Montana de Balsham.' The village is one of those specified in 1401, in connection with a long-standing controversy between the bishops of Ely and the arch-deacons of Ely who called themselves arch-deacons of Cambridge, as under the direct jurisdiction of the bishops (Bentham's Ely, 269). At one time the place was an episcopal manor-seat, and Bishop Simon Montague from time to time abode there. The church, which has been recently restored, contains some ancient monuments, among them a small brass figure on a slab, said to be that of Hugh de Balsham." [6]

Early History of the Bulson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bulson research. Another 69 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1260, 1317, 1523 and 1642 are included under the topic Early Bulson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bulson Spelling Variations

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Bulson family name include Balsom, Balsam, Balsham, Balson, Ballsom, Ballsam and many more.

Early Notables of the Bulson family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Bulson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Bulson migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Bulson family to immigrate North America:

Bulson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Bulson, aged 31, who immigrated to America, in 1894
Bulson Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mrs. A. E. Bulson, aged 37, who landed in America, in 1906
  • Dr. A. E. Bulson, aged 39, who settled in America, in 1906
  • Eugene Bulson, aged 12, who landed in America, in 1906
  • Miss Geraldine Bulson, aged 9, who settled in America, in 1906
  • Miss Margaret Bulson, who immigrated to the United States, in 1909
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Bulson migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Bulson Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Cornelius Bulson U.E. who settled in Williamsburg [South Dundas], Ontario c. 1783 [7]
  • Cornelius Bulson, who settled in Canada in 1796

Contemporary Notables of the name Bulson (post 1700) +

  • Morris L. Bulson, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for New York State Assembly from Rensselaer County 2nd District, 1934 [8]


  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. ^ Charnock, Richard, Stephen, Ludus Patronymicus of The Etymology of Curious Surnames. London: Trubner & Co., 60 Paternoster Row, 1868. Print.
  5. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  7. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 3) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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