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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Bunker family come from? What is the English Bunker family crest and coat of arms? When did the Bunker family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Bunker family history?

When the ancestors of the Bunker family emigrated to England following the Norman Conquest in 1066 they brought their family name with them. They lived in Suffolk at Bungay, a market town that dates back to the Domesday Book where it was listed as Bunghea, probably derived from the Old English personal name + inga + eg and meant "island of the family or followers of a man called Buna." [1] Another reference claims the placename was derived from the term "le-bon-eye," signifying "the good island," as it was nearly surrounded by the river Waveney, which was once a broad stream. Soon after the Norman Conquest, a castle was built, which, from its situation and the strength of its fortifications, was deemed impregnable by its possessor, Hugh Bigot, Earl of Norfolk, in the reign of Stephen; but that monarch, in the 6th of his reign, in the year 1140, came with his army and took it. Over the years Bungay Castle has fallen into ruins, but in 1934 the amateur archaeologist Leonard Cane convinced people that a restoration was needed. Today it is owned by the Bungay Castle Trust.

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The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Bunker has been recorded under many different variations, including Bungey, Bungay, Bunker, Bunkar, Bunkey, Bunkay, Bungy and many more.

First found in Suffolk where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Bungay at the time of the Norman Conquest of England by Duke William of Normandy in 1066 A.D. Conjecturally they are descended from William de Noyers who held the lands of Bungay from the King. At the time of the taking of the Domesday Book survey in 1086 the holdings consisted of 4 Churches, 2.5 mills, 60 goats and 100 sheep. Bungay Castle was built by the Norman Earl Hugh Bigod in the 12th century.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bunker research. Another 79 words(6 lines of text) covering the years 158 and 1588 are included under the topic Early Bunker History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Bunker Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Bunkers were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America:

Bunker Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • James and George Bunker who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1630
  • George Bunker settled in Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1630
  • George Bunker, who arrived in Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1635
  • Benjamin Bunker, who arrived in New England in 1658

Bunker Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Christ Bunker, aged 22, landed in New Orleans, La in 1845
  • G. J. Bunker arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • Andrew Bunker, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • M Bunker, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • R R Bunker, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1860


Bunker Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Mr. Bathuee Bunker U.E who settled in Eastern District [Cornwall], Ontario c. 1783
  • Mr. Henry Bunker U.E who settled in Prince Edward County, Ontario c. 1783
  • Mr. John Bunker U.E who settled in Eastern District [Cornwall], Ontario c. 1783
  • Mr. John Bunker U.E who settled in Canada c. 1783
  • Mr. John Bunker, "Bonker" U.E who settled in Canada c. 1783

Bunker Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Lydia Bunker arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Julindur" in 1850

Bunker Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Edward Bunker, aged 40, a gardener, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oxford" in 1874
  • Mary Ann Bunker, aged 40, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oxford" in 1874
  • William Bunker, aged 11, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oxford" in 1874
  • Mary Bunker, aged 7, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oxford" in 1874

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  • Ellsworth Bunker (1894-1984), American diplomat and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Edward Heward Bunker (1933-2005), American author of crime fiction, a screenwriter, and an actor
  • Wallace Edward "Wally" Bunker (b. 1945), former American Major League Baseball pitcher who played from 1963 to 1971
  • Lawrence Benjamin "Larry" Bunker (1928-2005), American jazz drummer, vibraphonist, and percussionist
  • Eber Bunker (1761-1836), American sea captain and pastoralist
  • Mark Bunker, American television journalist
  • Paul Delmont Bunker (1881-1943), American football player and soldier
  • Clive William Bunker (b. 1946), British rock drummer
  • Chang and Eng Bunker (1811-1874), were the conjoined twin brothers whose condition and birthplace became the basis for the term "Siamese twins


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  • Meet Our Ancestors, Clubreth, Autry, Maxwell-Bundy, Winslow, Henley, and Allied Families by Vivian Mayo Bundy.
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  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)

Other References

  1. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  2. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  3. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  4. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  5. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  7. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  8. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  9. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  11. ...

The Bunker Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bunker 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 18 February 2015 at 13:15.

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