Bunkie History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Bunkie arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Bunkie family 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.

Early Origins of the Bunkie family

The surname Bunkie was 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.

Reginal de Bungheye was Lord Mayor of London in 1240. Thomas Bungay (fl. 1290), was a learned Franciscan friar, born at Bungay, Suffolk, and educated at Paris and Oxford. He became the tenth reader in divinity at Oxford. He later moved to Cambridge, where he held a similar position. [2]

Early History of the Bunkie family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bunkie research. Another 40 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 158 and 1588 are included under the topic Early Bunkie History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bunkie Spelling Variations

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Bungey, Bungay, Bunker, Bunkar, Bunkey, Bunkay, Bungy and many more.

Early Notables of the Bunkie family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Bunkie family

Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Bunkie or a variant listed above: James and George Bunker who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1630; George Bunker settled in Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1630; G. and J. Bunker arrived in San Francisco Cal. in 1850.



  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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