Archiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2007-02 > 1170904236

From: "taf" <>
Subject: Re: Bulkley Ancestors in Normandy 1050-1150
Date: 7 Feb 2007 19:10:36 -0800
References: <>
In-Reply-To: <>

On Feb 7, 9:19 am, paul bulkley <> wrote:
> Dear TAF:
> Thank you for your excellent suggestion that the
> family name should consider the name ending with the
> term "legh".
> My immediate response is "Why Not"
> However the problem is finding meaningful evidence
> that the family name was Bulklegh or whatever.
> Admittedly certain authorities that have specialised
> in explaining family names have proposed that the name
> was derived from the Cheshire village of Bulkelegh or
> of similar spelling.
> But what credibility can be given to such a
> conclusion?
> Scribes commonly wrote phonetically - thus if one
> examine public documents one will discover the family
> name of Bulkley spelt 60 to 100 different ways. How
> can one believe a name to be prescribed to a village
> when the name of the village and the family has been
> spelt in so many ways?

Opening up a Pandora's box, this criticism applies to all usage of
surname to point to origin . . . . . and that is the only evidence you
have got. If you can't use the surname, then you are really stuck.

> Secondly if one is seriously seeking the ancestors of
> a specific family, does it make sense to assume that
> the name expert has a correct explanation?

Well, if they really are experts, then perhaps they have a better
chance of being right than a non-expert. Are you an expert?

> To simply hope that the name expert is correct, and
> then to simply wait and wait to find the inexplicable
> hidden ancestors in Cheshire makes little sense.
> Richard Bulceleia is recorded to have been a witness
> to a Bunbury charter 1170/1180. Should we not imagine
> that if the family name is named after the village
> that the village should have been named Bulceleai?

Umm, see above, where you have already drawn your conclusion,
demonstrating this as nothing but a red herring. Not that you really
were serious here, but Bulkeley is the modern spelling of the town,
not the 12th century spelling. What makes you think it wasn't
Bulceleia? -leia _is_ -lega _is_ -legh, -ley, -lee, etc.

> Anyhow the question is finding avenues to discover the
> hidden ancestors. Where did they come from?

Yes, and you find ancestors by starting with what you know and tracing
back, not by doing a global search for anyone with a remotely similar
name and assuming from this some grand connected family. _If_ they
were named for the English town, then the similarities are entirely
coincidental, and you are wasting all of your effort. It is your time
to waste, but one ignores the obvious in favor of the more essoteric
explanation at their own peril.

> Records reveal that Buckleys (Whalley coucher) were in
> Lancashire 1150 or earlier. Currently I assume that
> they were servants/stewards of the Lacy (Lascy)
> Family. One member is claimed to have married a
> daughter of Roger Lacy Earl Chester lord of
> Pontefract.

Buckleys and not Bulkeleys. What makes you think they represent the
same family?

> Dublin Ireland 1200 records reveal of excavations of a
> comprehensive foundry and the manufacture of buckles
> and similar items - name of owner brothers Bukeley.
> London/Essex/Kent records commence 1200 include
> numerous members of the family including skills in the
> Goldsmith Guild.
> Public UK Records reveal license for a George Bukeler
> (Bucler) merchant of Rouen to visit England a couple
> of times(early 1200s)

More tenuous connections.

> What is of some interest and significance (perhaps) is
> that the Bulkleys of Cheshire, the Buckleys of
> Lancashire and Yorkshire, the Bukelers of Dublin
> Ireland, the Bulkleys of London, Essex, and Kent, and
> the Bukeler (Bucler) merchant of Rouen never appear to
> have crossed paths, and I have yet to find any family
> connection.

Yet you seem to be operating on the assumption that there was one.

> Regardless all appeared to have possessed modest
> wealth, trade skills, and administrative abilities
> immediately they have been recorded in the various
> localities which suggests an ancestry that created
> this favorable state of affairs. It did not simply
> happen.

No? Argument from personal incredulity is not always persuasive.

> It is difficult to envision that the family in
> Cheshire achieved such a status surrounded by armed
> criminal camps and marauding Welsh. Perhaps feasible
> but doubtful.

Is this really an accurate description of 12th century Cheshire?
Anyhow, you are making the 'One Hugh Family" fallacy again. Just
because the Bulkeleys came from Cheshire doesn't mean that the
Bukelers did (in fact, the Cheshire origin is nearly antithetical to
the One Grand Family view), or even the Buckleys. (For example,
Buckley and Bulkeley would represent different critters living in the
field: bullocks vs. male deer, and easily could have come from two
completely different towns.) Now how hard is it for one Norman baron
in Cheshire to come out of it in the condition of the early documented
Bulkeleys. Not very. Probably most Normans in Cheshire that didn't
'daughter out' ended up exactly where the Bulkeleys were int he 12th

> Thus I think an investigation of Normandy and France
> makes some sense; particularly the possibility of some
> connection with the Lacy Family. It may explain the
> existence of merchants of the Bulkley family name in
> places such as Gandtz (Danzig)

Setting aside the assumption that the accounts of surname origin are
written by experts, your approach looks little different than saying:
"I know it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck and it flies
like a duck and it swims like a duck, but why would we trust a
naturalist to conclude it is a duck." The problem is that no matter
how much you want it to be a penguin, it still looks like a duck. It
may not be a duck, but you won't figure that out if all you do is
study penguins, auks and kiwis.


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