Recorded in several forms as shown below, this surname is of Olde English origins. It is either topographical or perhaps locational, from either the pre 7th century word "budda" meaning beetle, and "leah", a fenced clearing, suitable for agriculture, or if locational probably from the village of Budleigh in the diocese of Exeter, Devonshire. This place is recorded as Bodelie in the famous Domesday Book of 1086. The surname dates back to the late 13th Century (see below), and other early recordings include those of Dennis de Buddelegh in the Hundred Rolls of Devonshire in the year 1273, and John de Bodet in the Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire for the same year. The spellings of the surname are believed to include Bodely, Bodele, Bodell, Bodily, Buddleigh and Bodleigh. Other early recordings taken from surviving church registers include Eliatha Bodell, the daughter of Moses Bodell, who was christened at St. Mary's Whitechapel, in the city of London, on August 12th 1604, and Joanna Bodell, who married Adam Johnstone at St. Martins-in-the-Fields, Westminster, on April 18th 1620. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Bodele. This was dated 1273, in the Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire, during the reign of King Edward Ist of England, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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