This is one of the most famous names in history. Recorded in many forms as shown below, it is English but of French origins, the original nameholders being from the French Channel port of Boulogne. This was recorded by the Romans as both Gessoriacum, which seems to have been lost, and later as Bononia, which is at least recognizeable as the modern form. As such it is a derivative of the Latin word "bonus", meaning good, or the Gaulish element "bona", meaning foundation. Boulogne has long been a major trading port between England and France, and has supplied many of its citizens to Britain, although in so doing the name spelling has received some considerable transposition in most cases. The most famous name holder was Anne Boleyn, one of the unfortunate wives of King Henry V111th (1510 - 1547) . Locational surnames developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. There are estimated to be literally hundreds of 'English' spellings of this famous name and these include Bullen, Bulleyn, Bullion, Bullon, Bullin, Boleyn, Bollen, Boullin, Boullen, Bullan, Bullant, Bullene and Bullent. Early examples of recordings include the marriage of Thomas Bullen and Hanna Prince on February 2nd 1626, at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, and that of John Boleyn who appears in the Hearth Tax rolls of Suffolk in 1524. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Helias de Bolonia, which was dated 1121 - 1148, in "Feudal Documents from the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds", Suffolk. This was during the reign of King Henry 1st of England, and known as "The Lion of Justice", 1100 - 1135. . Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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