Mr Alan Bosley, a butcher in Harwell until 1975, gives this account of his family:
“The Bosley family, I have learnt, originated from France some two hundred years ago, when two brothers and their wives and eight sons escaped from the French revolution. They walked from the coast and eventually got to Shaw, near Newbury, where they found work in the brick fields, and from there they have spread to many parts of England and all over the world.
My grandfather, Mark, was landlord of the Travellers’ Welcome at East Hagbourne; he used to act as postman, and walked to Steventon to take the outgoing mail, and bring back the incoming mail. He had six children, William, Alfred, Ernest (my father), Frank, Sibel and Maud. My aunt Sibel and her family emigrated to Australia about fifty-nine years ago. Mark and his family moved to Harwell about one hundred years ago, when he set up a butcher’s shop which was carried on by my father, and then by myself until I retired in 1976.”
Mr Bosley’s house and shop are now part of the Hengest Gate estate.
- Jane Wolsey –
15 Sep 2008
I am descended from Elizabeth Bosley, the sister of Mark Bosley described in this Bosley Family article. Elizabeth and Mark were the children of Benjamin Bosley and Mary Ann Smallbone and it was Benjamin who was the landlord of the Travellers’ Welcome Inn. After working as a saddler (1841) and a carrier (1851), Benjamin became landlord of the Travellers’ Welcome some time between 1851 and 1861 where he remained until his death on 26 July 1885. Following his death, his grandson, Joseph Bull, son of Elizabeth, took over the running of the Inn (shown working for Benjamin in the 1881 census and as Head of household and Licensed Victualler in the 1891 census). As some of Mark’s children were born in East Hagbourne between 1876 and 1880, it is possible Mark returned to help hia father for a few years but he was certainly a butcher in Harwell in 1871, in Milton, Berks, in 1881 and back in Harwell in 1891.In relation to Alan’s comments about having learned that the Bosley family originated from France some two hundred years ago, having escaped from the French revolution, I am somewhat puzzled. I think a family myth has been perpetuated here! Bosleys, including ancestors of Benjamin and Mark, can be traced back in Hagbourne parish records until at least the mid 1600s and a Griffinus Boslee was baptised on 20 October, 1596, in Welford, Berkshire. Other ‘Bosleys’ were baptised in nearby areas, including Thatcham, around that time.
- Jenny Bosley –
24 Oct 2008
I have to agree with the comments made by Jane. For two years now I have been researching the family history of myself and my husband, from census and birth/marriage/death records. My husband is Doug Bosley son of the late Doug Bosley and Hilda Bosley of Harwell.Alans story of the brothers and familys escaping the French Revolution does seem to be a myth or some family tale that had been told. Mark Bosley was indeed a Butcher in Harwell, he was the son of Benjamin and Mary Ann, Benjamin being the landlord of the Travellers Welcome in Hagbourne. Mark married Louisa Read and they had six children. William Joseph 1871-1939 Alfred Read 1973 – unknown, Ernest Mark 1875-1947 Louisa Maud 1876 – Unknown, Mary Elizabeth 1878 – 1957 and Frank 1879-1962.
William married Elizabeth Wood and was the father of William Gordon Bosley (known as Gordon), being well known for the fruit orchards. Gordon died in 1980.
Alfred married Emma Greenaway, and still has decendents in Oxfordshire area today.
Ernest Mark married Sarah Ann Hillier (known as Annie) and he was the father of Alan, along with Ernest, John (Jack) local bookmaker in Didcot died 2000. Douglas and Ben both farmers in Harwell. Douglas died in 1989 and Ben in 1980.
Louisa Maud yet to discover what happened to her, and anyone who has information, I would be grateful.
Mary Elizabeth, who Alan calls Sibel. She did sign herself Sib on letters and post cards, why I do not know, perhaps it was a pet name or nickname. She married a William Coe, who was in the Dragoon Guards and they spent time in India where two of her daughters were born. After coming out of the army the were living in Blewbury with 3 daughters. In 1925 they emigrated to Australia on the Orama. They set up home there, and there are still decendents there today. Mary Elizabeth died in 1957.
Frank married Beatrice Brewer and set home home in the Wantage area, and again there are still decendents today. Frank died in 1962.
Most of them are buied in Harwell Cemetery.
I guess Alan did not have the facility of computer and internet so was not able to check things out like I can today.
- Michael Kenneth Bosley –
29 Dec 2009
Thank you for posting such an interesting account of the earlier Bosleys. I am son of Kenneth Joseph Bosley who was a son of Frank and Beatrice (nee Brewer). I have been doing some work on the family tree and it is so good to have all these extra new facts or old ones confirmed.We have a what seems like a myth om my wife’s side of the family. (Peal). We are trying to trace why in the 1900 century they were certain there was a link with Sir Robert Peal but we also have records which seem to state the family was entrenched well away from his family area. Still we keep looking.
We live at Byfield, Northants, NN11 6UX (44 Banbury Lane) and our 3 children still live in Oxford or local area and we are in touch with quite a few other Bosleys.
- Bosley vs Beausoleil
8 Jul 2010
After reading the posts, I think I know where the myth to the “Bosley” forefathers escaping France comes from. My ancestors last names were Beausoleil and they did come from France to Canada. Once they migrated into the United States they changed their name to Bosley. There are many of them in the uUpper Peninsula of Michigan. They are all cabinet makers, boat builders and wonderful musicians. Anyhow, that might be the link to the myth you speak of…. Bosley derived from Beausoleil. So, in a nutshell, there would be no blood connection between the two families.
- North Berks Bosleys
Chris Beasley –
11 Jul 2010
Hello Bosleys,I’ve also been doing a little research on the Bosleys in what was North Berks. and have run into problems with your Harwell Bosleys cluttering up the Steventon register making it difficult to discern who is from my own line, which may derive from William and Ann Bosley who moved to Steventon from Besselsleigh c1765.
The reason this cluttering up has become critical is that I am looking for a direct male descendant from the Steventon line in order to compare DNA to make sure I have done my homework correctly. I would be willing to pay costs for a proven descendant and I promise it doesn’t hurt one bit and I believe nowadays everything is handled by post from your own home and in your own time. If anyone thinks they may have a link I would like to hear from them via this forum.
regards Chris Beasley (yes Beasley) in Australia
- Another Bosley descendant
Jon Blake –
16 Aug 2010
Mark Bosley (mentioned at the top of the page) had a younger brother, Caleb, whose son, Albert, was my grandad, working as a gardener on press baron Lord Illiffe’s estate at Yattendon. Albert had five children and descendants now living as far away as Portland, Oregon. I’m really to interested to hear from anyone aware of this branch of the family as I’m doing some writing about it at the moment.
Jon Blake (www.jonblake.co.uk)
- Another Bosley
Nina Bosley-Gray –
13 Oct 2010
Hello my name is Nina Bosley-Gray, I am daughter to Nigel Alan Holmes Bosley, whom sadly passed in 1994. My Fathers grandfather was Benjamin Bosley, whom I understand had owned land in Didcot which was sold many years ago. Benjamin Bosley had two sons, Brian Nigel James Bosley(my grandfather) and Geoff Bosley.I am really interested to find out more about the Bosleys in the Didcot area to see if I can hear from any family members I did not know about. Sadly my Grandfather, his brother and my father have all passed and I’m running out of people to ask questions about my family tree. I have only just started on my search and would really love to hear if anyone can give me missing information.
- Bosleys History
Colin Bosley –
9 May 2011
My name is Colin Bosley, son of Maurice Bosley, grandson of Wally Bosley and Great, Grand son of Joseph Bosley all have been living in the area of Southampton for about 100 years or so. We have connections with the Bosleys from Newbury area of Thatcham and Speen of Newbury Berkshire. I have a family note that states we also came over from France before the French Revolution started. Setting up in business as publicians within the marriage with the Bounce Family of the Robin Hood Pub at Newbury.Joseph and brother Albert where in the business of Sewage Inspectors for the local councils of Newbury early 1900’s and then Southampton for Joseph who was promoted to Superitendant of Works area in the 1930’s.
Any information of the Bosleys around 1865 when WALTER JOSEPH BOSLEY born in Newbury area would be helpful?????????
- Could we be related?
Dave Harding –
9 Aug 2011
I have just started to research my family history.
I am Dave Harding, born in Datchet 1951, brought up at family home in Wantage, where I lived ’til 1979.
I now live in Kent (UK).
My Mother was Gladys Harding, who according to very faded pencilled notes I’ve found had a very brief ‘thing’ with a Ben Bosley in late 1950.
There is mention of his family running an Electrical Business in Didcot, and of Ben going on to have Red-headed twin daughters, and living in the Wantage area, possibly Challow. I want nothing from the family, except to discover if I have any blood relatives
living, as there is no-one left on my Mothers side.
Any help would be much appreciated.
- The Manor of Bosley & William The Conqueror
David Bosley –
29 Sep 2011
The Bosley family are recorded in The Doomsday Book (1086) as ‘Lords of the Manor of Bosley’ in Cheshire. The Manor of Bosley and the nobility title ‘Baron Hugh of Bosley’ were awarded to Hugh de la Mare of Normandy by The Duke of Normandy (aka William the Conqueror) in 1066 as a result of the Battle of Hastings.Bosley as a family name was adopted due to the Norman naming standards for nobility, where they adopted the name of their Manor/Lands. This is the origin of the Bosley family name and where we all originate from. We are all of Noble Blood 🙂
The village of Bosley still exists today and has a population of 406 (2001 cencus).
- The Manor of Bosley & William The Conqueror
David Bosley –
29 Sep 2011
The Bosley family are recorded in The Doomsday Book (1086) as ‘Lords of the Manor of Bosley’ in Cheshire. The Manor of Bosley and the nobility title ‘Baron Hugh of Bosley’ were awarded to Hugh de la Mare of Normandy via The Duke of Normandy (aka William the Conqueror) in 1066 as a result of the Battle of Hastings.Bosley as a family name was adopted due to the Norman naming standards for nobility, where they adopted the name of their Manor/Lands. This is the origin of the Bosley family name and where we all originate from. We are all of Noble Blood 🙂
The village of Bosley still exists today and has a population of 406 (2001 census).
- The meaning of the Bosley name
David Bosley –
30 Sep 2011
Norman naming conventions dictated that noble surnames were derived from their lands but the surnames of ‘lesser mortals’ were derived from their professions. The village name Bosley and hence our Surname is derived from the French word “bois” and the old English word “ley” and means “meadow near the woods”.Just thought you may find this information interesting 🙂
- Bosley – Somerset Branch
Jim Dyer –
1 Oct 2011
My grandfather married Catherine Anne Bosley in late 1800s. He came from Devon but resided later in Cardiff and Rogerstone nr Newport Gwent. In 1980s whie doing Dyer F History I became friendly with alady from Cardiff nee Winnefred Bosley and we went into that history. She passed a few years ago and left me all her research she had undertaken and many old photos of this branch. we visited the Taunton records office and the area a few times. There are some fascinating stories on this side including The Bosley Band and an old guy now dead. who built a nuclear shelter in his garden and left me his life story which i have yet to sort out. Such a character and the guardian did a feature on him. It was claimed they were related to USA actor Tom Bosley but could not identify the link. I have a full folder full of information so if anyone is interested i will be glad to help them as much as i can.
- Bosley- Somerset
Jim Dyer –
1 Oct 2011
I have stacks of information, trees and old photos if anyone is interested. Some fascinating stories eg The Bosley Band (Also in The Guardian). My Grandfather married Catherine Anne Bosley in late 1880s.
- Bosleys- somerset
Jim Dyer –
1 Oct 2011
My grandfather married Catherine Ann Bosley in late 1880s and came to Gwent with the GWR. I have stacks of research notes, trees and pics. Also interesting stories like the Bosley Band and Nuclear shelter at Wiveliscombe. If interested please contact.
- Bosleys- Somerest
Jim Dyer –
1 Oct 2011
Lots of information and pics. Please contact.
- Beedon Memorial Bosleys
Richard Betts –
20 Dec 2011
The Beedon memorial contains the names of members of the Bosley family who all died in WW1.I have so far located the service record and notice of death for:
However, the following names are proving difficult to locate:
Can anyone link me up with Beedon, Worlds End, Stanmore or other villages in Berkshire?
- Searching for Elizabeth Bosely
1 Mar 2012
I am searching for my 5th Great Grandmother – Elizabeth Bosely.
She married James Lamball (1742 – 1825) on the 19th of October 1766 in the Parish Church of Wantage.
I do hope someone can help me find her. I do not know who her parents were.
- More BOSLEYS
Ernest Bosley –
17 Jul 2012
Hi,Im Ernest Albert Bosley,Born Nottingham 1946.
My farther was Fred Bosley Born 1923 in Taunton Somerset.
His farther Ernest William Bosley,Taunton Somerset,brothers
Fred & Henry,younger sister Bessie,Fred and Henry died
in the Battle of Jutland WW1.Bessie married in Taunton appx 1920
- Bosley/ and Bosley Didcot
Mark Bosley –
26 Jul 2013
Re the post about the shop in Didcot. My father Ron Acourt Bosley (married to Ann Bosley, nee Rowe, in about ’52) had a shop in Didcot it had been in our family for a good few generations, owned by my grandfather and great grandfather (both William I think). It was more a hardware store than an electrical shop though. Sadly my father passed away some years ago and my mother is in poor health but I’ll try to dig out some more family names. Never heard of a Ben, but we are Bosley, we are many!
- Edgar Bosley was my grandfather
Keri Ann Dzuris –
4 Sep 2013
son of Joseph Henry Bosley-born April 19, 1888. Deceased May 1968.
- Jack Bosley
Amber Bosley –
27 Jul 2014
My grandad is clive bosley, who his dad (My Great Grandad) is John ‘Jack’ Bosley who died in 2000. I was wondering if jack had any brothers or sisters.
- Norman Bosleys of Shaw Newbury
Michelle Griffiths nee Bosley –
20 Aug 2014
My father was Norman James Bosley son of Norman Charles Bosley and Mable Bosley of Shaw Newbury. We were always told that the family came from France during the French revolution. My father built and sailed boats in his spare time and I have a music degree so it looks like family myths and traits continue through the generations. I’d be very interested to learn more as sadly my father only passed away on 2nd August which is what has prompted me to start this research.