Bodmans Worldwide

The Bodman history in Germany has been very well documented and there are several authoratitive and scholarly sources published in German. The most significant of these is the Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels (GHdA) [The Genealogical Handbook of Nobility] published by Starke Verlag at Limburg in 158 volumes over the years between 1951 and 2015. The GHdA is published in three parallel series: Freiherrliche Hauser [Baronial Houses]; Graefliche Hauser [Houses of Counts]; and Fuerstliche Hauser [Princely Houses]. The lineage of the Bodmans of Bodman (von Bodman zu Bodman, or … von und zu Bodman) appears in the Freiherrliche Hauser and also in the Graefliche Hauser. There is also a two-volume study (one volume of text plus one volume of charts) written by Johann Leopold Freiherr von und zu Bodman: Geschichte der Freiherren von Bodman [History of the Barons of Bodman], published in 1894. Both volumes are available in digital format and can be downloaded (free) from the website of the university of Freiburg-im-Breisgau. The authors of these materials in German trace the origins of the name back into “the mists of time”, with recorded evidence of the ‘Bodman’ spelling going back to the twelfth century and other spellings going back even further.The Bodman history in the United States has also been well researched and documented. Four Bodman authors collaborated in the 1970s to research, write and publish a hard-bound volume entitled: The Bodman Chronicle (Evanston, Illinois; Unigraphic Inc., 1979). In this handsomely produced 367-page study the joint authors trace their line back to a single couple, John and Sarah Bodman, who migrated from England as part of the “Great Puritan Migration” in the early seventeenth century and who settled in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Most Bodmans in the United States stem from that line, although there have been subsequent migrations, both from England and from various parts of Germany. The joint authors of The Bodman Chronicle were: Ellen-Fairbanks Diggs Bodman, Professor Herbert Luther Bodman Jr., Professor Richard Wainwright Bodman, and Robert Edgar Bodman. As at 2017 the only surviving member of that group is Emeritus Professor Richard Wainwright Bodman. An important piece of unfinished genealogical business is tracing the link from John and Sarah Bodman back to England. It should be noted that although The Bodman Chronicle refers to Bodmans “in America” this means, in fact, “The United States of America”. The book does not refer at all to Bodman settlement in Canada.

As one might expect, the migration of Bodmans to Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, was from the English roots. The family of “de Bodman” in France is a nineteenth-century offshoot of the German family “von Bodman”. The Bodmans in Sweden are likely to trace their origins to Germany, but this has not yet been properly researched.