Bodmans are found all over England and Wales.
There are, however, concentrations in the West Country in particular, Somerset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire. The image shows the distribution of Bodmans in England and Wales in 1881. Double click on the above image to see a larger copy. It is not known whether the surname Bodman and Bodenham are interchangeable. For instance in the early registers in Keevil from 1561, they start out as Bodman, then in 1622 they change to Bodenham . Up until 1735 the majority of the parish records remain at Bodenham before reverting back to Bodman!
Early Bodmans and Bodenhams
The Bodenhams in Herefordshire date back to the 13th century with Roger de Bodenham born about 1236 at Byford, Herefordshire. His father was Lord Hugh de Bodham or Bodenham. They had descendants in this area until the 17th century. These Bodenham genealogy has yet to be explored in detail. It is possible that some of their descendants are found in Gloucestershire and possibly those at Ebbesbourne Wake in Wiltshire.
In 1316 we met Thomas Bodeman in the Wakefield area. When he sues Wiliam of Haya in a plea of Agreement.
The earliest known Bodman in the West country was Joammes Bodman from Stavordale, Somerset in 1361. He was Prior of Stavordale and died in the year of the Black Death.
Four years later in 1365 back in the north of England, we come across Radulpo Bodeman at Gyseburne, Northumberland. He was a witness to a document held by the Priory of Gyseburne, North Yorkshire.
In 1389 there was a John Bodnam in London. John of Southwark was a ferryman an fell into debt. (ref: National Archives- debtor ref. C 131/37/14)
In 1404 we meet Hugh Bodmon at Bishop’s Castle in Shropshire. From 1404 to 1406 he was a yeoman and archer under Thomas Neville, Lord Furival at Garrison Montgomery. They were part of the Bishop’s Castle and standing force in the North. ref TNA E101/44/6
1427 sees Robert Bodenham in Ebbesbourne Wake, near Salisbury in Wiltshire. This is the earliest Wiltshire reference.
Use the drop down menu to find details of some of these families in Somerset and Wiltshire.