First Written Example 1230

The earliest documented references to the Buggy name I have been able to find come from the 13th century and are in relation to the bordering counties of Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire in England. The borders of these counties have been fluid over the centuries with villages and towns transferring between different counties at different stages. Despite this we can trace the earliest documented instance of the Buggy name to the year 1230.

The entry comes from The Patent Rolls of the Reign of King Henry III.[1] The Patent Rolls were records of correspondence that the various Kings of England had with many individuals concerning a very wide variety of subject matter, including grants of lands and wardships, licenses to widows to marry, pardons, confirmations of charters and licenses to alienate land.[2] This volume of the records, volume two, covers the years 1225-1232 and was published in 1903. The reproduced Latin wording of the original entry can be seen below in two sections. The first indicates the year and the second shows the Buggy name:


Unfortunately no first name is shown before Buggy possibly indicating damage or illegibility at that part of the document.  What can be taken from it is that Buggy and Johannem le Bedel had a tenement/dwelling (die tenement) in Godingevlod. This is dated September 22nd (xxij die Septembris) near/among (apud) Wallingford (Wallingeford).

Godingevlod is listed as Godingfold in Berkshire in the index of the 1903 publication. However despite extensive searches I have been unable to find a modern day place with this name in Berkshire or neighbouring counties. There is a Goddington in Oxfordshire, however this is located in east Oxfordshire on the border with Buckinghamshire, with Berkshire sharing Oxford’s western boundary. Modern day Wallingford is in Oxfordshire. However, Wallingford was located in Berkshire for centuries until 1974 when it was transferred under the Local Government Act 1974.

The second earliest documented instance of the Buggy name is associated with the village of Buttermere in Wiltshire. The land on which Buttermere stands was granted to St. Swithun’s Priory in the 11th century and from then on Buttermere manor was granted to the lord of that manor for a rental fee.

The manor had a number of lords in the 13th century including William Buggy in the years 1242-43 and Henry Buggy in 1259.[3] The source used takes this reference from the famous Liber feodorum. This document was made in 1302 and is a transcript of about 500 previous records in relation to feudal tenure. It is also known as Testa de Nevill (Nevill’s Head).

A document exists from around the year 1280 (almost certainly between 1268-1296, and probably between 1276-1282) that was reprinted in 1893 by the Worcestershire Historical Society.[4] Lay Subsidy Roll for the County of Worcester is a listing of all those in this county who were eligible to pay tax on their property.[5] The relevant entry is on the left hand column of page 74 of the list of names and reads:

These types of tax records are often referred to as ‘The Hundred Rolls’. In many cases these were the first time that surnames were standardised and documented. Since they are medieval roman numerals the payment of ‘xiiijd’ would equate to 14 pennies. The ‘j’ was often substituted for the final ‘i’ in a series so as to signify the end of the numeral string. These Hundred Rolls are from the reign of King Edward I (1272-1307) and new coins were minted in 1279 with new designs. The name on the list, De Thoma, almost certainly translates to the modern day name of Thomas.

The name is on the ‘ville’ (village) listing for Edmundescote which is the modern day village of Armscote, Warwickshire in the West Midlands.[6] The boundaries of Worcestershire have been very fluid over the centuries. There have been instances of areas of Worcestershire being cut off from the main county and completely surrounded by Warwickshire. Armscote was in one such area, Shipton-on-Stour, and was associated with neighbouring Worcestershire up to the early 1930s.

[1]Deputy Keeper of the Records (1903) The Patent Rolls of the Reign of King Henry III Preserved in the Public Records Office, Volume Two 1225-1232. London: Mackie and Co.


[3] D.A. Crowley (1999) A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 16. William Buggy ‘Book of Fees, ii. 714’ and Henry Buggy ‘Close Rolls. 1259-61, 150.’

[4] Willis Bund, J.W. and Amphlett, J. (1280 [1893] )Lay Subsidy Roll of Worcestershire. Oxford: James Parker and Co.  p. viii-ix

[5] Ibid. p.iv

[6] Ibid. p.xi


2 Responses to First Written Example 1230

  1. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the note. I probably should have been more specific as I was writing about the earliest instances where it is used as a recognizable name. I guess we have to look to English records since so many of the older Irish genealogical resources perished in the Public Records Office fire/explosion in 1922.

    As you point out the names has been around in Ireland since long before the 13th century. To have an old example from Ireland from an original document would be fantastic. I guess the potential Murtagh O’Buggin that I talk about in my post on the Irish Fiants will have to do for now.

    My post on Ballybuggy mentions what you talk about, from Canon Carrigan’s History and Antiquities of the Diocese of Ossory. I have looked at all the entries that mention St. Brigid and Rathdowney in the Annals but have not come across the reference. If you could point me towards what year in the Annals the entry comes from then I would be very grateful.



  2. Mike Buggy [Miceal O Bogaig] says:

    Re: The surname Buggy or OBogaig(h), In the Irish Gaelic form.
    I came across a reference to:
    “St, Bridget on her way to visit St. Patrick at Cashel, stayed at the nunnery in the town of BALLYBUGGY.
    This is from, Brother Cleary, The Annals of the Four Masters, regarding the break up of the Parish of
    Rathowney in the Dioces of Ossary. Also addressed, that Ballybuggy was the seat of the surrounding area.”
    This would place the Buggy name in County Laois, Ireland, possibly (300/400 AD) 900 years earlier,
    Miceal OBogaig(h)
    Mike Buggy Limerick, Ireland
    Charlestown, MA

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s