Buckley (surname)

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Buckley - Ó Buachalla

Irish (/oː bˠuːaxal̪ˠl̪ˠa/)

Anglo-Saxon (/bʌkliː/)
Region of origin Ireland and England

Irish - buachall meaning boy

Anglo-Saxon - bucc and leah meaning goat and wood

Buckley is a surname originating from either Ireland or England where it is particularly common, as well as Canada and the United States.

Some sources outline an Irish origin,[1] whereas others outline an Anglo-Saxon (English) origin.[2]

Spelling variations of Buckley include Bucklie, Buckly, Bulkley, Buhilly, Ó Buachalla, Boughla and others.


The Buckley family of England were first recorded to be in Cheshire, where the family held a seat from very ancient times.[2]

This branch of the Buckley family is credited by some sources as being of Anglo-Saxon origin, either as a habitation surname derived from settlements named Buckley, or as an occupational surname from the Anglo-Saxon words Bucc and Leah, meaning goat and wood.[2]

The surname Buckley is the 435th most common name in the United Kingdom,[3] or 234th in England and Wales. It is particularly common in Surrey, but also Cheshire, Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire amongst other places.


A branch of the Buckley family lived in Buckley, Greater Manchester in Rochdale for many centuries.[4] They gave their name to Buckley Hall a manorhouse found within the locality. Their name is said to derive from "bleak hill" and they can be traced back to a "Geoffrey de Buckley".


Ó Buachalla, taken from the Irish word 'buachaill' originally meaning 'herdsman' (in modern Irish it has come to mean 'boy'), was anglcised early as Ó Boughelly, Boughla, Buhilly and later as Buckley. The name Buckley in Ireland is derived from the native Gaelic Ó Buachalla Sept that was located in Lemanaghan (Liath Mancháin), Co Offaly, where an important monastery was situated. The Ó Buachalla's claimed to be descendants of the cowherd of St. Manchán or Manahan and hereditary bearers of his shrine, the custodians of which were the O'Moonys of Doon, County Offaly. The last reference to the site as a monastery comes in 1205 when the death of the coarb (a type of administrator), Gillebrenyn O’ Bichollye (Buckley), is recorded. There was also a sept in northeast County Cork at the same time. Both were dispersed by the Cambro-Normans. Patrick Woulfe in his 'Sloinnte Gaedheal is Gall' ('Irish Names and Surnames' 1923), says that in the 16th century Buckley was peculiar to Cork, Tipperary, Offaly and especially Kerry. The area surrounding Lemanaghan in Offaly is still home to many Buckleys today. The name still also exists as Buhilly and Boughla in Offaly today. This name was brought to Ulster in the seventeenth Century by settlers.

Buckley is the 99th most numerous name in Ireland.

Notable Buckleys[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "O'Buhilly, Buckley", goireland.com, archived from the original on 2006-03-18
  2. ^ a b c Buckley Family, houseofnames.com. URL accessed February 15, 2007.
  3. ^ BUCKLEY, sofeminine.co.uk. URL accessed February 15, 2007.
  4. ^ Rochdale Families - Buckley Archived April 25, 2005, at the Wayback Machine., rochdale.gov.uk. URL accessed February 15, 2007.