Charles' Site

Being a Bosomworth

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This is the place where I'll be mainly describing my historical heritage, musing on the advantages and disadvantages of having a 'memorable' surname, and the places and people this connects me to... What is there in a name?

The origin of the name Bosomworth is lost, my own preferred explanation is that name comes from the place name Bosham, a village in Sussex noted for it's connection to King Harold, 1066 and all that..
The local Sussex people around and about pronounce the name Bosham as 'Bossum'. Worth is derived from the Saxon meaning 'A court, farm, possession, place, field or way; the place valued, sold, or granted.' Putting these together might mean Bosomworth refers to a person owning or originating from a farm or lands around and or connected to the place Bossum, it's hard to know for sure and of course spelling was not an exact science in those days. The family seems to have flourished in and around Yorkshire from the available parish records, the Norman invasion may well have displaced the Saxon Bossumworth's North, or one may have stayed on in the area after Harold's battle at Stamford Bridge where the Saxons defeated a Viking invasion just 3 weeks before the battle of Hastings. Spelling variations come about because the literate priest would transcribe the name given them as best they could from the spoken form into the records.

Another theory.

Some history from the colonies

Mary Musgrove, Queen of the Creeks
a North Georgia Notable


Empress & Queen of the Upper & Lower Creeks
Mary Musgrove was born "Cousaponakeesa", in 1700, at Coweta Town on the Ockmulgee River. She was the daughter of a white South Carolina trader and an Indian princess. Mary's mother was a sister of the illustrious "old Brim or Bream," Emperor of the Creeks.

Mary Musgrove pictured with her third husband, the Reverend Thomas Bosomworth

What a commotion!

In 1749 Coosaponakeesa and Bosomworth led a group of Creeks, including Malatchi, then chief mico of the tribe, in a protest march on Savannah. This is sometimes described as an 'invasion' Coosaponakeesa and Bosomworth were arrested, but they were later released after apologizing to Savannah officials.

Mary Musgrove served as a cultural liaison between colonial Georgia and her Native American community in the mid-eighteenth century. She took advantage of her biculturalism to protect Creek interests, maintain peace on the frontier, and expand her business as a trader.

Of Bosomworth's and Oglethorpe

The first property transfer in the new colony of Georgia involved Ossabaw. Gen. James Edward Oglethorpe made a land deal with Tomochichi, the mico of the Yamacraws, receiving the tidewater region between Savannah and the Altamaha in exchange for granting Ossabaw, St. Catherines, and Sapelo islands to the Indians in perpetuity. The Indians made a subsequent deal, granting the hunting islands to Mary Musgrove, an interpreter of mixed Indian and European parentage, who was considered princess of the tribe. Musgrove, and her husband Thomas Bosomworth, were granted the Indian hunting islands "as long as the sun shall shine or the waters run in the rivers, forever." Not much happened with the islands until Georgia lifted its ban in 1749 on slavery, which was necessary to operate profitable plantations in the south. Musgrove moved to establish plantations on her three islands, but the Royal Trustees protested the legality of her title to the islands. Despite the dispute, the Bosomworths built a home and planted fields on St. Catherines, and raised cattle on Ossabaw. After 11 years, the case was settled by granting them St. Catherines, and Sapelo and Ossabaw were put up for public auction with the proceeds going to the Bosomworths.

More on Mary and Thomas Bosomworth

The funny thing is that my solicitor (US Lawyer) who is handling the sale of my house is called Oglethorpe!