"The family of Bodkin is
found in Ireland descending from Maurice Fitzgerald, from whom
also sprang the Earls of Desmond and Kildare. Thomas Fitzgerald,
gr. grandson of Maurice, is accredited with the origination of
the name of Bodkin here. It is said that his use of the spear
or "baudekin" in battle led him to victory, and hence
the name came into being. This seems most likely, however several
other possibilities have been forwarded over time.
"Some say the name arose from the
type of garment he habitually wore, a costly material of silk
and gold tissue, called "baudkin" much used at the
end of the 13th century.
"For others of the name its origin
has been given to mean 'little baud,' a form of Baldwin said
to mean 'bold friend.'
"The family is given as prominent
in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries in the town of Galway and
in the town of Athenry. Four of the name are found as Mayors
of Galway from 1485 and 1653.
"One of the renowned 14 tribes
of Galway, they received large portions of land there in 1242.
They are found prominent in the area, furnishing Bishops, army
officers and doctors.
"According to Keatings Irish Genealogies
the name is given as among the principal English and Welsh families
settling in the town of Galway and other parts of the country
in the 12th and 13th centuries. They are given to descend from
the above Fitz-Gerald.
"There was a street in Galway named
'Baudekyn's Lane' and they held lands in and about the town of
Galway, including those of Newcastle (near the river), Athenry,
Toberskehine, Ballynameatagh, Kilmarnon and D___. The original
families of the name around the 1820s resided in Annagh, Carrowbeg,
Castletown, Kilcloony & Thomastown.
"The Bodkins of Kilclooney are
given in the book entitled 'Milltown Sketches' as descending
from the line of Major Thomas Bodkin of Kilclooney. They are
given with extensive holdings in the parish of Milltown.
"The family motto remained the
same as that of the Fitzgeralds according to Hardiman. Arms:
Ermine, on a saltire, gules, a leopard's face, or. Crest: A leopard's
face, or. Moto: Crom Aboo (Crom to Victory).
"The above arms are those illustrated
in the introduction. At the beginning of the 20th century the
arms in use were: Argent, a saltire gules. Crest: A wild boar
proper. Motto: Crom Aboo.
"From the old seal of Christopher
Bodkin found appended to a deed dated July 7, 1554 it would seem
his arms were: 'ermine, a saltire, gules.'
"In King James Irish Army List
is given one Major John Bodkin along with a Mathew and Augustus
Bodkin. Dominick Bodkin of Galway was one of the Confederate
Catholics who assembled in Kilkenny in 1646. At the siege of
Galway in 1652, some six Bodkins are found refusing to sign the
articles of surrender, and another 12 of the name were absent
in order to avoid doing so.
"Several are found as Irish Catholic
'proprietors' in the town of Galway in 1640 who lost their lands
"One Christopher Bodkin (d. 1572)
served as Archbishop of Tuam.
"O'Hart gives Thomas Bodkin, M.D.
of Tuam, Co. Galway."