Buffaloe Road - Wake County

Sometimes the spelling of town or road will pique your interest.  Such is the case for Buffaloe Road in Wake County.  

Buffaloe Road at Interstate 540 (Charles Kunz)

Running from Capital Boulevard eastwards towards Knightdale and rural Eastern Wake County, this otherwise rather nondescript road gains your curiosity because of the "e" at the end of Buffaloe.  During my fifteen years living in Wake County - eight of them in Knightdale - I had always wondered if this was just a fancy spelling.  There are other Buffalo Roads nearby in Wendell (since renamed Wendell Falls Parkway) and in Johnston County - was the spelling done to differentiate?  Were buffalo once present in this area? Is it a family name?  

For nearly seven years, my wife and I played kickball off of Buffaloe Road, taken the kids to the Buffaloe Road Aquatic Center, even bowled once at Buffaloe Lanes (which are not located on Buffaloe Road). But it wasn't until recently that I decided to take a look into where the name came from.

Buffaloe Road comes from a family name.  Early ancestors of the name begin to appear in Wake County in the early 1800s.  The spellings can be Buffaloe, Buffalo, or Buffalow.  Interestingly, there is a Buffaloe Family Cemetery located in Raleigh's North Hills Park a few miles west of where Buffaloe Road starts/ends at Capital Boulevard.  Though I currently could not find any links to the family owning land on, through, or adjacent to the road, I would guess that the family had some interests in the area and the road was named after them.


Scott said…
Thanks! I found this post after having the same "OK, it's time to figure out what the deal with the E is..." moment that you had. Thanks for the info.
Anonymous said…
Thank you!!! I wondered the same upon coming to the area to visit family.
Donald said…
In regards to your curiosity regarding those who have a connection to the Buffaloe family. I grew up on Buffaloe Road. Our Family has lived on Buffaloe road for generations. My 3rd great grandfather was a Buffaloe.
Margie said…
My mother’s maiden name was Buffaloe. The road was named after our family. They also used to be big landowners all along the current Buffaloe Road. Mom was one of the genealogists of the family and could have named the exact ancestor after whom the road was named. I’m sorry to say I can’t!
ndnbill said…
My Great Great Grandfather came to Arkansas from Wake County, NC. He and we descend from a man from the Bovill family but carried the family name " Buffaloe". My Great Great grandfather and all our family west of the Mississippi spell the name Buffalo. My Father told me that his father and and he met a Buffalo from the East at a Civil War reunion and were told that one of their ancestors married a school teacher and she added the "e" because it appeared less Indian. As far as I know no one knows why the Bovill family had a son bearing the Buffaloe name when they had children before and after who did not.

Bill Buffalo
Cindy Abbott said…
There was a Buffalow district in the Wake County 1850 census also. I found this post trying to discover where that census district was.
ndnbill said…
Hi Margie--Did your Mother ever mention the oddity of one of the many children of Radoph (sp) Bovill bore the surname "Buffaloe"? Any information would be helpful.
Bill Buffalo
Margie said…
Hi Bill;

No, Mom never said anything about that. I’m not familiar with anybody named Bovill either. A mystery!

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