A son of Geoffry Boleyn and Anne Hoo, Sir William Boleyn was born at Bickling Hall, Norfolk, England. He married Lady Margaret Butler, daughter of Thomas Butler, Earl of Ormonde. They had ten children, among them Anne Boleyn (1475-1556, m. Sir John Shelton) and Sir Thomas Boleyn (m. Lady Elizabeth Howard). Sir William was, therefore, the paternal grandfather of Queen Anne Boleyn (d.1536) and great grandfather of Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603).
Geoffrey stated in his will, "My body to be buried in the Cathedral of Norwich, near the sepulture of Dame Ann Boleyn, my mother..."