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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, German


The name Bolster reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Bolster family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Bolster family lived in Lancashire. The name, however, is a reference to the family's former residence in Boulard, in Calvados, in Normandy.

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The surname Bolster was first found in Lancashire. They were originally from Boulard in Calvados, Normandy, and arrived in England with Duke William of Normandy at the time of the Norman Conquest in 1066. One of the first records of the name was Baldwin de Boulers, who came to England in 1105 and was granted the Lordship of Montgomery, Powys by marriage to Sybil de Falaise. Hen Domen, (Welsh: "old mound") , a medieval timber motte-and-bailey castle in Powys, Wales was the home of the de Boulers (Bowdler) family and was founded by Baldwin de Boulers. Today, a permanent exhibition can be found on the site.

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Bowler, Boler, Boaler and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bolster research. Another 167 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1459, 1437, 1450, 1450, 1453, 1453 and 1459 are included under the topic Early Bolster History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 39 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bolster Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Bolster family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 45 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Bolster name or one of its variants:

Bolster Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Isaac Bolster, who arrived in New England in 1732

Bolster Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Oliver S Bolster, aged 19, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Johanna M Bolster, who landed in America in 1844
  • Joh Heinr Bolster, who arrived in America in 1845
  • William Bolster, aged 28, arrived in New York, NY in 1872

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  1. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  2. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  3. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  4. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  5. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  6. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  8. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  9. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  10. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  11. ...

The Bolster Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bolster Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 9 August 2015 at 11:34.

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