Boulby History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the name Boulby date back to the days of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from their residence in Boltby near Whitby, in the county of Yorkshire.

Early Origins of the Boulby family

The surname Boulby was first found in the North Riding of Yorkshire, at Boltby, a chapelry, in the parish of Felix-Kirk, union of Thirsk, wapentake of Birdforth. [1]

Boltby dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 when it was first listed as Boltebi [2] and literally meant "farmstead or village of a man called Boltr or Bolti" from the Viking personal name + "by." [3]

"It appears more natural to assume that Boulby and Bowlby are modifications, but my last entry from the Hundredorum Rolls suggests a separate and independent origin. " [4]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list: Adam de Bolteby, Yorkshire; Hugh de Bolteby, Yorkshire; Adam de Boltby, Northumberland; and William de Boleby, Buckinghamshire. [4]

Yorkshire is very close to the Scottish border, so it is not surprising to find early records there too.

"William de Bolteby witnessed a confirmation charter by Patrick earl of Dunbar of a grant to the Abbey of Melrose c. 1230-31, and as de Boltevy witnessed a charter of lands to the Priory of Coldstream c. 1232. His name probably comes from Boltby in Yorkshire, in DB. Boltebi and Bolteby." [5]

Early History of the Boulby family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Boulby research. Another 68 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Boulby History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Boulby Spelling Variations

Boulby has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Many variations of the name Boulby have been found, including Boultby, Boultbee, Boultbie, Boltby, Bowlby and many more.

Early Notables of the Boulby family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Boulby Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Boulby family

In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Boulbys to arrive on North American shores: James Boultby settled in Fort Cumberland Nova Scotia in 1774; Edward Bowlby settled in Philadelphia in 1808.



  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)


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