Bolam History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Bolam comes from when the family resided in Suffolk, where they held a family seat in the village of Baylham, from which they took their name.

Early Origins of the Bolam family

The surname Bolam was first found in Suffolk, in the village and civil parish of Baylham. The village dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 when it was first listed as Beleham and probably meant "homestead or enclosure at a river-bend" from the Old English words "begel" + "ham" or "hamm." [1]

The parish, in the union and hundred of Bosmere and Claydon, East division of Suffolk, 3 miles from Needham-Market was small but contained about 275 inhabitants in the late 1890s. [2]

Early History of the Bolam family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bolam research. Another 287 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1212, 1275, 1500, 1568, 1577, 1635, 1684, 1830, 1600 and 1642 are included under the topic Early Bolam History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bolam Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore,spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Bolam has been recorded under many different variations, including Baalham, Balan, Baylham, Balum, Balam, Ballam, Balaam and many more.

Early Notables of the Bolam family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Bolam family to Ireland

Some of the Bolam family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Australia Bolam migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Bolam Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Henry Bolam, English convict who was convicted in Worcester, Worcestershire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Elphinstone" on 28th July 1842, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Bolam (post 1700) +

  • Irene Craigmile Bolam (1904-1982), born Irene Madalaine O'Crowley, American New York banker, subject of a book that claimed she was Amelia Earhart; she took legal action and the book was withdrawn
  • Beatrice Bolam MBE, English politician and councillor for Jarrow, South Tyneside
  • James Christopher Bolam MBE (b. 1935), English actor, best known for his starring role as Jack Ford in When the Boat Comes In (1976-1981)
  • Mr. William Bolam O.B.E., British Lieutenant Colonel for Royal Regiment of Artillery, recipient of Officer of the Order of the British Empire on 8th June 2018 [4]
  • Mr. Kevan Bolam O.B.E., British Lieutenant Colonel for Royal Corps of Signals, recipient of Officer of the Order of the British Empire on 8th June 2018 [4]
  • John Bolam (b. 1922), British painter from Amersham, Buckinghamshire
  • Silvester Bolam (1905-1953), British newspaper editor of the Daily Mirror (1949–1953)
  • Ken Bolam, British film and television composer from Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, known for his work on Ready, Steady, Cook (1994) Clarkson's Motorsport Mayhem (1995) and Flirting with Flamenco (2006)


  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 23rd March 2022). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/elphinstone
  4. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, www.thegazette.co.uk/honours-lists


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