Show ContentsBoles History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Boles reached England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Boles family lived in Lincolnshire. The name, however, is a reference to the family's former residence in Bouelles, near Neufchatel, in Normandy. [1]

The Domesday Book "presents us with two tenants in chief called Bolle and Bollo, the former in Hants, and the latter in Dorset. Bouelles is the name of a place near Neufchatel in Normandy. " [2]

However, two junior sources claim the name is a trade name for "one who made or sold concave vessels or bowls." [3] [4]

And one source claims the name was "probably from the sign of an inn, as 'John at the Bowl,' i. e., at the sign of the bowl." [5]

Early Origins of the Boles family

The surname Boles was first found in Lincolnshire where they settled after the Norman Conquest. They were originally from Bouelles, near Neufchatel in Normandy where it was listed under the spellings Bowles or Buelles. [1]

"Bowles is an old Wiltshire name. The most influential families bearing this name are said to have come from Bristol during the 15th century. In the following century they were resident in Burcombe, and during the 18th century they supplied sheriffs and members of parliament for the county." [6]

Entries in early rolls were scarce, but we did find: John de Boweles in the Feet of Fines for Huntingdonshire in 1292. [7]

Early History of the Boles family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Boles research. Another 100 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1613, 1662, 1644, 1645, 1619, 1663, 1661, 1663, 1669, 1714, 1690, 1702, 1714, 1722, 1637, 1762, 1850, 1652, 1742, 1696, 1773, 1728 and 1786 are included under the topic Early Boles History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Boles Spelling Variations

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Boles family name include Bowles, Bolles, Boles, Bowls, Boals and others.

Early Notables of the Boles family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Edward Bowles (1613-1662), an English Presbyterian minister from Sutton, Bedfordshire. His father, Oliver Bowles, B.D., minister of Sutton, was one of the oldest members of the Westminster Assembly. Bowles was educated at Catherine Hall, Cambridge, under Sibbes and Brownrigge. He was chaplain to the second Earl of Manchester, and after the surrender of York, 15 July 1644, was appointed one of the four parliamentary ministers in that city, officiating alternately at the minister and Allhallows-on-the-Pavement. On 10 June 1645 the House of Commons voted him 100l. as one of the ministers in the...
Another 154 words (11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Boles Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Boles Ranking

In the United States, the name Boles is the 2,066th most popular surname with an estimated 14,922 people with that name. [8]

Ireland Migration of the Boles family to Ireland

Some of the Boles family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 32 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Boles migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Boles family to immigrate North America:

Boles Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Euge Boles, who arrived in Virginia in 1637 [9]
Boles Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Bennet Boles, who settled in Newcastle in 1805
  • Jane Boles, who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1849
Boles Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • James Boles, who landed in Wisconsin in 1910 [9]
  • William James Boles, who arrived in Wisconsin in 1910 [9]

Australia Boles migration to Australia +

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

Boles Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Boles, (Boyles), Scottish convict who was convicted in Perth, Scotland for 14 years, transported aboard the "Eden" on 8th July 1840, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [10]

New Zealand Boles migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Boles Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Boles, aged 44, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Berar" in 1873
  • Catherine Boles, aged 40, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Berar" in 1873
  • George Boles, aged 11, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Berar" in 1873
  • Anne J. Boles, aged 9, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Berar" in 1873
  • James Boles, aged 27, a carpenter, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Berar" in 1873
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Boles (post 1700) +

  • Kenneth Eugene "Ken" Boles (1933-2022), American politician, Member of the Florida House of Representatives (1978-1982)
  • General Billy Joe Boles (b. 1938), retired United States Air Force four-star general
  • Ewing Thomas Boles (1895-1992), American investment banker and philanthropist, CEO and Chairman of the Ohio Company
  • Carl Theodore Boles (b. 1934), American former Major League Baseball outfielder for the San Francisco Giants in 1962
  • Tony Boles (b. 1967), retired professional American NFL football running back and kick returner
  • John Patrick Boles (b. 1930), American Roman Catholic titular bishop
  • John Love Boles (1895-1969), American silent film actor and later in the talkies who appeared in 54 films
  • John Boles (1888-1952), American sport shooter, Gold Medal winner at the 1924 Summer Olympics
  • Dennis Cole Boles (1895-1969), American film actor
  • Sir Jeremy John Fortescue Boles (b. 1932), 3rd Baronet Boles, Baron of Bishop's Lydeard, Somerset, English race car driver
  • ... (Another 5 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  4. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  5. Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  6. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  7. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  8. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  9. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  10. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th October 2021). Retrieved from on Facebook