Bolles History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Bolles is a name that first reached England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Bolles 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 Bolles family

The surname Bolles 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 Bolles family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bolles 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 Bolles History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bolles Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Bolles are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Bolles include Bowles, Bolles, Boles, Bowls, Boals and others.

Early Notables of the Bolles 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 Bolles Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bolles Ranking

In the United States, the name Bolles is the 12,890th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [8]

Ireland Migration of the Bolles family to Ireland

Some of the Bolles 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 Bolles migration to the United States +

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Bolles, or a variant listed above:

Bolles Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Joseph Bolles, who landed in Maine in 1640 [9]
Bolles Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Bolles, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1822 [9]
  • S Bolles, who arrived in Mississippi in 1831 [9]
  • Heinrich Bolles, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1851 [9]
  • Henry Bolles, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1851 [9]
  • Miss Bolles, who landed in Brazil in 1875 [9]

Contemporary Notables of the name Bolles (post 1700) +

  • Richard Nelson Bolles (1927-2017), American Episcopal clergyman and the author of What Color Is Your Parachute?
  • Stephen Bolles (1866-1941), American politician, congressman from Wisconsin
  • John Savage Bolles (1905-1983), San Francisco architect
  • Robert C. Bolles (1928-1994), American psychologist
  • Richard Bolles Paddock (1859-1901), United States Army officer, one of the few American officers who died in China during the Boxer Rebellion


  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. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  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)


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