Bolten History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Bolten is a name whose history is connected to the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Bolten family once lived in Lancashire and Yorkshire, where they derived their name from any of several places named Boulton or Bolton. The name literally means district characterized by bends from the Old English words boga and land. [1]

There are numerous place names throughout the north of England named after this illustrious family including Bolton le Sands in Lancashire, Bolton Castle, Bolton Percy and Bolton upon Dearne in Yorkshire. The Domesday Book of 1086 refers to Bodeltone [2] and it is generally understood that this if the first reference for most of these places.

Early Origins of the Bolten family

The surname Bolten was first found in Lancashire, Yorkshire, Cumberland and Northumberland. The latter "is memorable as the scene of a meeting in 1209, between John, King of England, and William, King of Scotland." [3]

The Boldon Book was prepared on orders of Hugh du Puiset, Bishop of Durham in 1183 and while similar to the Domesday Book from a century before, the book lists lands and properties of what would later become County Durham which is now known as the North East. Only four known manuscript copies exist today.

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had two listghins for the family: Michael de Boulton, Yorkshire; and Thomas de Boulton, or Bolton, Lincolnshire. [4]

In Scotland, the name was "probably from Bolton in East Lothian. Adam de Boultone was reeve of Dunfres, 1287. William fiz Geffray de Boultone del counte de Edeneburk rendered homage, 1296. John of Boulton was employed as a mason at Castle of Linlithgow, 1302, and Robert of Bolton, a Scot, was released from prison in Colchester, 1396." [5]

More recently, some of the family were found at Wrightington in Lancashire. "Harrock Hall, the seat of the Boulton family, was purchased in 1839 from the Rigbys, of whom, in 1567, it had already been the residence for four generations: the house, around which are 420 acres, has been restored by the present possessor." [3]

Early History of the Bolten family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bolten research. Another 167 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1191, 1321, 1640, 1645, 1575, 1633, 1575, 1570, 1648, 1592, 1659, 1606, 1654, 1680, 1666, 1639, 1650, 1572, 1631, 1868, 1619, 1611, 1844, 1878 and are included under the topic Early Bolten History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bolten Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Bolten family name include Boulton, Bolton, Bolten, Boalton, Boultoun, Boultown, Boltan, Boulten and many more.

Early Notables of the Bolten family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Edmund Bolton or Boulton (1575?-1633?), an English historian and poet, born in or about 1575; Sir Richard Bolton (1570?-1648), English lawyer, son of John Bolton, of Fenton, Staffordshire; Sir Edward Bolton (1592-1659 ), an English-born judge who served for many years as Solicitor General for Ireland; Robert de Boulton, of Lancashire; Samuel Bolton (1606-1654), an English clergyman and scholar, a member of the Westminster Assembly and Master of Christ's College, Cambridge; Sir William Bolton (died 1680), an English merchant, Lord Mayor of London in 1666; and Sir Richard Bolton (1639-1650)...
Another 96 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bolten Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Bolten family to Ireland

Some of the Bolten family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 237 words (17 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Bolten migration to the United States +

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Bolten surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

Bolten Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Bolten, who arrived in Virginia in 1698 [6]
Bolten Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Bolten, who landed in Tippecanoe County, End in 1843 [6]


The Bolten Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Vi et virtute
Motto Translation: By strength and valour.


  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  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)
  6. ^ 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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