Bolton History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the name Bolton date back to the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Bolton family 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 Bolton family

The surname Bolton 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 Bolton family

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

Bolton Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Bolton are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Bolton include: Boulton, Bolton, Bolten, Boalton, Boultoun, Boultown, Boltan, Boulten and many more.

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

Ireland Migration of the Bolton family to Ireland

Some of the Bolton 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 Bolton migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Bolton or a variant listed above:

Bolton Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Jane Bolton, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • lone Bolton, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [6]
  • Nathaniel Bolton, aged 19, who landed in Barbados in 1635 [6]
  • Tho Bolton, aged 18, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [6]
  • Joane Bolton, who landed in Virginia in 1636 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Bolton Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Mattw Bolton, who arrived in Virginia in 1703 [6]
  • Hugh Bolton, who landed in New England in 1730 [6]
  • Elianor Bolton, who arrived in Maryland in 1740 [6]
Bolton Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Robert Bolton, who landed in America in 1808 [6]
  • B B Bolton, aged 38, who landed in Maryland in 1813 [6]
  • Margaret Bolton, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816 [6]
  • Samuel Bolton, who arrived in Tippecanoe County, Ind in 1844 [6]
  • Mathias Bolton, who landed in New York NY in 1847 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Bolton migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Bolton Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Abraham Bolton U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1783 [7]
  • Mr. Abraham Bolton Sr., U.E. who settled in Edwardsburgh-Cardinal, Leeds & Grenville, Ontario c. 1783 [7]
  • Mr. Richard Bolton U.E. who settled in Edwardsburgh-Cardinal, Leeds & Grenville, Ontario c. 1783 [7]
  • Mr. George Bolton, "Boulton" U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1783 [7]

Australia Bolton migration to Australia +

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

Bolton Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Bolton, British convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Calcutta" in February 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, the settlement was listed as abandoned and most of the convicts transported to Tasmania on the "Queen" in 1804 [8]
  • William Bolton, English convict from Staffordshire, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on April 1st, 1822, settling in New South Wales, Australia [9]
  • Henry Bolton, English convict from Sussex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on October 22nd, 1824, settling in New South Wales, Australia [10]
  • Daniel Bolton, aged 30, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Emily" [11]
  • William Bolton, aged 36, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1850 aboard the ship "Sultana" [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Bolton 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:

Bolton Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Bolton, Cornish settler travelling from Launceston, UK aboard the ship "Brazil Packet" arriving in Hokianga, North Island, New Zealand in 1836 [13]
  • Edward Bolton, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1839
  • Mr. Bolton, Australian settler travelling from Sydney aboard the ship "Bee" arriving in New Zealand in 1839 [13]
  • Mr. James Bolton, (b. 1817), aged 23, British agricultural labourer travelling from England aboard the ship "Martha Ridgway" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 14th November 1840 [13]
  • James Bolton, aged 23, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Martha Ridgeway" in 1840
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Bolton (post 1700) +

  • John Robert Bolton (b. 1948), American attorney, diplomat, 25th United States Ambassador to the United Nations (2005-2006), 27th United States National Security Advisor (2018-2019)
  • Roxcy O'Neal Bolton (1926-2017), American feminist and civil and women's rights activist, founder of Women in Distress
  • Josh Bolton (b. 1984), American soccer player
  • Thomas Edward Bolton (b. 1962), American former Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Michael Bolton (b. 1953), stage name of Michael Bolotin, American Grammy Award and American Music Award winning singer and songwriter
  • Brigadier-General Newell Castle Bolton (1888-1947), American Commanding Officer 54th Cavalry Brigade (1936-1940) [14]
  • Guy Bolton (1885-1979), American playwright and screenwriter
  • Herbert Eugene Bolton (1870-1953), American historian and professor of history
  • Ruthie Bolton (b. 1967), American former collegiate, Olympic, and professional basketball player
  • First Lieutenant Cecil H Bolton (1908-1965), American officer awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1944
  • ... (Another 9 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Empress of Ireland
  • Miss Sadie Bolton (1914-1914), Canadian Third Class Passenger from Toronto, Ontario, Canada who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [15]
  • Master George Bruce Bolton (1911-1914), Canadian Third Class Passenger from Toronto, Ontario, Canada who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [15]
  • Mrs. Lillian Maud Bolton (1883-1914), Canadian Third Class Passenger from Toronto, Ontario, Canada who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [15]
  • Mr. George Henry Bolton (1882-1914), Canadian Third Class Passenger from Toronto, Ontario, Canada who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [15]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. William Thomas Bolton, British Petty Officer Stoker, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died in the sinking [16]
  • Mr. William James Bolton (b. 1921), Irish Ordinary Seaman from Belfast, Ireland, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [16]


The Bolton 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.


Suggested Readings for the name Bolton +

  • 979 "Biographical Sketches and Records of the Ezra Olin Family (including the Bolton Family)" by George S. Nye, "James Bolton of Bolton [England]" by Arthur T. Bolton.

  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)
  7. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/calcutta
  9. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1822 with 190 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1822
  10. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1824 with 9 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1824
  11. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The EMILY 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Emily.htm
  12. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SULTANA 1850. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850Sultana.htm
  13. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  14. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, October 22) Newell Bolton. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Bolton/Newell_Castle/USA.html
  15. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 16) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  16. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html


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