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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The Scottish surname Bothwell comes from a place in Lanarkshire, derived from the Middle English words "bothy," meaning a "small hut," and "well," meaning a "spring," or "stream," or "wyell," which denoted a fishing pool in the river.

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The surname Bothwell was first found in Lanarkshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, possibly even before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D. The earliest record found of the name is of William de Bothvile, who witnessed a grant in Circa 1190-1220. A Rger de Bodevill was a juror on inquisition relating to the lands of Hopkelchoc, in 1259.

Spelling variations of this family name include: Bothwell, Borthwell, Bothwel, Borthwel, Bothewell, Boduel and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bothwell research. Another 261 words (19 lines of text) covering the years 1347, 1366, 1369, 1342, 1536, 1578, 1617, 1663, 1640, 1644, 1st and 1609 are included under the topic Early Bothwell History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 97 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bothwell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Bothwell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 105 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Bothwell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Alexander Bothwell, who landed in New England in 1719
  • David Bothwell settled in Georgia in 1779
  • Alexander Bothwell who settled in Wilmington Del. in 1790

Bothwell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • John Bothwell settled in New England in 1805
  • John Bothwell, who arrived in America in 1805
  • James Bothwell arrived in Philadelphia in 1828
  • William Bothwell, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1847
  • George Bothwell, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1848


Bothwell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Margaret Bothwell "Alias Gunn", Scottish convict from Aberdeen, who was transported aboard the "Anna Maria" on October 4, 1851, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia

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  • John H. Bothwell, American Republican politician, Member of Missouri State House of Representatives from Pettis County, 1901-04; Delegate to Republican National Convention from Missouri, 1908, 1928
  • Johnny Bothwell (b. 1919), American Jazz musician and bandleader
  • Dorr Hodgson Bothwell (1902-2000), American artist, designer, and educator
  • James Hepburn Bothwell (1537-1578), Scottish husband of Mary Queen of Scots/nobleman
  • Tim Bothwell (b. 1955), Canadian professional NHL ice hockey player
  • Robert Selkirk Bothwell (b. 1944), Canadian historian, Professor at the University of Toronto


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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: Obdura adversus urgentia
Motto Translation: Not yielding to provocations.

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  1. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  2. Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
  3. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  5. Urquhart, Blair Edition. Tartans The New Compact Study Guide and Identifier. Secauccus, NJ: Chartwell Books, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0-7858-0050-6).
  6. Warner, Philip Warner. Famous Scottish Battles. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-004-4).
  7. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. The Charters of David I The Written Acts of David I King of Scots, 1124-53 and of His Son Henry, Earl of Northumerland, 1139-52. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1999. Print.
  8. Fairbairn,. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  9. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  10. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  11. ...

The Bothwell Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bothwell Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 7 January 2016 at 12:26.

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