Boulton History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Boulton is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from the family once having 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 Boulton family

The surname Boulton 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 Boulton family

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

Boulton 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 Boulton family name include Boulton, Bolton, Bolten, Boalton, Boultoun, Boultown, Boltan, Boulten and many more.

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

Ireland Migration of the Boulton family to Ireland

Some of the Boulton 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 Boulton 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 Boulton surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

Boulton Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Richard Boulton, who landed in Virginia in 1610 [6]
  • Thomas Boulton, who landed in Virginia in 1628 [6]
  • Ann Boulton, who landed in Virginia in 1634 [6]
  • Nicholas Boulton, who arrived in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1644 [6]
  • William Boulton, who arrived in Maryland in 1658 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Boulton Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Boulton, who landed in Virginia in 1702 [6]
  • John Boulton, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1710 [6]
  • Richard Boulton, who settled in Maryland in 1719
  • DArcy Boulton, who arrived in New York in 1797 [6]
Boulton Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Giles Boulton, who arrived in New York in 1824 [6]

Australia Boulton migration to Australia +

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

Boulton Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. George Boulton who was convicted in Warwick, Warwickshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Bengal Merchant" on 4th August 1836, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • Mr. John Boulton, English convict who was convicted in Leicester, Leicestershire, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Barossa" on 8th December 1839, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [8]
  • Eliza Philis Boulton, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "John" in 1840 [9]
  • Thomas Boulton, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "John" in 1840 [9]
  • Thomas Boulton (aged 16), a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Aurora"
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Boulton 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:

Boulton Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Boulton, who landed in Queen Charlotte Sound, New Zealand in 1836 aboard the ship Success
  • E Boulton, who landed in Kapiti, New Zealand in 1837 aboard the ship Samuel Cunnard
  • Miss Sophia Boulton, (b. 1843), aged 20, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Huntress" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st April 1863 [10]
  • W. Boulton, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "India" in 1875
  • George Godfrey Boulton, aged 27, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Halcione" in 1875
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Boulton (post 1700) +

  • Matthew Boulton (1728-1809), English manufacturer, engineer and business partner of Scottish engineer James Watt, together they installed hundreds of Boulton & Watt steam engines [11]
  • Nate Boulton, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Iowa, 2000 [12]
  • Jon Boulton, American Democrat politician, Chair of Leelanau County Democratic Party, 2007 [12]
  • James E. Boulton, American politician, Representative from Wisconsin 5th District, 1966, 1970 [12]
  • Harry Boulton, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1908 [12]
  • Grace Boulton, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Oklahoma, 1972 [12]
  • Alexander Boulton, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Maryland, 2004 [12]
  • Marjorie Boulton (1924-2017), British author and poet who wrote in English and Esperanto
  • Matthew Boulton (1893-1962), English film actor
  • Isaac Watt Boulton (1823-1899), British engineer, founder of the locomotive-hire business known as Boulton's Siding
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Albert Arthur Boulton, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [13]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Denis Duncan Harold Owen Boulton, English 1st Class Passenger originating in Chicago, Illinois, USA returning to Liverpool, England, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [14]


The Boulton 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)
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/bengal-merchant
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/barossa
  9. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) JOHN from London 1840. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1840John.htm
  10. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  11. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 5 Feb. 2019
  12. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 29) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  13. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  14. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


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