Shoulders History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Shoulders arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Shoulders family lived in Norfolk, at Shouldham. The first record of the family was Simon de Shuldham who was found here in the Pipe Rolls of 1177. John of Shouldham was listed in the Assize Rolls for Norfolk in 1312. [1]

The source History of Norfolk notes Thomas Shouldham, Norfolk, 1467; Thomas Shuldham, Norfolk, temp. 1580; and John Shouldnam, Lord of Marham and Shouldham. [2]

Early Origins of the Shoulders family

The surname Shoulders was first found in Norfolk where they held a family seat from the 12th century. Conjecturally they were descended from Ranulf, the Norman noble who held the lands of Shouldham from Reynald FitzIvo at the taking of the Domesday Book in the year 1086. At this time the lands held 1 Mill, 1.5 fisheries and a salt house. Recent excavations in the village suggest that it has been inhabited for 2000 years. [3]

"Shouldham Hall, co. Suffolk, was the seat of this family so early as 34 Henry III., when Sir William de Shuldham was resident there. The Shuldhams of Ireland settled in that country, in co. Cork, early in the XVIII. century." [4] The Sholar variant probably originated in Lancashire where Adam del Scoler was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for 1332. [1] Later up in Scotland, Henry Scoular witnessed a sasine in 1525. George and Ralph Scouller in Huittoun, 1665. [5]

Early History of the Shoulders family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Shoulders research. Another 101 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1250, 1679, 1750, 1651, 1616, 1681 and 1556 are included under the topic Early Shoulders History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Shoulders Spelling Variations

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Shuldham, Shouldham, Shuldam, Shouldam, Sholtham and many more.

Early Notables of the Shoulders family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Shoulders Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Shoulders Ranking

In the United States, the name Shoulders is the 7,644th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [6]

Ireland Migration of the Shoulders family to Ireland

Some of the Shoulders family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 63 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Shoulders family

Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Shoulders or a variant listed above: George Shouldam arrived in Philadelphia in 1780.


Contemporary Notables of the name Shoulders (post 1700) +

  • James "Jim" A. Shoulders (1928-2007), American rodeo champion, known as the "Babe Ruth of Rodeo"


The Shoulders 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: Vigilate et orate
Motto Translation: Watch and pray.


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print
  3. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  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. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm


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