The Shotbolt Name

The unusual and distinctive name Shotbolt probably means "the dwelling at the boundary", derived from the old English scead, boundary, and bold, dwelling house, although the alternative connection with crossbows cannot be ruled out.

The first recorded occurrence I can find is in a will dated 1509 for my namesake Richard Shotbolt of Yerdeley. This is now Ardeley in Hertfordshire, where a Shotbolt family owned an estate called Cowards (or Cowherds), and later became lords of the manor at Cromer Hall prior to falling on hard times before 1700.

Memorial Brass

There is a memorial brass in Ardeley church (see picture on right) of Thomas Shotbolt (d. 1599) and his wife, with four sons and two daughters, and an inscription. The man is clothed in a long plain gown, and the woman wears a figured petticoat, peaked stomacher, and ruff. The inscription says:

"Here lyeth the body of Thomas Shotbolt, late of this Towne of Yardley, Esqr., and Mary, his wife, the seconde Daughter of Sir John Boteler, of Watton Woodhall, Knight, who had issue fowre sonnes and two daughters. He died the sixth day of June in the yeare of our Lord God 1599, and in the yeare of his age 72."

In August 2009, Anne Brown (nee Shotbolt) visited from New Zealand, and spent a few days researching the Ardeley connections. She visited Cromer Hall and another former Shotbolt residence called Luffenhall, and found the site of Cowards which is now a village green. She took several photos, including the one on the right.

Family Tree

My branch of the Shotbolt family lived in and around the village of Maulden in Bedfordshire from about 1700 to 1900, moving to Bedford then to Peterborough and finally Ramsey. We are probably descended from the Shotbolts at Ardeley, but there is a period of uncertainty from 1560 to 1665.

I am using the excellent and free Personal Ancestral File program to build a Shotbolt family tree. I welcome additions and corrections to this, ideally in GEDCOM format.

Note that most of the family events before about 1880 actually happened in Maulden, although they were officially registered in Ampthill. However, it appears that Charles Jesse Shotbolt's family did actually live in Ampthill for a while towards the end of the 19th century.

Shotbolt Family Tree (HTML)
Shotbolt Family Tree (GEDCOM)

The McBride Family

In December 2011 I was delighted to make contact with Andrew McBride, who is Clara Kate Shotbolt and Horace James Armstrong's grandson. Andrew kindly provided several corrections to the McBride and Feetham branches of the family tree, and spurred me on to investigate some of our more recent ancestors including Louisa Lizzie Shotbolt and George Hudson's family. Andrew's elder brother Roger has many old photos and documents, and will hopefully be able to find pictures of Clara and maybe some other relations.

Anne Brown

Anne Brown, née Shotbolt

In August 2009 I was delighted to meet Anne Brown from New Zealand, and we discovered that we are fourth cousins. Anne's father was Donald Clifford Shotbolt (b. 1909 in Leicester, UK) and her grandfather was Albert Ernest Shotbolt from Maulden.

After spending a glorious day in my village, Anne spent the next few days researching the family connection with Ardeley in Hertfordshire.

She visited and photographed the sites of several former Shotbolt residences, and also got some pictures of the Memorial Brass in Ardeley Church.

Diamond Wedding

Short Clip of Mum & Dad's Diamond Wedding

I was delighted to find a short clip from Mum and Dad's Diamond Wedding which they celebrated in October 2002. It was among some holiday videos on a digital camcorder tape.

There's only a couple of seconds of Dad on the tape, but it's the only living record I have of him.

You'll need to download the clip here then play it with Windows Media Player.

Philip and Martha

Philip and Martha Shotbolt

Philip Shotbolt (1865-1926) was my great grandfather's younger brother. He was the first of the clan to live in Ramsey, where he was a tailor. He married the widowed Martha Gammons (née Bunker, 1860-1938). Martha already had four children including William ('Uncle Billy') Gammons, who was instrumental in providing the loan that allowed my parents Ken and Joan to buy the land for their home and workshop in Newtown Road, Ramsey.

Philip and Martha went on to have two more children, Maud Kate Shotbolt and Nellie Louise Pretoria Shotbolt (Nellie Aldred, who died in 1997 aged 97)

Many thanks to Paula Stapleton (Jack Gammons' daughter) for the photo. Martha and Philip are on the left.