Recorded as Bole, Bolle, Boles, Bolles. Bowle, Bowles and others, this very interesting surname can be of English, French or Welsh origins. Firstly it may be locational from Bouelles in the departement of Seine Martime, France. Introduced into England at the Norman Conquest of 1066, the derivation is from 'boelle', meaning an enclosure cleared for agriculture. The recording of one Walter de Bouell in the Hundred Rolls of Hertfordshire in 1275 is from this source. Secondly, it may be Welsh, and formed from the patronymic ab (or ap) Howell, meaning the son of Howell. This fusing has over the centuries created Powell and Bowell, as well as this surname. Thirdly the surname may be a variant of Bowler, an English medieval occupational name for a maker or seller of bowls and buckets. Here the derivation is from 'bolle' meaning a vessel for containing liquids. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and only became hereditary whebn a son followed his father into the same trade or business. Examples of the surname recording include James Boule in the register of accounts of the Duchy of Cornwall in 1297, and Thomas Bolles of Suffolk, who in 1528 was granted the following blazon of arms. A blue field, charged with three gold cups, out of which issue three boars heads couped. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John le Boule, which was dated 1296, in the Subsidy Rolls of the county of Sussex. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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