This interesting surname, with variant spellings Bold, Bo(u)lter, Bould and Boulds, may derive from a number of possible sources. Firstly, it may be of topographical origin for a person who resides at a small farm, from the Old Danish element "bol", small farm, found in areas where the Scandinavian influence was particularly strong. The name may perhaps be of English occupational origin, denoting a sifter of flour, from the Old French "beluter", a sifter of flour (Middle English "bo(u)lt"). Bolt may also be a metonymic occupational name for a maker of bolts from the Middle English word "bolt", a bolt or arrow. Finally, it may have originated as a nickname for a short, but powerfully built person, from the Old Norse personal name "Boltr". Walter Bolt appeared in the Curia Rolls of Surrey in 1202, while the Select Documents of the English Lands of the Abbey of Bec, record Roger Bolt in Wiltshire in 1248. Gabriell Bolt, aged 29 yrs., embarked from London aboard the "Faulcon" in April 1635, bound for the Barbadoes Islands; he was one of the earliest namebearers to settle in the New World Colonies. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Godinc Bolt, which was dated 1066, in "Inquisitio Commitatus Cantabrigiensis", during the reign of King William 1, known as "William the Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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