Recorded in a wide variety of spellings including Boldsworth, Bolesworth, Bowlesworth, Bolsworth and Bolesworth, this is an English surname. It is locational from a now 'lost' village called Bolesworth in the county of Cheshire. According to Bartholomews Gazetter of the British Isles, this village today survives as a 'locality', without dwellings. It is estimated that at least three thousand surnames of the British Isles derives from 'lost' villages of which the only surviving public memory is the surname itself, often as with this one is a large range of spellings.As to why these villages disappeared from the maps has warranted several books and continuing research. The most likely causes are changes in farming practice over the centuries, although plague, urbanisation, and even war, have played their part. The meaning of this placename, and hence the later surname is open to conjecture, but the wood where planks were made, seems a reasonable explanation. This is from the Old English word "worte" meaning a wood and "bol", a plank. The latter a 'borrowed' word from the Norse-Vikings, who were in much evidence in the Cheshire region and the North West around the 9th century. Early examples of the surname recording include Margery Bolesworthe at the church of St Mary Woolnoth, on April 10th 1546, and John Bowlesworth, who was christened at St Nicholas Cole Abbey, on March 20th 1663, both in diocese of Greater London, on March 20th 1663.
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