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BOULT ancestry in Berkshire

Boult ancestry from William Boult c1650

* represents parish records of baptisms and burials rather than
dates of births and deaths

So far, we can trace Neil's Boult ancestry back with confidence to 1758 in Berkshire. This page speculates on the reasonableness or otherwise of taking the ancestry back further.

Records show that Boults lived in Berkshire from way back. The difficulty is teasing out which ones were born to which parents because they had such common given names.

Other pages explain my complete confidence in putting Henry Boult (1865 - 1919), Henry John Boult (1828 - 1912) and Henry Boult (1794 - 1877) into the chart for Neil's Boult ancestry. This page is about taking the ancestry back further. It is based on actual records which I found in the Berkshire Record Office (mostly not available online) and I have had a go at making some sense out of them. However you may be able to do a better job, and* if so, please do contact me. It is the grey areas in the chart that indicate the speculative connections.

Working backwards from Henry Boult (1793/4 - 1877) in whom I have complete confidence, I used two hypotheses to look for his father. One hypothesis was that his given name would be John because it was normal practice to pass names on in families and Henry's eldest son (Neil's ancestor's elder brother) was named John. The other hypothesis was that as families tended to move around less then, he would have been been associated with Winkfield in Berkshire.

In fact these hypotheses fit the records so well that my confidence in them is effectively complete: A son Henry was born to a John and Elizabeth Boult of Chawridge in Winkfield, birth date 2 Jan 1793 and baptismal date 27 Jan 1793. According to censuses, which are notoriously vague on dates, Henry, was born about 1794.

According to the History of the County of Berkshire the manor of Chawridge consisted of 151 acres of woodland granted in free alms by Henry III as parcel of the manor of Cookham and Bray to the priory of Bromhall in lieu of rents from Windsor and Cookham and Bray. After the Dissolution the manor was granted to St. John's College, Cambridge with whom it has remained to the present day.

So I believe that the father of Henry Boult (1793-1877) has been identified as another John Boult and his wife Elizabeth who lived in a house or estate called Chawridge in Winkfield. According to the History of the County of Berkshire the manor of Chawridge consisted of 151 acres of woodland granted in free alms by Henry III as parcel of the manor of Cookham and Bray to the priory of Bromhall in lieu of rents from Windsor and Cookham and Bray. After the Dissolution the manor was granted to St. John's College, Cambridge with whom it has remained to the present day.

Since putting up my Boult information I have been contacted by various other researchers into the Boult line. Where their information is not in any of the British online records, I am adding it here for the benefit of other researchers.

  • I was told from a Boult connection through the Internet that the Boults came from Champ du Boult in France and that the name was 'deBoult', but have not been able to verify this. I was also told by a Frenchman who lived in the area there is a Boult Castle.

  • A Lord Boult was said to exist in England in the 11th or 12th centuries.

  • A Zachariah Boult went to New Zealand in 1840 and had a mine at a place called Arahura.

  • A Gabriel Boult was deported to the West Indies 1720 aboard the Faulcon from London.

  • Rose (Peers) was married to Sir Adrian Boult's brother James. She died Oct 10 1969 at Courtenay, B.C.Canada."

  • It is common knowledge that there are so many Boults buried together in Winkfield churchyard that it is locally called Boult's Avenue.

A suitable candidate for the mother of Henry Boult (1793 - 1877) is documented in the Winkfield parish records: John Boult of Winkfield and Elizabeth Cotterell of Burghfield married at Burghfield in Berkshire by licence on 28 July 1789. (This Burghfield record was also copied into the index for Winkfield.) It is worth noting that the marriage was by licence as this suggests relatively well-to-do families. John was stated to be a farmer which almost certainly meant that he owned land which would fit well with his son Henry being a butcher, ie owning a butcher's shop, selling the produce of the farm. Elizabeth Cotterell is referred to in the chart as Elizabeth Cotterell II as further research was to show an earlier Elizabeth Cotterell in Neil's Boult ancestry. Elizabeth II is almost certainly the one in the IGI who was baptised in Burghfield on 23 Feb 1755. This would have made her 34 years old a the time of her marriage, to John's age 31.

As for the date of death of this John Boult, the burial records of Winkfield show that a John Boult of Marden Green (presumably another house in Winkfield) was buried on 5 October 1832. This date would give 'our' John, if 'our' John he was, an age at death of 74, which is well within the bounds of possibility, although of course unconfirmed. Being before 1841 it would also explain his absence from census records. Validy rests of course on whether John had moved from Chawridge to Marden Green.

As for the death of John's wife, Elizabeth, ie Elizabeth Cotterell II, she could be the Eizabeth Boult, widow of Winkfield, who left a will dated 1840, but there is nothing in it to indicate whether she was the widow of John. She left little of any account as presumably that had passed to one of her sons on the death of her husband. The will did mention a William, as 'my late husband's nephew who lives with me', but so far this has not shed any further light on who else was who, as it has not been possible to trace William's parents.

In searching for Elizabeth, the mother of Henry Boult (1793/4 - 1877) , I first fell into the standard trap for genealogists of accepting the wrong ancestral line because it looked reasonable nd happened to be in online records. The details, as a warning to others.

According to the IGI, a John Boult did marry an Elizabeth in the right general place and time period: He married Elizabeth Winder in Bray, Berkshire, on 23 Oct 1784. She was born to Edmond Winder and Elisabeth, baptised 10 Feb 1762 in Bray, Berkshire. I am, however, grateful to Karen Evans for pointing out from her research into the Winder family that Elizabeth Winder was buried at Bray in Berkshire on 30 December 1791, which was before the birth of the Henry, who I had postulated as her son. The children of that John Boult and Elizabeth Winder were all born at Braywick, Bray in Berkshire and baptised at St Michael's, Bray. They were: John, baptised 1 Sep 1785; Elizabeth, baptised 25 Jul 1786; and Ann, born 25 Nov 1788 and baptised 19 Dec 1788; Sarah, born 17 Nov 1791 and baptised 9 Dec 1791.

The parish records show that John Boult of Winkfield and Elizabeth (Cotterell II) had the following children:

My search for the father of the John Boult who married Elizabeth Cotterell II kept firmly to the Winkfield records to avoid the same mistake that I originally made for his son. Thus, although a John Boult was baptised on 28 Feb 1758 to John Boult and Ann at Bray at about the right time, I took that as only of passing interest.

From here back the records seem incomplete and require a great deal of speculation in addition to analysis. Here are the 'bare bones':

My piecing together is shown in the grey areas of the chart. Where no record is available, I have put it as approximate (with a 'c'), based on what seems reasonable from other dates. Where a generation seems to be missing, probably because a baptism took place in a wife's parish, I have named the child 'Unknown'. I have also taken it as reasonable that a baptismal record which names parents may refer to the baptism of a sibling in 'our' Boult line. Baptisms of course, not infrequently, took place some years after a birth and are not therefore always reasonable indications of birth dates. In conclusion, do remember that the grey areas of the chart remain speculative. In particular, it seems unlikely that Elizabeth Cotterell I, whose marriage license by banns indicates a well-to-do family, should have a child two years before she was married. I am not imposing any particular morality on well-to-do families, only that they always seemed to manage to cover up such things by a quick marriage.


Courtesy of Richard Renold

1. William Boult "of Chester" 1733-1811 m 1767 to Hannah Swinton
2. Francis Boult 1779 Chester - 1848 Liverpool m. 1806 Wem, Shropshire to Anne Swanwick
3. Francis Boult 1807 Liverpool - 1886 Oxton, CHS m. 1845 Cheltenham reg. district to Ellen Grundy
4. Cedric Randal Boult 1853 Oxton, CHS - 1950 Salisbury reg. district m. 1881 London to Katherine Florence Barman
5. Sir Adrian Cedric Boult 1889 Chester - 1983 Brent

According to information passed down in the family, 'our' Boults were related to the well known orchestral conductor, Sir Adrian Boult (Adrian Cedric Boult, born 1889, Chester, died 1983). Can anyone confirm this link? Nothing in my research does. According to various censuses, Sir Adrian Boult was the son of Cedric Boult an oil merchant born in Oxton, Cheshire.

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