More About the BOLLES FAMILY COAT of ARMS Bolles Coat of Arms


Inasmuch as this subject can become quite complicated, we offer herewith, the following by a descendant of Joseph Bolles. Mr. A. J. Bolles of New Orleans, is well versed in the field of Heraldry and the writer of several articles on the subject in the "New Orleans Genesis," the publication of the New Orleans Genealogical Research Society. He was State Registrar for the Sons of the American Revolution for Louisiana.

"The use and regulation of Armory had its beginning in the early part of the Twelfth Century and progressed into a Science of universal value thereafter - it is with us even now in modified form which serves many functions. Naturally, the Followers of William of Normandy did not bring with them any Coat-of-Arms or similar Heraldic Bearings at the time of their invasion of A.D. 1066. The Bayeux Tapestry, attributed to Mathilda (wife of William, and daughter of Count Baldwin of Flanders), does not exhibit other than some vague ornamentation of military gear, with most shields "frightly polished." Some Families began the practice of ornamenting shields and other equipment before the need became recognized by Crown and Baron alike. Some of the earliest assumptions and grants obviously were only vaguely recorded, if indeed, any orderly record was kept at all. Confusion was the result and correction came about through a Crown Decree which established a "Roll of English Arms" (Temp. Henry III). Thereafter followed matriculation of subsisting Arms with the College of Heralds and a recording of future Grants of Arms. We do not have positive assurance of the dates of the first Arms ascribed to, or borne by the Bolles Family, but very early Arms indicate that our Ancestors displayed:-

'Azure out of three standing cups or, as many boar's heads erect couped argent. Crest:- A demi-boar wounded in the left breast with a broken spear shafted or headed argent. Three drops gules. Motto:- Again, yet again.'

This Achievement of Arms appears to have been borne by the Lincolnshire Families of Swineshead, Scampton, Haugh, and Thorpe. This Achievement becomes essentially that of the Bolles of Gosberton (Gosberkirke) except that the Cups become silver and the boar's heads change to gold. In their Crest, we find that the blue demi-boar is wounded with a silver-tipped golden arrow.

"The foregoing have been confirmed through William Berry"s "Encyclopedia of Heraldica." Berry was for 15 years, Registering Clerk of the College of Arms in London. The Arms depicted in the "General Armory" of Sir Bernard Burke, (Ullster King of Arms for Ireland) make little distinction between Bolles and Bowles (eighteen listed under the latter spelling and only two for the first). Therefore the intermingling con tributes such confusion that considerable difficulty could confront any ones seriously attempting to locate and identify true Arms belonging to a particular Branch of the Bolles Family. -if Burke were relied upon as the sole authority.

"It appears obvious that Joseph Bolles was entitled to display the Osberton Arms with the mark of difference, under the Rule of Cadency, as:- 'Azure out of three bowls or, as many boar's heads erect couped argent. A mullet or., voided of the field for the difference.' No Crest and no Motto.

Put into Layman's terms:

'The Shield (Escutcheon) is blue. In the upper half (equidistant from the outer perimeter) there are two footed bowls, out of which would stand erect in each, a silver boar's head cut off clean behind the ear (at the rim) with the tongue colored crimson. In the center of the lower half of the Shield would be a third bowl and boar's head, as previously described. In the center of the Shield would appear a fire pointed golden star which would have a blue center matching the outline of the outer edge of the star. The "Star" or "Mullet" signifies a third son in the line of descent and inheritance, and the blue star in the center would indicate that he was of the "Third house" of the "Family ".'

"Descendants of Joseph Bolles and Mary Howell may encounter quartered Arms represented as being "Bolles Arms." Such should be carefully researched unless the person interested has ascertained in advance that the quartering are valid. As generation follows generation, and various marriages take place, new quarterings can change the blazoning upon the Escutcheon into something of a maze, unless an accurate genealogical record has been kept so that identification may be made of all Quarterings. However, to afford our Cousins an opportunity to review some Quarterings that were authenticated in their time, we hereinafter reproduce two examples. Possibly some one may be able to identify some of the Families represented,

"Of added interest to Descendants of Joseph Bolles may be the pages of "Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists who came to New England between 1625 and 1640" by Frederick Lewis Weis, Th.D. Also of similar value is the "Magna Carts Sureties, 1215" by Dr. Weis and Dr. Arthur Adams. From these we are introduced to some very interesting Ancestors of Joseph Bolles. "

Amanuel Joseph BOLLES Circa 1970

It will be seen from the foregoing that, although there are many Bolles/Bowles Arms, the Descendants of Joseph Bolles may well assume the Arms of William Bolles of Osberton, great, great, great grandfather of the immigrant Joseph Bolles.