This unusual name is of early medieval English origin and is a locational name deriving from a now "lost" place in Bedfordshire near Shefford. An estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets are known to have disappeared in Great Britain since records began, most of them through the enforced "clearing" of villages to make sheep pastures during the 14th Century. The name means "the dwelling at the boundary", derived from the old English pre 7th Century "scead", boundary, and "botl" or "bold", dwelling house.The surname is recorded in a variety of forms: Shotebolte (1573, Bedfordshire), Chadebolt (1604), Shadbolte (1618), Shadboult (1818) and Shotboulte (1642) (all recorded in London). Anne Shotbolt and Arthur Bayly were married in London on the 7th of December 1692. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Joan Shotbolt (christening), which was dated June 14th 1573, at Stotfold, Bedfordshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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