SHADBOLT, Transportation to Norfolk Island, 1845

(and other connections)

March 2002

Maria A. Hessman, (cashelmare @t New Windsor, Md, USA, asked I wondered, firstly, if you had any materials or suggestions for finding the meaning of the name Shadbolt.

There are a number of books on the origins of surnames and most good genealogical libraries are likely to have copies. P.H. Reaney's A Dictionary of English Surnames lists Shadbold and Shadbolt, and lists an early reference to Thomas Shotebolte in Hertfordshire in 1559. It suggests that it may be from the Old English meaning "dweller at the building on the boundary".

Secondly, the SHADBOLTs I am most interested in those that come from the villages of Datchworth, Tewin, Digswell, and the area of Burnham Green. The newspaper the "Hertfordshire Mercury", dated Saturday, 12 July, 1845, reports on the trial and conviction of four Shadbolts. They were transported to Norfolk Island near Australia. Do you know what was the usual custom in these circumstances regarding the families of the convicts. Beside the workhouse was there any other financial aid provide to the families or were they just sent off.

"Transported beyond the Seas" shows that Benjamin Shadbolt (20, of Watton), George Shadbolt (25, of Tewin), Jonathan Shadbolt (26, of Watton) and Solomon Shadbolt (47, of Burnham Green) were convicted of breaking and entering the house of Priscilla Blindell, widow, keeper of a general shop at Little Wymondley, and stealing a quantity of flannel, calico, money and other articles valued 11/11/7d. They were sentenced to transportation for periods ranging from 15 to 20 years. They left England on the Mayda on 29th August 1845 and arrived at Norfolk Island on 8th January 1846. Two other Hertfordshire transportees, William Holden (23, of Sawbridgeworth) and Henry Toogood (18, of Sawbridgeworth), were on the same ship. [Norfolk Island is in the Pacific Ocean a long way from Australia - and at one time was used as a penal colony for people transported from New South Wales.]

Further information on the conviction will almost certainly be found in the court records at HALS (calendared in Hertfordshire County Records). The families of convicts would have to make do on their own resources - and if they couldn't manage they could well end up in the workhouse. It would be well worth checking the 1851 census for the Hertford Union Workhouse.

I am part of a group of Shadbolt researchers who have complied a large amount of material on the family in Hertfordshire. Contact is most welcomed.

March 2003

Wendy A Walker  (wendya @t writes: My mother's maiden name was Shadbolt and lived in a small village called North Mymms nr. Hatfield, Hertfordshire. Her father was a builder named Herbert John Shadbolt who had a brother Jack who was a Butler. I have just returned from a trip to New Zealand and in Christchurch there are a number of Shadbolts in the tele directory. I understood that the name Shadbolt evolves from shotebolt keeper of the Tower of London. I  hope this may be of use and would like to find out more about my mothers family.

Obviously you should contact Maria A. Hessman to see if she can help. In addition, if you are just starting to research your family history, you should read the "How To ..." advice pages on this site or  get a book on researching your family history from your local library. As you give no dates, and I do not know how old you are, your grandfather could be younger than me (i.e. born after 1938), or could have been dead before 1880.  Document what you can - collect relevant birth, marriage and death certificates - and find your ancestors in the census returns. If/when you come across difficulties relating to your ancestors in Hertfordshire feel free to use the "Ask Chris" facility to ask a specific question.

August 2003

Colin Shadbolt (theshadbolt @t writes:  I am 38 years old and was born in Hertford hospital. Lived in Tewin, Watton on Stone and then Burnham Green for 15 years. now living in Kent. My grandfather was a police officer (John Shadbolt) married to Mary (maiden name Segrote), both passed away now, and lived in Hertford for most of his life. Had four sons Donald (my father) Richard, Roger and David. We also have relatives living in Sydney, Australia. If you need to know any questions I may be able to give you some contact names and addresses.

January 2005

Louis Calvete (louis @t of Welwyn Garden City says:  I have done quite a lot on my wife's family tree, her maiden name was Roslyn Rix and her grandmother was Edith Shadbolt of N. Mymms who married Hercules Arthur Rix.  I believe some descendants still live there. I can let you have such information that I have but I wondered if you know of some one who has gone back before Edith's father, George Shadbolt who was born in Codicote ca 1844. 

A few days later Maria A. Hessman, (cashelmare @t told me: Thank you for forwarding me the message from Louis Calvete concerning Shadbolt genealogy. I can certainly help him and have e-mailed him and told him we are very likely from the same line. So my address is still current and I keep it so for the very reason of finding new Shadbolt family researchers.

February 2005

Amy Shutler (amyshutler @t adds another connection. She writes: Although I was born in Staffordshire previous branches of my family originate from Hertfordshire. We seem to have quite a long and settled history in Hertfordshire and some relations still live in the area. My Grandmother was Florence Maud Shadbolt who was born in Lower Green, Tewin. Her parents were Rose Elizabeth (Nottage) and Ernest Shadbolt. Rose was born in Sacombe and Ernest, like my Grandmother, was born in Tewin. Ernest's parents, Arthur Shadbolt and Elizabeth (formerly Hankin) were also born in Tewin. I hope that this little snippet of information might help someone in some way. If this background seems familiar I'd love to hear from anyone.

March 2005

Maria A. Hessman, (cashelmare @t added: Thank you again for sending another Shadbolt researcher my way. (re: Amy Shutler). We were very successful in tracing her Shadbolt family. I appreciate you sending her my way and hope you will keep me in mind whenever a Shadbolt researcher pops up. The database is now very large on this family and we can just about link up a Shadbolt descendant to the right family-line very time. 

Ashley Shadbolt (AAKS1 @t of New Zealand provides the following additional information:  I noticed on the web site the name Benjamin Shadbolt and that he was deported. It is my understanding that his brother Peter is my great great or great great great grandfather. It Is my understanding that Peter was a man of the church and was sent to Australia to 'care' for Ben. Also that they were in Tasmania an island state of Australia and large penal colony before winning Bens freedom in 1853 and moving to New Zealand, settling on Banks Peninsula near Christchurch in 1859. Within a few years of settling Ben owned a sawmill, farm, shop and pub. By his death in 1862 at the age of 57 he was also a horse breeder and a local body politician. My family has since farmed in Canterbury New Zealand and still have a strong family identity.

April 2005

Maria A. Hessman, (cashelmare @t provides a further update relating to the Hertfordshire Shadbolt families: Thanks again for sending me the message from Ashley Shadbolt. I shall invite her to the Shadbolt website and she can see a picture of Peter and Benjamin for herself.  If ever you should wish to have a quick look at the website I started let me know. There are lots of Herts. connections on the website. I appreciate you keeping me in mind when a Shadbolt researcher pops up. We now have a huge database of all Shadbolts in England and especially ones from Herts. I was able to connect the last Shadbolt researcher you send my way, Louis Calvete, and we proved with a marriage certificate that he was connected to a Shadbolt line from Ayot St. Lawrence and that line further connected to Kimpton and eventually Weston.

June 2007

See SHADBOLT, Datchworth Area, Mid 19th Century

September 2008

David Lovett (wavedave92 @t of East Preston, West Sussex, writes: I am a direct descendant of Arthur Shadbolt and Elizabeth Hankin mentioned by Amy Shutler above ... they were my great grand parents and I possess a photo of them at the gate of their house on Lower Green Tewin, ... the house still exists today. My mother went to school in Tewin and I have a group class photo of her. The school is recognisable from the photo though it is now a converted house. I can track my line back to Benjamin Shadbolt (born 1777) and his wife Catherine (born also in 1777 in North Mimms). On the war memorial in the churchyard at Tewin are inscribed the names of several Shadbolts (most of them sons of Arthur and Elizabeth) who were killed in the First World War.

Thanks for this additional information - I am sending copies to all who have corresponded on this subject before.

If you can add to the information given above tell me.


Page updated September 2008