Richardson & Bolam

It has taken some time to work out how the Bolam and Anderson families were related, if at all. At the time of the 1841 and 1851 censuses widower and shepherd Matthew Anderson was with the Bolam family though no relationship was given.

  • In 1841 Matthew was with Harbottle shoemaker George Bolam 1781-1866. George’s probate states sons John Richardson Bolam and James Bolam. George’s parents were probably John and Jane Bolam. A possible spouse for George is Mary Bolam buried Elsdon 1828 age 38 (bc1790) included in Family Search and findmypast websites.
  • In 1851 Matthew was a visitor at the farm of John Richardson Bolam in Bickerton and also registered as living in Harbottle with his niece Alice Laidler or Saidler (28yr) housekeeper crossed out, born Holystone.
  • There may be another family connection between the Andersons and Bolams as Matthew’s aunt Eleanore married William Bollum of Stannington.

The main connection between the Bolams and Andersons is that Ephraim Anderson left Silloans Farm and the bulk of his estate to his nephew John Bolam of Hepple near Rothbury. Question is was John Bolam his nephew or his late wife’s nephew? Her name was Isabel (sometimes Isabella) Richardson and her brother James Richardson 1779-1866 ‘proprietor of lands’ lived with them at Silloans. Once the probate record for George Bolam, above had been found, giving John Bolam’s middle name as Richardson John could be assumed to be a Richardson nephew. The definitive answer is in James Richardson’s probate record John Richardson Bolam and James Bolam, his nephews. The will adds the information that John and James were the sons of Mary and George Bolam.

James Richardson 1779-1866 ‘Proprietor of lands’ and Isabel born Alwinton were the offspring of John and Susannah. There is also a record of their sibling John 1781-, but none survive for Mary destined to marry shoemaker George Bolam. The same applies to the baptismal records of George’s sons John and James. In the 1826 poll book James Richardson is resident at Silloans where he has freehold of houses and land.

  • John and James Bolam census returns and probate
    • John Richardson Bolam 1824-1869 born Harbottle.
      • 1841 at Silloans as John Boalam..
      • 1851 At Bickerton with brother John and Matthew Anderson
      • 1861 At Bickerton as Bolan with father George, brother James and his wife Elizabeth
      • As in Ephraim’s 1867 will John is described as of Hepple near Rothbury he must have move after the 1861 census.
      • Bachelor, died 1869 two years after inheriting Silloans from Ephraim.
      • Probate states brother James ‘only next of kin’.
    • James Bolam 1825-1887 born Alwinton or Harbottle
      • 1841 with 60yr shoemaker George Bolam in Harbottle & Matthew Anderson.
      • 1851 At Bickerton with brother John and Matthew 
      • 1861 At Bickerton with wife Elizabeth born 1826 Rothbury, father George and brother John.
      • 1871 at Silloans (inherited by brother John from Ephraim) with Elizabeth 1826-? and servant William Bolam b1851.
      • 1881 at Silloans farming 2,300 acres with Elizabeth. No sign of a marriage or offspring.
      • Died 1887
      • Probate £5,296 “in the United Kingdom”, “domiciled in England”. Executors included James Howey, farmer of Thropton Demesne.