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Subject: Re: Tom Shrubsole

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Date Posted: 16:41:55 09/27/07 Thu
In reply to: Tom 's message, "Tom Shrubsole" on 05:27:43 09/29/06 Fri

This from a site by a Christine Morris. You could Google her. There's a picture of the coat of arms, too. Enjoy.
Shrubsole, Shrubsall, Shrubshall One-Name Study
The meaning of the Shrubsole name

Genealogy experts come to no clear conclusion but suggest the origin of the surname derives from two sources. The ‘sole’ part is more straightforward and probably means ‘a mire’ but the first element is problematic and could be connected with the old English word for sheep, or with middle English word for shop or as a personal name of an individual. Another idea is that the form Sobesole found in the 13th century may mean ‘the muddy waste land to the south’ and when devolved into Shrubsole the first part might again involve a person’s name indicating the former ownership of ‘the land on the marsh’.

The relatively more modern link with the word shrub denoting a bush could give the meaning of the ‘shrub on the marsh’ or the ‘hall by the shrub’. Take your pick.

Origin of the family name

It is likely that the Shrubsole name originated in Kent, as an early reference occurs in Canterbury in 1318 when Thomas de Shroppesole and his wife Ann purchased a house and garden there for £5. In nearby Boughton-under-Blean, generations of Shrubsole, Shrubsall and variants occur since the start of parish records in the 16th century. With a possible epicenter at Canterbury, through migration the name slowly spread through Kent. Despite the proximity of London offering a variety of work opportunities, information from the 1881 Census shows families concentrated in Kent, and from a survey of distribution patterns based on entries in telephone directories, even in present times the name occurs more frequently in Kent.

By the late 18th century, the unreliable and varied spelling of the name has settled into three main variations: Shrubsole, Shrubsall and Shrubshall. Although the variations were still interspersed, geographically each of the three seemed to become concentrated in a particular area of Kent. With the beginning of civil registration in 1837, it is possible to track the variants. Shrubsole is by far the most common spelling, with Shrubsall coming well behind and only a small following of Shrubshall. Occasionally a Shrubshell would occur. From an analysis of the death indexes covering 10 years from 1870, of the 21 recorded Shrubsall deaths, 15 occurred in the Sittingbourne and Sheerness areas. The hot spot for Shrubshall was around Ashford and Elham, where 6 of the 12 deaths occurred and the 55 Shrubsole deaths showed a distinct clustering in the Faversham, Canterbury and Elham areas of East Kent.

For those of you with 19th or 20th century forebears from Sheerness, Sittingbourne and nearby Milton, it is quite likely that you all share a common ancestor stemming from the Hartlip farmer, Thomas Shrubsall. It is also possible that you are linked together from the marriage of Joseph Shrubsall and Jane Dawson of Milton near Sittingbourne in 1764. Joseph’s will dated 1813 names five surviving sons as beneficiaries and the Milton and Sheppey clusters seem to spring from these men, especially the third son Arthur who had two wives, producing 7 sons as well as 5 daughters.

Coat of Arms

It is nice to know there is a notable Shrubsole Coat of Arms. This armorial bearing was granted in 1812 to Richard Shrubsole, the son and heir of Robert Shrubsole of Graveney, Kent. The shield design is, as is often the case, a pun on the interpretation of the surname, associating the importance of the cherry to its Shrubsole families engaged in fruit cultivation in Kent. Certainly, making a living from fruit growing can be confirmed. When James Shrubsall of Hartlip, Kent made his will in 1746 he described himself as a fruiterer, as did his brother Stephen Shrubsall in his will of 1762. Daniel Shrubsall of the nearby parish of Borden was also described as a fruiterer at his death.

From Hasted’s extensive histories of Kent, written around 1798, Hartlip parish is described as ‘on high ground, surrounded by frequent orchards of apples and cherry trees, which renders the view of it from the London Road very pleasing’.


St Michael’s Church in Hartlip possesses a 9 inch high silver chalice weighing over 14 ounces, inscribed ‘The Gift of Mrs Shrubsall of this parish, 1782’. This was donated by Grace Shrubsall née Rogers, the widow of Stephen Shrubsall who was one of the principal tenant farmers of the parish in the early 18th century. His ancestors have been traced back to William Shrubsall who with his wife Phillis were farming in Hartlip in Oliver Cromwell’s time. It is quite possible that William came from Boughton-under-Blean.

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[> [> Subject: Re: Shrubsole of Sittingbourne - boatbuilder

Gwen Williams
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Date Posted: 09:57:50 01/24/09 Sat

I have some information that my ancestor was in business (abt 1890) with a boatbuilder of Sittingbourne by the name of Shrubsall. To progress my own famiily history I would like to find out if such a business existed. Please can you help?

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