Since the mid-12th century, the parish has been dominated by the Ickleton Priory. At least two people in the village were engaged in trade with London by the late 1400's.1
Assuming Stephen was an adult of some 45 years when recorded for tax, he would have been born in 1282, which was about as early as the yeomenry in England began using family names .2
Casebolt is derived from a Middle English nickname, "casbalde" meaning "bald head".3 Prior to the publication of Reaney's definitive Dictionary, some speculated that the Casebolt name was derived from a variety of combinations of Norman French and Old English words.
The typical English spelling of the name came to be Casbolt. That spelling was also used in America in the first two generations along with Casebolt which came to be the typical American spelling. However, over the years there have been many spelling variations, often due to the fact that most early family members were illiterate, leaving various government clerks unfamiliar with this rather unique surname to guess how it was spelled and to write that guess into the official records.
As to spellings of the first syllable, I have seen: Caes, Cais, Cars, Cas, Case, Cash, Casse, Cast, Casta, Cats, Caus, Chas, Kase, and Kis. I kept expecting to find Cays or Kays, but never did. As to spellings of the last syllable, I have seen: bal, ball, boalt, bold, bolde, boldt, bole, boll, bolt, bolte, bolts, bone, bott, boult, bout, brolt and bult. Combinations of the first and last syll
1 Wright, VI:231.
2 Bardsley p. 6 indicates that in the 11th and 12th centuries in western Europe surnames began to be broadly used in a lasting way. A chart in Even p. 131 confirms that in lists of well-to-do Englishmen made before 1100 more than half usually did not show surnames, whereas in lists made after 1100 virtually all were shown with both given and surnames.
3 Reaney, p. 62.
CASEBOLT -- An American Family Copyright 1992- RAK
Chapter 1 - Origins Page 1-3
Last Revised: 19 April 1992
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