A one-name family history researcher collects all references
to a particular surname. One person working alone on such a product
may soon find others with a similar interest and form a group.
Christine maintains the index for the Shrubshall and Spitty one-name
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.
Spitty One-Name Study
Research of the surname Spitty and its variant spellings i.e.,
Spittey, Spittie, Spyty, Spytey, Spetty etc.
The Spitty surname is historically primarily found in the English
County of Essex and nearby surroundings such as London. It is
rumoured that the family came as drovers from North Wales, possibly from the
village of Yspitty, but this has not been confirmed. There does not appear to be
any Spitty families in Essex in modern times, there are many references to them
from the 16th Century to the early 20th Century. They have now spread out into
the North of England, Gloucestershire and the Kent area, with references to
families in the USA and Australia.
The most famous Spitty seems to be a Major Thomas Jenner Spitty of the Essex
Rifles. There are many references to this gentleman, he is known to have dined
with Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle and later was the Lord Lieutenant of
Essex. He was an extremely rich man. it is estimated that in the early 1890s his
annual income from land rental alone was some £2500. In today's terms that would
be worth millions of pounds a year. The park now known as Lake Meadows once
formed part of Hill House Estate, which was just one of the estates and farms
owned by him. At one time Major Spitty lived at Hill House, before moving to
Hurlock. Once installed at Hurlock, one of the first things that he did was to
build a gazebo on the roof and installed a telescope. From this lofty tower he
would watch the work on his farms during the day and study the stars at night.
Are you descended from this Major Spitty or any of the other families who
would have lived at one time in Essex?
Coat of Arms - Spittys of Rettendon, Essex
Sa. a chev erm. betw. three lions ramp. ar. Crest-Out of a
ducal coronet or, a plume of two rows of ostrich feathers. ar.