Family Surnames

This gives some history about the surnames in my own family. There are six of them – Shelley, Chisholm, Bartlett and Richardson on my father’s side and Bowles and Foster are my mother’s side. All have their recent history in and around Brighton in Sussex, England. But many came originally from elsewhere.

Shelley is a Sussex name. My own family dates back to about 1700 and the village of West Firle in the Sussex Downland. The lord of the manor then was Catholic, as were probably my family as well. And because they probably had to hide that fact at a time that Catholics were being persecuted, we have no records further back. I follow the ups and downs of this family from West Firle to Alfriston, also on the Sussex Downs, and finally to Brighton.

Bartlett was also a Sussex name for us. Chisholm came to Sussex from the Scottish borders at the time of the Napoleonic Wars, Bowles from Leicestershire and later Foster from Lancashire.

These six surname websites here.