Present day distibution of Balshaws in the UK
(based on the 1992 IGI)
Up to 1600
1601 to 1650
1651 to 1700
1701 to 1750
1751 to 1800
1801 to 1851
backed up by further details of the
Distribution of Balshaw wills
If you look at the maps above you will notice several things. In particular:
1/ Bearing in mind that the spellings of names didn't settle down until the mid-1800s, the pronunciation "Balshaw" appears to have been the original form.
2/ In the early 1600s the two main concentrations of the name were around Preston and Ormskirk.
3/ Only later did the name become more common in Liverpool and the industrial towns in southern Lancashire.
4/ The variants Belshaw (starting predominantly around Wigan) and Bolshaw (mainly in southern Lancashire and Cheshire), appear to have developed later. See more thoughts on this.
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