The family of BOLT or BULT appears to have been of native origin in Shetland. WILLIAM BULT in Sistay, Bressay died in December 1622, leaving GRISSELL SMITH, his relict, and KATHERINE and AGNES, his daughters. The BOLTS prossessed the lands of Beosetter, in Bressay, and in 1703 the 1 merk land there was disponed by MAGNUS BOLT to WILLIAM HENDERSON of Gardie. The principal family of the name was, howerer, the BOLTS of Crocksetter, or Cruister, also in the island of Bressay. On 11th July, 1699, DAVID BOLT of Crugasetter had a charter from WILLIAM DICK, only son to Captain ANDREW DICK, late steward of Orkney and Zetland, of all and houll the tenement of land and houses presently possessed by him, lying in Lerwick, and bound in manner after written:- To wit, the shore or strand of Lerwick at the east-north-east, and so upward to the west-south-west to the brae of Lerwick, the number of 260 feet, where upon the said tenement of land yard and houses now stand built, and in breadth at the north-east side of the said tenements, bounded and from the tenement of lands possessed by ANDREW BRUCE of Braewick, on the south-east gavel of the tenement pertaining to unquhile MARJORIE SUTHERLAND, and now to JAMES ANDERSON and HELEN KNOCK, the number of 18 feet. (This is the site of the Shetland Times office now). At the same time DAVID BOLT had a disposition of 4 merks in Crugasetter, in wadset, from PATRICK LESLIE of Ustaness. He had issue, JOHN BOLT, merchant in Lerwick whose only daughter, MARGARET, disponed to her husband, THOMAS FEA, merchant in Lerwick, the tenement in Lerwick before mentioned, to which she had succeeded as heir to her father, and of her brothers, DAVID and LAURENCE BOLTS. ANDREW BOLT, merchant , Lerwick, probably also a son of the foresaid DAVID BOLT, died on 12 February, 1763. He married (first) HELEN daughter of the Rev. JAMES BUCHAN, minister of Northmaven, and had issue (1) DAVID born 5 November, 1730, served heir of his father, 16 September, 1763; (2) MARY, baptised 2nd December, 1731; (3) BARBARA, baptised 4 March, 1733; (4) WILLIAM, baptised 13 April, 1734; (5) JAMES, after mentioned; (6) ANDREW, also after mentioned, ANDREW BOLT, married (secondly) on 4 March, 1744, LUISA DICK, relict of FRANCES WILSON. JAMES BOLT of Cruister married JANET, daughter of JOHN NICOLSON of Gilsbrake, and had issue (1) THOMAS; (2) ANN, married 19 September, 1801, ROBERT SCOLLAY, merchant, Lerwick, and died there 7 February, 1836, aged 86. THOMAS BOLT, merchant, Lerwick, had a disposition to himself and JANET NICOLSON, his mother, of the 4 merks land of Cruister and others, in 1773 from JAMES BOLT, and his father. He further aquired 7 merks in Veensgarth and 9 in Gott from THOMAS JAMIESON in 1788. He married on 13 february, 1763, BARBARA INNES, who died 22 January, 1819, aged 86, and had issue, (1) JANET, born 11 December, 1763, married 5 September, 1784, ARTHUR NICOLSON of Lochend, and died 19 November, 1789; (2) ELIZABETH, baptised 26 April, 1765, died 1775; (3) GRIZEL, baptised 3 March, 1771; (4) Louisa, born 27 July, and died11 August, 1774. ANDREW BOLT of Berry, the sixth child of ANDREW BOLT, merchant in Lerwick, was baptised 2 October, 1737, and died at Lerwick 31 March, 1806. He married 23 February, 1766, ELIZABETH SINCLAIR, only child of WILLIAM BROWN, schoolmaster, Scalloway, and CHARLOTTE MITCHELL, and had issue (1) JAMES, born 4 December, 1766, died 7 October, 1769; (2) CHARLOTTE, baptised 23 March, 1768; (3) JANET, baptised 11 July, 1770; (5) MARY, baptised 23 September, 1771, married 1 Septemer, 1793, JOHN HENDERSON, merchant, Liverpool; (6) GRIZEL, born 10 January, 1773, married 29 April, 1794 Rev. WILLIAM JACK, regent of King's College, Aberdeen; (7) ELIZABETH, born 15 January, 1774, died 8 December, 1775.

Article, 'The family of Bolt' by Francis J. Grant
Article dated 14 December 1895

below is an extract from SHETLAND SURNAMES by Dr. Alan M. Beattie available from:
Shetland Family History Society, 6 Hillhead, Lerwick, Shetland, ZE1 0EJ

The surname has both English and Scandinavian origins. In Shetland the family is almost certainly a branch of the Norwegian family Bolt, which derives from a nickname for a short powerfully built person. The surname is first recorded in Shetland in dated 23 July1510 when Magnus Bolt was underfoud* of Walls. It is thought that the surname has probably been in Shetland since much earlier.

Aslak Harniktsson Bolt became bishop of Bergen in 1408, coming from Oslo and moving later to Trondheim.

During the 16c fouds were lawmen, appointed parish officials. Also known as underfouds, this was not a popular job and often not respected. They could act as judges and give "dooms" in local courts and indict wrongdoers.