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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: German, Scottish

Where did the Scottish Bower family come from? What is the Scottish Bower family crest and coat of arms? When did the Bower family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Bower family history?

The Strathclyde-Briton people of ancient Scotland were the first to use the name Bower. It is a name for someone who works as a maker of bows. Further research revealed that the name is derived from the Old English word bower, which means bow maker.

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Before the printing press standardized spelling in the last few hundred years, no general rules existed in the English language. Spelling variations in Scottish names from the Middle Ages are common even within a single document. Bower has been spelled Bower, Bowre, Bowyr, Bowers, Bowyer, Beauer and many more.

First found in Peeblesshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd nam Płballan), former county in South-central Scotland, in the present day Scottish Borders Council Area, where they held a family seat in the old manor of Bower in the parish of Drummelzier.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bower research. Another 377 words(27 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1317, 1387, 1489, 1479, 1615, 1671 and 1718 are included under the topic Early Bower History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 31 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bower Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Bower family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 41 words(3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For Scottish immigrants, the great expense of travel to North America did not seem such a problem in those unstable times. Acres of land awaited them and many got the chance to fight for their freedom in the American War of Independence. These Scots and their ancestors went on to play important roles in the forging of the great nations of the United States and Canada. Among them:

Bower Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Henry Bower who settled in Virginia in 1637
  • Richard Bower, who arrived in Maryland in 1664
  • Samuel Bower, who landed in Maryland in 1668
  • Mary Bower, who landed in Maryland in 1678
  • Robert Bower settled in Virginia in 1698

Bower Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Wm Bower, who landed in Virginia in 1706
  • Martin Bower, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1732
  • Susanna Bower, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1732
  • Barbara Bower, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1732
  • Helena Bower, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1732


Bower Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Adam Frederick Bower, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1803-1827
  • Thomas I Bower, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1803-1827
  • Johann Ludwig Bower, aged 5, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1805
  • Christiana Bower, aged 28, landed in Pennsylvania in 1805
  • Christina Bower, aged 3, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1805


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  • Robert Bower (1894-1975), English Commander in the Royal Navy
  • Dallas Bower (1907-1999), English film director and screenwriter
  • Norman Adolph Henry Bower (1907-1990), British politician, Member of the UK Parliament (1941-1951)
  • Sir Roger Bower (1903-1990), English Lieutenant General with the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
  • Sir William Bower (1840-1928), English merchant and politician
  • John William "Johnny" Bower (b. 1924), Canadian hockey goaltender, elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1976
  • Frederick Orpen Bower FRS (1855-1948), British botanist awarded the Gold Medal of the Linnean Society in 1909 and the Darwin Medal of the Royal Society in 1938
  • Thomas Bower (1838-1919), English architect particularly associated with the Gothic Revival style of architecture


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  • The Family Band: From the Missouri to the Black Hills, 1881-1900 by Lauran Bower Van Nuys.
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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Ad metam
Motto Translation: To the mark.

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  1. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Browne, James. The History of Scotland it's Highlands, Regiments and Clans 8 Volumes. Edinburgh: Francis A Niccolls & Co, 1909. Print.
  3. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  4. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  5. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  7. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and David Hicks. The Highland Clans The Dynastic Origins, Cheifs and Background of the Clans. New York: C.N. Potter, 1968. Print.
  8. Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. Print.
  9. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  10. Moody David. Scottish Family History. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0806312688).
  11. ...

The Bower Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bower Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 24 October 2013 at 13:00.

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