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

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

The name Bowler came to England with the ancestors of the Bowler family in the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Bowler family lived in Lancashire. The name, however, is a reference to the family's former residence in Boulard, in Calvados, in Normandy.


Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Bowler, Boler, Boaler and others.

First found in Lancashire. They were originally from Boulard in Calvados, Normandy, and arrived in England with Duke William of Normandy at the time of the Norman Conquest in 1066.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bowler research. Another 200 words(14 lines of text) covering the year 1066 is included under the topic Early Bowler History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Bowler Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Bowler family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 99 words(7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Bowler or a variant listed above:

Bowler Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • William Bowler settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Willm Bowler, aged 14, landed in Virginia in 1635
  • Tho Bowler, who landed in Virginia in 1655
  • Deborah Bowler settled in Nevis in 1663 along with her husband John
  • Jno Bowler, who arrived in Virginia in 1665-1666

Bowler Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Alex Bowler, who arrived in Virginia in 1706
  • Charles Bowler who settled in Georgia in 1733
  • John Bowler, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1766

Bowler Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Maria Bowler settled in Boston in 1849
  • Martha Bowler, aged 34, arrived in New York in 1862
  • Thomas Bowler, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1876


  • J Andrew Bowler (1862-1935), African-American educator and Baptist minister
  • Jeff Bowler (b. 1975), American actor
  • Tim Bowler (b. 1953), English writer of Children's fiction
  • Peter Bowler, English-born, Australian cricketer
  • George Henry Bowler (1890-1948), English professional footballer
  • Peter "Pete" Bowler (1952-2005), English environmental campaigner, natural historian and journalist, best known for his "Country Diary" column in The Guardian
  • Thomas William Bowler (1812-1869), English self-taught landscape painter
  • Bill Bowler (b. 1974), former Canadian NHL ice hockey player
  • Gerry Bowler (1919-2006), former Northern Irish footballer
  • James Bowler (1875-1957), American politician



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  1. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  3. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  4. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  5. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  6. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  7. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  8. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  9. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  10. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  11. ...

The Bowler Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bowler 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 14 June 2014 at 10:46.

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