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

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

The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 added many new elements to an already vibrant culture. Among these were thousands of new names. The Chowne family lived in Kent, where they held lands and a family seat at Fairbourne (later Fairlawn).

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Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Chowne, Chown, Chiowne, Chioune, Choon, Chiown, Cone, Chone, Cowne, Cown, Coun, Coune, Chune, Choone and many more.

First found in Kent, where the Chowne family was anciently seated as Lords of the Manor of Fairbourne (later Fairlawn). At the taking of the Domesday Book in 1086, a survey initiated by Duke William after his conquest of England at Hastings in 1066, this estate was held by Hugh le Vendee, nephew of Herbert and Ralph de Courbepine from the tenant in chief, the Bishop of Bayeux, and it is from Hugh which the family is conjecturally descended.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chowne research. Another 249 words(18 lines of text) covering the years 1583, 1639, 1613, 1668, 1659 and 1668 are included under the topic Early Chowne History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 53 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Chowne Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Chowne or a variant listed above: George Chown who settled in New York State in 1812; Elizabeth Chune settled in Barbados in 1670; Barney Chune settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1822.

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  • Thomas Chowne, Member of Parliament for Seaford in 1702
  • Nicholas Chowne, 4th Member of Parliament for the City of London in 1555
  • Lieutenant Albert Chowne (1920-1945), Australian soldier awarded the Victoria Cross during WWII
  • Sir John Henry Chowne, 2nd Member of Parliament for Horsham in 1661
  • William Chowne (1791-1870), well-known physician and writer
  • Christopher Chowne (b. 1794), lieutenant general in the British army


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  1. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  2. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  3. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  4. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  5. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  6. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  7. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  9. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  11. ...

The Chowne Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Chowne 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 25 October 2012 at 16:08.

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