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

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

The name Mowry was brought to England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Mowry family lived in Northumberland. The name, however, is a reference to the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, Montbrai, in La Manche, Normandy.

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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 Mowbray, Moubray, Mowbrey, Moubrey and others.

First found in Northumberland where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D. Geoffrey de Montbray (d. 1093,) bishop of Coutances was a warrior, administrator and close assistant of William. After the death of William, Geoffrey settled in Bristol, (as listed in the Domesday book) where he built a strong castle but frequently feuded with William II.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mowry research. Another 417 words(30 lines of text) covering the years 1297, 1366, 1399, 1377, 1396, 1444, 1476, 1475, 1225, 1314, 1365, 1399 and 1397 are included under the topic Early Mowry History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 37 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Mowry 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 Mowry or a variant listed above:

Mowry Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Henry Mowry, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1844

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  • Sylvester Mowry (1830-1871), American pioneer and the founder of Mowry, Arizona
  • William Augustus Mowry (1829-1917), American educator and historical writer
  • Tia Dashon Mowry (b. 1978), American actress and Singer
  • Tamera Darvette Mowry (b. 1978), American actress
  • Tahj Dayton Mowry (b. 1986), American actor, dancer and singer
  • Larry Mowry (b. 1936), American professional golfer
  • Jess Mowry (b. 1960), American author
  • Joseph Aloysius Mowry (1908-1994), American outfielder in Major League Baseball
  • Daniel Mowry Jr. (1729-1806), American cooper and farmer


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  1. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  2. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  3. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  4. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  5. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  6. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  8. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  9. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  10. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  11. ...

The Mowry Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Mowry 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 15 July 2013 at 10:45.

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