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

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

Sowards is a name of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from the baptismal name Siward, which was an Old English personal name. Baptismal names began to appear as surnames relatively late in the growth of the naming tradition. This is a little surprising, given the popularity of biblical figures in the Christian countries of Europe. Nevertheless, surnames derived from baptismal names grew in popularity during the Middle Ages, and have become one of the foremost sources for surnames.

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Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Sowards have been found, including Seward, Sewerd, Saward and others.

First found in Devon where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sowards research. Another 169 words(12 lines of text) covering the years 1053, 1658, 1701, 1657 and 1715 are included under the topic Early Sowards History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 65 words(5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sowards Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Sowards family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 81 words(6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Among the first immigrants of the name Sowards, or a variant listed above to cross the Atlantic and come to North America were : John Seward settled in Virginia in 1622; James Seward settled in Virginia in1655; Martin Seward arrived in Barbados in 1690; William Seward settled in Barbados in 1654 and later moved to the mainland..

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  • Jack B. Sowards (1929-2007), American Hugo Award nominated screenwriter, best known for writing the story and screenplay for the 1982 movie Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
  • Robert Sowards (b. 1968), American professional PGA golfer


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  1. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  2. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  3. 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.
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  5. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  6. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  7. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  8. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  9. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  10. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  11. ...

The Sowards Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Sowards 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 16 October 2013 at 12:58.

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