Bowcher History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

When the ancestors of the Bowcher family arrived in England following the Norman Conquest of 1066, they brought their name with them. It is a name for a person who was a butcher. [1]

The name could also be derived the family's original place of residence, Beaucir, in Calvados, Normandy. [2]

Early Origins of the Bowcher family

The surname Bowcher was first found in Lincolnshire. They were originally from Beaucir in Calvados in Normandy, and arrived in England with Duke William in 1066.4

"The Bouchers were well - known Bristol merchants in the 16th and 17th centuries, and frequently filled the offices of mayor and sheriff of the city; they were intrepid Royalists, and suffered death in the cause." [3]

The first records of the family was found in the Writs or Parliament of 1300 where Elias le Borcher was listed at that time. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed the Bocher spelling as being more popular at that time as Adam Bocher and Richard Bocher were listed in that rolls. [4]

Important Dates for the Bowcher family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bowcher research. Another 49 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1643, 1642 and 1643 are included under the topic Early Bowcher History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bowcher Spelling Variations

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 Bowker, Bowcher, Boucher and others.

Early Notables of the Bowcher family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was George Bouchier or Bourchier (d. 1643), and English Royalist and wealthy merchant of Bristol. "He entered into a plot with Robert Yeomans, who had been one of the sheriffs of Bristol, and several others, to deliver that city, on 7 March 1642...
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bowcher Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bowcher migration to the United States

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 Bowcher or a variant listed above:

Bowcher Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Robert Bowcher, who arrived in Barbados in 1757 [5]
  • Clement Bowcher, who landed in Barbados in 1790 [5]

Bowcher migration to Australia

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Bowcher Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Bowcher, (b. 1860), aged 30, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "Jumna" arriving in Queensland, Australia on 18th September 1890 [6]

Bowcher migration to New Zealand

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Bowcher Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Anne Bowcher, (b. 1855), aged 20, Cornish settler departing on 21st February 1875 aboard the ship "White Rose" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 21st July 1875 [7]
  • Mr. Samuel Bowcher, (b. 1849), aged 26, Cornish farm labourer departing on 21st February 1875 aboard the ship "White Rose" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 21st July 1875 [7]


  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York, Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  6. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retreived 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from
  7. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to Lyttelton 1858-84 [PDF]. Retrieved from
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