Bowdon History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The roots of the Bowdon surname reach back to the language of the Viking settlers who populated the rugged shores of Scotland in the Medieval era. The Bowdon surname comes from someone having lived on the lands of Bowden, in Roxburghshire where the family held lands since the early Middle Ages.

Early Origins of the Bowdon family

The surname Bowdon was first found in Cheshire, 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. They were originally of Bodin in Normandy.

Important Dates for the Bowdon family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bowdon research. Another 116 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1150 and 1296 are included under the topic Early Bowdon History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bowdon Spelling Variations

Spelling variations are extremely common among Scottish names dating from this era because the arts of spelling and translation were not yet standardized. Spelling was done by sound, and translation from Gaelic to English was generally quite careless. In different records, Bowdon has been spelled Bowden, Bouden, Boulden, Bouldene, Bolden, Boldane, Boldan, Boden, Bodden and many more.

Early Notables of the Bowdon family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Bowdon Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Bowdon family to Ireland

Some of the Bowdon family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 61 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bowdon migration to the United States

Those who made the voyage were greeted with ample opportunity to acquire land and a political climate far away from the oppressive monarchy of the old country. They settled along the east coast of what would become Canada and the United States. In the American War of Independence, those who remained loyal to England traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In this century, many Scots living in North America have begun to recover their rich heritage through festivals, highland games, and Clan societies. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has shown early immigrants bearing the name Bowdon:

Bowdon Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Robert Bowdon, who settled in Maryland in 1731

Contemporary Notables of the name Bowdon (post 1700)

  • Franklin Welsh Bowdon (1817-1857), American politician, Member of the Alabama Congress (1846 –1851), eponym of Bowdon, Georgia
  • Dorris Estelle Bowdon (1914-2005), American actress, best known for her role as Rosasharn in The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
  • William George Bowdon Jr. (1921-2005), American politician, Mayor of Alexandria, Louisiana (1953–1969)
  • W. George Bowdon Jr., American Democrat politician, Member of Louisiana State House of Representatives, 1950; Mayor of Alexandria, Louisiana, 1954-55 [1]
  • Franklin Welsh Bowdon (1817-1857), American Democrat politician, Member of Alabama State Legislature; U.S. Representative from Alabama 7th District, 1846-51 [1]

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  1. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 29) . Retrieved from
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