An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
The name Bowley reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Bowley family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Bowley family lived in Worcestershire. However, the surname of the Bowley family evolved from the name of their former residence, Beaulieu, a place in Calvados, Normandy.
The surname Bowley was first found in Worcestershire, at Bewdley, a town and civil parish in the Wyre Forest District. The village dates back to about 1275 when it was listed as Beuleu and literally meant "beautiful place" having derived from the Old French beau + lieu.  One of the first records of one of the surname's early variants was Simon de Bello Loco of Normandy who was listed there in 1180 and years later Alexander de Bello Loco paid a fine in Bedfordshire in 1255.  Bewley Common is a small village in Wiltshire.
Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Bewley, Bewlay, Bowley, Bowlay, Bewlie and others.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bowley research. Another 147 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1214, 1902, 1840, 1835 and 1986 are included under the topic Early Bowley History in all our PDF Extended History products.
More information is included under the topic Early Bowley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the Bowley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 183 words (13 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.
Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Bowley name or one of its variants:
Bowley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Bowley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Bowley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Cautus metuit foveam lupus
Motto Translation: The cautious wolf fears the snare.
The Bowley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bowley 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 November 2015 at 10:13.