Show ContentsBawdon History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

While surnames were well-known during the English medieval period, Cornish People originally used only a single name. The way in which hereditary surnames came into common use is interesting. Under the Feudal System of government, surnames evolved and they often reflected life on the manor and in the field. Patronymic surnames were derived from given names and were the predominant type of surname among the Celtic peoples of Britain. However, the people of Cornwall provide a surprising exception to this rule, and patronymic surnames are less common among them than other people of Celtic stock, such as their Welsh neighbors. This type of surname blended perfectly with the prevailing Feudal System. One feature that is occasionally found in Cornish surnames of this type is the suffix -oe or -ow; this is derived from the Cornish plural suffix -ow. is a patronymic surname that came from the ancient Germanic personal name Baldwin. Interestingly, the name Bawdon was originally derived from the words bald, meaning bold, and wine, meaning friend or protector.

Early Origins of the Bawdon family

The surname Bawdon was first found in Cornwall, where they held a family seat from ancient times. [1]

"The Sieur de Baudewin, whose name occurs on the Roll, became, after the battle of Hastings, Castellan of Montgomery, and from him that town acquired its Welsh appellation of Tre Faldwiri, or town of Baldwin. There scarcely exists a doubt that this Norman Chief was patriarch of the ancient and respectable Shropshire family of Bawdewin, or Baldwyn, of which was Thomas Baldwyn, Esq., of Diddlebury, who suffered imprisonment in the Tower of London, temp. Queen Elizabeth, and went through much suffering, as his epitaph, still remaining at Diddlebury, quaintly records." [2]

Early History of the Bawdon family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bawdon research. Another 60 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1563 and 1632 are included under the topic Early Bawdon History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bawdon Spelling Variations

Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Bawden, Bawdin, Bawdewen, Bawdwin, Bawdewyn, Baudin and many more.

Early Notables of the Bawdon family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Father William Bawden (1563-1632), who was an English Jesuit and schoolmaster who was implicated in the Gunpowder plot. He...
Another 26 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bawdon Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Bawdon migration to the United States +

An investigation of the immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Bawdon:

Bawdon Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Bawdon, who arrived in Virginia in 1665 [3]
  • John Bawdon, who landed in Maryland in 1679 [3]

Australia Bawdon migration to Australia +

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

Bawdon Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Bawdon, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Duke of Bedford" in 1848 [4]
  • Zacheus Bawdon, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Duke of Bedford" in 1848 [4]

New Zealand Bawdon 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:

Bawdon Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Annie Bawdon, (b.1865), aged 11, Cornish settler departing on 24th June 1876 aboard the ship "Waitangi" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 16th September 1876 [5]
  • Miss Elizabeth M. Bawdon, (b.1852), aged 24, Cornish settler departing on 24th June 1876 aboard the ship "Waitangi" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 16th September 1876 [5]

  1. Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  2. Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  3. 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)
  4. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) DUKE OF BEDFORD 1848. Retrieved from
  5. Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to Lyttelton 1858-84 [PDF]. Retrieved from on Facebook