Bowdle History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Bowdle comes from when its first bearer worked as a worker in iron, or a bowdler. Bowdler was originally derived from the older term, buddler. The word buddle, used in the north of England, meant to cleanse ore, and a vessel made for this purpose shaped like a shallow tumbrel was called a buddle. [1]

Early Origins of the Bowdle family

The surname Bowdle was first found in Shropshire, at Hope-Bowdler, a parish, in the union of Church-Stretton, hundred of Munslow. [2]

The first record of the family was found here in 1273. The Hundredorum Rolls listed Richard le Boudler as holding lands there at that time. [3]

"The Bowdlers, who are now best represented in Shrewsbury and its district, possess a very ancient Shropshire name. Ashford Bowdler is the name of a parish and a seat near Ludlow, the seat being held in the 12th and 13th centuries by the influential family of De Budler or De Bowdler or De Boilers, lords of Montgomery and of many places in Shropshire." [4]

Early History of the Bowdle family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bowdle research. Another 114 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1468, 1665, 1684, 1694, 1712, 1705, 1691, 1754, 1825, 1818, 1627, 1661, 1738, 1783, 1815 and 1783 are included under the topic Early Bowdle History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bowdle Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Bowdle include Bowdler, Bowdlar, Boudler, Boudlar, Bowdless and many more.

Early Notables of the Bowdle family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Thomas Bowdler (1754-1825), English physician, author/editor of the "Family Shakespeare" (1818), and source of the expression: “to bowdlerise.' He also edited Edward Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire." to make the work more appropriate for women and children. He was descended from a Shropshire family originally settled at Hope Bowdler. His great-grandfather, John Bowdler (1627-1661), held high office in the Irish civil service during the...
Another 72 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bowdle Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Bowdle migration to the United States +

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Bowdle or a variant listed above:

Bowdle Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Bowdle, who arrived in Maryland in 1669 [5]
  • Edward Bowdle, who arrived in Maryland or Virginia in 1673 [5]
  • Elizabeth Bowdle, who arrived in Maryland in 1673 [5]
Bowdle Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Leonard Bowdle, who landed in Georgia in 1750 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Bowdle (post 1700) +

  • Stanley Eyre Bowdle (1868-1919), American Democrat politician, Delegate to Ohio State Constitutional Convention, 1912; U.S. Representative from Ohio 1st District, 1913-15; Defeated, 1914, 1916 [6]
  • James Clements Bowdle, American Democrat politician, Postmaster at Dover, Delaware, 1961-75 [6]
  • A. Bowdle Highley, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Maryland, 1940 (alternate), 1956 [7]

  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  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. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 29) . Retrieved from
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 20) . Retrieved from on Facebook
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