Show ContentsBowering History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The distinguished surname Bowering emerged among the industrious people of Flanders, which was an important trading partner and political ally of Britain during the Middle Ages. As a result of the frequent commercial intercourse between the Flemish and English nations, many Flemish migrants settled in Britain. In early times, people were known by only a single name. However, as the population grew and people traveled further afield, it became increasingly necessary to assume an additional name to differentiate between bearers of the same personal name. Occupational surnames were derived from the common trades of the medieval era. The surname Bowering is an occupational name for a chamber-servant. The surname Bowering is derived from buring, which is a derivative of the Old English word bur, which means cottage, chamber, or bower. [1] The name may also be a local surname applied to someone who lived at such a cottage or chamber.

Alternatively, it could have originated in Beaurain, near Cambrai, Flanders as Wybert de Beaurain was later listed occurs in the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae (1180-1198) in Normandy. [2]

Occasionally, Bowering is a patronymic surname derived from the Flemish personal name Beauring.

Early Origins of the Bowering family

The surname Bowering was first found in Somerset where Walter Bowryng is considered to be one of the first records of the family. He was listed there as holding lands 1 Edward III (during the first year's reign of Edward III.) [3]

Another source notes another early record of the family in Cheshire, Henry Bourying as holding lands there in 1302. The same source notes Walter Bowryng in the Subsidy Rolls of Somerset in 1327. [4] This could indeed be the same as the aforementioned.

In Devon, "Bowringsleigh was the property and residence of the ancient family of Bowring." [5] It is noted that the family were lords of the manor from about 1330 to the early sixteenth century. By example, Thomas Bowring (c.1440-1504), the English-born lawyer and judge who was Lord Chief Justice of Ireland held an estate near West Alvington, Devon and also acquired lands in Somerset and Gloucestershire.

Like many Newfoundlanders from Devon, the famed Benjamin Bowring (1788-1846) moved to St. John's, Newfoundland in 1811 and founded Bowring Brothers Ltd. (Bowring) which later became one of the most prestigious group of Canadian retail stores.

Early History of the Bowering family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bowering research. Another 165 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1327, 1516, 1778 and 1846 are included under the topic Early Bowering History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bowering Spelling Variations

Flemish surnames are characterized by a large number of spelling variations. One reason for this is that medieval English lacked definite spelling rules. The spellings of surnames were also influenced by the official court languages, which were French and Latin. Names were rarely spelled consistently in medieval times. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to specific spelling rules, and people often had their names registered in several different forms throughout their lives. One of the greatest reasons for change is the linguistic uniqueness of the Flemish settlers in England, who spoke a language closely related to Dutch. The pronunciation and spelling of Flemish names were often altered to suit the tastes of English-speaking people. In many cases, the first, final, or middle syllables of surnames were eliminated. The name has been spelled Bowering, Bowring, Bawering, Bawring, Bowerin, Bowrin, Boweren, Bowerring, Bourring and many more.

Early Notables of the Bowering family (pre 1700)

Another 38 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bowering Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Bowering migration to the United States +

Investigation of immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Bowering:

Bowering Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Samuel Bowering, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1812 [6]
  • Mrs. Bowering, aged 27, who landed in America, in 1895
Bowering Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Miss June Edith Bowering, aged 3, who settled in America, in 1910
  • Ada Tewkerburg Bowering, aged 35, who immigrated to America, in 1910
  • Edwin A. Bowering, aged 16, who landed in America, in 1918
  • Edwin John Bowering, aged 23, who immigrated to the United States, in 1918
  • William Bowering, aged 39, who settled in America, in 1922

Canada Bowering migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Bowering Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
Bowering Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • J. Harry Bowering, aged 48, who immigrated to West Sumerland, Canada, in 1921
  • Robert Bowering, aged 27, who settled in Halifax, Canada, in 1922

Australia Bowering migration to Australia +

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

Bowering Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Bowering, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Stebonheath" in 1849 [8]
  • Richard Bowering, aged 47, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Ascendant" [9]

Contemporary Notables of the name Bowering (post 1700) +

  • Herbert Bowering, American politician, Delegate to New Hampshire State Constitutional Convention from Rochester 3rd Ward, 1948; Delegate to New Hampshire State Constitutional Convention from Rochester 2nd Ward, 1956 [10]
  • Ernest George " Ernie" Bowering (1891-1961), English professional footballer
  • George Harry Bowering OC , OBC (b. 1935), prolific Canadian poet, novelist, historian, and biographer
  • Jodie Bowering (b. 1982), Australian bronze medalist softball player at the 2008 Summer Olympics
  • Marilyn Bowering (b. 1949), Canadian poet, novelist and playwright

  1. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. 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. Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  4. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital
  6. 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)
  7. Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  8. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) STEBONHEATH 1849. Retrieved from
  9. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The ASCENDANT 1851. Retrieved
  10. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 21) . Retrieved from on Facebook