Show ContentsBowerman History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Bowerman is rooted in the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. It is a name for someone who worked as a person who was the official bowerman, which means the servant who attended to the room of the bower. 1 2

Early Origins of the Bowerman family

The surname Bowerman was first found in Yorkshire where William Bureman was listed in the Pipe Rolls of 1204. Later the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included an entry for Robert Boreman in Oxfordshire at that time. And later again, William Bourman was found in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1327. In the same year, Walter Burman was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Cambridgeshire. 1

Another source notes that the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 also includes Gilbert Burman in Oxfordshire; and Isabella Bureman in Essex. 2

Back in Yorkshire, Alice Bourwyman was found in the Subsidy Rolls of 1301 1 and Johannes Boureman was listed as holding lands in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379. 2

Further north in Scotland, "A barrowman is defined in the Dictionary of the Old Scottish Tongue as 'one who helps to carry a hand-barrow.' The name is spelled Barraman in Workman's MS. William Barrowman or Baroumane had a charter of the lands of Fortrie in the sheriffdom of Banff from David II (RMS., I, App. II, 1033. In the British Museum his name is spelled Borrowman)." 3

Reaney quotes Black's entry and adds "There can be no doubt that this is a late variant of Burowman." 1 The family coats of arms was recorded in Devonshire and Wiltshire, but no date is given. 4

Early History of the Bowerman family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bowerman research. Another 193 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1506, 1572, 1590, 1627, 1631, 1632, 1633, 1634, 1635, 1660 and 1675 are included under the topic Early Bowerman History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bowerman Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Bowerman are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Bowerman include: Bowerman, Bowreman, Bureman, Bourman, Burman and others.

Early Notables of the Bowerman family

Distinguished members of the family include

  • William Bowerman (died c. 1590) of Wells, Somerset, an English politician. He was Member of Parliament for Wells in 1572

Bowerman Ranking

In the United States, the name Bowerman is the 12,260th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. 5

Ireland Migration of the Bowerman family to Ireland

Some of the Bowerman family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 36 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Bowerman migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Bowerman or a variant listed above:

Bowerman Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Henry Bowerman who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1804
  • John Bowerman, who arrived in San Francisco in 1850
Bowerman Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Alex Richard Bowerman, aged 16, who landed in America from Alton, England, in 1907
  • Georgie A. Bowerman, aged 67, who settled in America, in 1910
  • Helen Bowerman, aged 25, who landed in America from Holcombe Rogus, England, in 1911
  • Sam Dyte Bowerman, aged 33, who settled in America from Wellington, England, in 1911
  • William Henry Bowerman, aged 22, who landed in America from Beckerham, England, in 1911
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Bowerman migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Bowerman Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Ichabod Bowerman, who landed in Canada in 1831
  • John I Bowerman, who arrived in Canada in 1831

Australia Bowerman migration to Australia +

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

Bowerman Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. George Bowerman, English convict who was convicted in Oxfordshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Barossa" on 27th August 1841, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) 6

Contemporary Notables of the name Bowerman (post 1700) +

  • William "Bill" J Bowerman (1911-1999), American track and field coach, co-founder of Nike, Inc
  • Frank Bowerman (1868-1948), American Major League Baseball catcher and manager who played from 1895 to 1909
  • Melissa Bowerman (1942-2011), American linguist, a leading researcher in the area of language acquisition
  • Mary Bowerman (1908-2005), American botanist, co-author of The Flowering Plants and Ferns of Mount Diablo, California; Their Distribution and Association into Plant Communities, and the co-founder of Save Mount Diablo
  • Ralph Lee Bowerman (b. 1934), Canadian-born, American composer, songwriter, musician and entertainer
  • Fred William Bowerman (1893-1953), American bank robber on the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted" list in 1953 who inspired the movie The Great St. Louis Bank Robbery (1959)
  • Willard I. Bowerman Jr. (1917-1987), American Republican politician, Member of Michigan State House of Representatives from Ingham County 1st District, 1953-60; Mayor of Lansing, Michigan, 1961-65; Defeated, 1965 7
  • Paul Bowerman (b. 1898), American politician, U.S. Vice Consul in Berlin, 1923-27; Ottawa, 1927; U.S. Consul in Ottawa, 1928-29; Zagreb, 1929-32; Salonika, 1932-33 7
  • Jay Bowerman (1876-1957), American Republican politician, Governor of Oregon, 1910-11 7
  • Alfred John Bowerman (1873-1959), English cricket player for Somerset (1900-1905)
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

RMS Titanic
  • Miss Elsie Edith Bowerman, aged 22, English First Class passenger from St. Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping in life boat 6 8

  1. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard, C.B. LL.D The General Armory of England Scotland, Ireland and Wales. London: Harrison, 59, Pall Mall, 1884, Print.
  5. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  6. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th September 2020). Retrieved from
  7. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 23) . Retrieved from
  8. Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from on Facebook