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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Where did the Scottish Bowers family come from? What is the Scottish Bowers family crest and coat of arms? When did the Bowers family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Bowers family history?

The ancient Scottish name Bowers was first used by someone who worked as a maker of bows. Further research revealed that the name is derived from the Old English word bower, which means bow maker.


In the era before dictionaries, there were no rules governing the spelling or translation of names or any other words. Consequently, there are an enormous number of spelling variations in Medieval Scottish names. Bowers has appeared as Bower, Bowre, Bowyr, Bowers, Bowyer, Beauer and many more.

First found in Peeblesshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd nam Płballan), former county in South-central Scotland, in the present day Scottish Borders Council Area, where they held a family seat in the old manor of Bower in the parish of Drummelzier.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bowers research. Another 377 words(27 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1317, 1387, 1489, 1479, 1615, 1671 and 1718 are included under the topic Early Bowers History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 31 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bowers Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Bowers family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 41 words(3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


The freedom, opportunity, and land of the North American colonies beckoned. There, Scots found a place where they were generally free from persecution and where they could go on to become important players in the birth of new nations. Some fought in the American War of Independence, while others went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of these Scottish settlers have been able to recover their lost national heritage in the last century through highland games and Clan societies in North America. Among them:

Bowers Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Jonas Bowers settled in Virginia in 1637
  • Jonas Bowers, who landed in Virginia in 1637
  • George Bowers, who arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1644
  • Matthew Bowers, who landed in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1645
  • John Bowers, who arrived in Connecticut in 1649

Bowers Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • James Bowers, who arrived in Virginia in 1705
  • Arthur Bowers, who landed in Virginia in 1705
  • Thomas Bowers, who arrived in America in 1760-1763
  • William Bowers, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1773
  • Barne Bowers, who arrived in New York in 1785

Bowers Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Joseph Bowers, aged 40, arrived in New Orleans, La in 1829
  • Joe Bowers, who landed in Texas in 1850-1906
  • Charles E Bowers, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • A Bowers, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • Mrs. Bowers, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851

Bowers Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Richard Bowers, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1749-1752
  • John Bowers settled in St. John's Newfoundland in 1778
  • Joseph Bowers from Bristol England settled in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland, and died in 1787

Bowers Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Albert Bowers, aged 19, a labourer, arrived in Hawkes Bay aboard the ship "Clarence" in 1875


  • Claude Gernade Bowers, American journalist, historian, and diplomat
  • William Bowers (1916-1987), American playwright and screenplay writer
  • Edgar Bowers (1924-2000), American author
  • Bryan Bowers (b. 1940), American musician, autoharp virtuoso
  • Brigadier-General James Isaiah Bowers (1897-1982), American Adjutant-General of New Jersey (1942)
  • Kathryn Inez Bowers (1943-2015), American politician, Member of the Tennessee House of Representatives
  • Patrick Raymond Bowers (1844-1911), Irish-born, Canadian newspaper editor and publisher
  • Graham Bowers (b. 1943), Welsh avant-garde composer and painter


  • Hill Family of Early Central Texas-Bowers, Cole, McGehee, Michel, Roessler, Shelby by Yates Michel Hill.

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: Ad metam
Motto Translation: To the mark.



  1. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  2. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  3. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  4. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  5. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  6. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  7. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  8. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  9. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and Don Pottinger. Clan Map Scotland of Old. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1983. Print.
  10. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  11. ...

The Bowers Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bowers 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 12 June 2015 at 13:04.

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