Show ContentsBowersox History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Strathclyde-Briton people of ancient Scotland were the first to use the name Bowersox. It is a name for someone who works as a maker of bows. Further research revealed that the name is derived from the Old English word bower, which means bow maker.

Early Origins of the Bowersox family

The surname Bowersox was first found in Peeblesshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd nam Pùballan), 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.

One of the first records of the family was "Lorence atte Bure of the county of Peebles, and William Oftherebure of the county of Roxburgh [who] rendered homage [to King Edward I of England] in 1296." [1]

Early History of the Bowersox family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bowersox research. Another 166 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1317, 1387, 1449, 1479, 1489, 1615, 1664, 1671, 1681, 1685, 1686, 1689, 1702, 1705, 1706, 1718 and 1766 are included under the topic Early Bowersox History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bowersox Spelling Variations

Before the printing press standardized spelling in the last few hundred years, no general rules existed in the English language. Spelling variations in Scottish names from the Middle Ages are common even within a single document. Bowersox has been spelled Bower, Bowre, Bowyr, Bowers, Bowyer, Beauer and many more.

Early Notables of the Bowersox family

Notable amongst the family at this time was Walter Bower or Bowmaker (d. 1449), Abbot of Inchcolm, reputed continuator of Fordun's 'Chronica Gentis Scotorum,' as it appears in the volume generally known as the 'Scotichronicon.' Archibald Bower (1686-1766), was a Scottish author of the 'History of the Popes,' born on 17 Jan. 1685 at or near Dundee; according to his own account, he was descended from an ancient family which had been for several hundred years possessed of an estate in the county of Angus in Scotland. In 1702 he was sent to the Scotch college at Douay; afterwards proceeded to Rome...
Another 114 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bowersox Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bowersox Ranking

In the United States, the name Bowersox is the 13,346th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [2]

Ireland Migration of the Bowersox family to Ireland

Some of the Bowersox family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Bowersox family

For Scottish immigrants, the great expense of travel to North America did not seem such a problem in those unstable times. Acres of land awaited them and many got the chance to fight for their freedom in the American War of Independence. These Scots and their ancestors went on to play important roles in the forging of the great nations of the United States and Canada. Among them: Henry Bower who settled in Virginia in 1637; Robert Bower settled in Virginia in 1698; John Bowers settled in Virginia in 1663; Jonas Bowers settled in Virginia in 1637.

Contemporary Notables of the name Bowersox (post 1700) +

  • Crystal Bowersox (b. 1985), American singer-songwriter and contestant on American Idol
  • John E. Bowersox (1885-1936), American stage and silent film actor
  • Captain Kenneth D. Bowersox (b. 1956), former NASA Astronaut with over 211 days in space [3]
  • Josephine M. Bowersox, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate in primary for U.S. Representative from Michigan 5th District, 1934 [4]

The Bowersox Motto +

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. 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)
  2. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  3. NASA Astronauts Homepage. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Kenneth Bowersox. Retrieved from
  4. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 23) . Retrieved from on Facebook