Chowan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Chowan is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Chowan family lived in Kent, where they held lands and a family seat at Fairbourne (later Fairlawn). "This family is said to be from. Castle Chiowne, Chioune, Chun, or Choon, which some interpret a 'house in a croft.'" 
Early Origins of the Chowan family
The surname Chowan was first found in Kent, where the Chowan family was anciently seated as Lords of the Manor of Fairbourne (later Fairlawn). At the taking of the Domesday Book in 1086, a survey initiated by Duke William after his conquest of England at Hastings in 1066, this estate was held by Hugh le Vendee, nephew of Herbert and Ralph de Courbepine from the tenant in chief, the Bishop of Bayeux, and it is from Hugh which the family is conjecturally descended. 
The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included listings for the name as a forename and a surname: Chun Mervyn, Cambridgeshire; Chun Pimme, Cambridgeshire; Chun Pistor, Cambridgeshire; William Chaun, Lincolnshire; and Hugh Chone, Oxfordshire. 
Early History of the Chowan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chowan research. Another 169 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1379, 1596, 1668, 1583, 1639, 1613, 1668, 1659 and 1668 are included under the topic Early Chowan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Chowan Spelling Variations
Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Chowne, Chown, Chiowne, Chioune, Choon, Chiown, Cone, Chone, Cowne, Cown, Coun, Coune, Chune, Choone and many more.
Early Notables of the Chowan family (pre 1700)
Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Chowan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Chowan family
To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Chowan or a variant listed above: George Chown who settled in New York State in 1812; Elizabeth Chune settled in Barbados in 1670; Barney Chune settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1822.
Related Stories +
- ^ Charnock, Richard, Stephen, Ludus Patronymicus of The Etymology of Curious Surnames. London: Trubner & Co., 60 Paternoster Row, 1868. Print.
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)