The name Chowdray reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Chowdray family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest
of 1066. The Chowdray family lived in Berkshire. The name, however, refers to the area of Cordray, in Eure, Normandy
, where the family lived prior to the Norman Conquest
Early Origins of the Chowdray family
The surname Chowdray was first found in Berkshire, where they held a family seat
from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy
, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.
Early History of the Chowdray family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chowdray research.Another 137 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1588 and 1664 are included under the topic Early Chowdray History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Chowdray Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations
. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Cowdrey, Cowdray, Cowderey, Cowderoy, Corderoy, Cordroy, Cowdroy, Cowdry, Cowdery and many more.
Early Notables of the Chowdray family (pre 1700)
Another 23 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Chowdray Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Chowdray family to the New World and Oceana
Because of the political and religious discontent in England
, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Chowdray name or one of its variants: William Cowdrey who settled in Lynn Massachusetts in 1630; Anne Cowdrey settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1763; with her three children; William Cowdery settled in Virginia in 1656..