Chowns History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Chowns is a name whose history on English soil dates back to the wave of migration that followed the Norman Conquest of England of 1066. The Chowns 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.'" [1]

Early Origins of the Chowns family

The surname Chowns was first found in Kent, where the Chowns 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. [2]

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. [3]

Early History of the Chowns family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chowns 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 Chowns History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Chowns Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. 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 Chowns family (pre 1700)

Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Chowns Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Chowns family

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Chowns or a variant listed above were: 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.



  1. ^ Charnock, Richard, Stephen, Ludus Patronymicus of The Etymology of Curious Surnames. London: Trubner & Co., 60 Paternoster Row, 1868. Print.
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)


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