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Cowans History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms



The Strathclyde-Briton people of ancient Scotland were the first to use the name Cowans. The Cowans family lived in the Scottish-English border region. The Cowans family lived in Ayrshire.

Early Origins of the Cowans family


The surname Cowans was first found in Ayrshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Àir), formerly a county in the southwestern Strathclyde region of Scotland, that today makes up the Council Areas of South, East, and North Ayrshire, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Cowans family


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cowans research.
Another 185 words (13 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cowans History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cowans Spelling Variations


Medieval Scottish names are rife with spelling variations. This is due to the fact that scribes in that era spelled according to the sound of words, rather than any set of rules. Cowans has been spelled Cowan, Cowans, Cowen, Cowens, MacCowan, MacCowden and many more.

Early Notables of the Cowans family (pre 1700)


More information is included under the topic Early Cowans Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Cowans family to Ireland


Some of the Cowans family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 265 words (19 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Cowans family to the New World and Oceana


Many Scots were left with few options other than to leave their homeland for the colonies across the Atlantic. Some of these families fought to defend their newfound freedom in the American War of Independence. Others went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of these families have recently been able to rediscover their roots through Clan societies and other Scottish organizations. Among them: Barbara Cowan who settled in New Jersey in 1685; along with Marjorie; Andrew Cowan settled in South Carolina in 1772; Alexander Cowan settled in New York City in 1774.

Contemporary Notables of the name Cowans (post 1700)


  • Herbert "Kat" Cowans (b. 1904), American jazz drummer who also spelt his name Cowens
  • Harry Lowes Cowans (1932-1985), British Labour Party politician, Member of Parliament for Newcastle-upon-Tyne Central (1976-1983) and for Tyne Bridge (1983-1985)
  • Norman George Cowans (b. 1961), Jamaican former cricketer who played in 19 Tests and 23 ODIs from 1982 to 1985 for England
  • Gordon Sidney Cowans (b. 1958), English retired football player and coach; he played from 1976 to 1997 and managed Aston Villa from 1998, member of the England U21, England B and England National Teams (1979-1990)
  • General Sir John "Jack" Stephen Cowans GCB GCMG MVO (b. 1862), British Quartermaster-General to the Forces (1912-1919)

The Cowans 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: Sic itur in altum
Motto Translation: This is the way to heaven.


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