Show ContentsCowden History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Cowden surname finds its earliest origins with the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name is derived from Cuthbert in the patronymic form where it was used as son of Cutt. [1] Alternatively, the name could have denoted "the son, or family, of Cutha (famous)." [2]

Early Origins of the Cowden family

The surname Cowden was first found in Norfolk where Herlewin and WIllian Cutting were listed in 1221. Later, Richard Cutting was listed in the Feet of Fines for Essex in 1235. [1]

"The Cuttings are at present at home in Ipswich and its neighbourhood. Edward Cuttinge held land in Haughley, Stowmarket, in the reign of Edward IV." [3]

The Cowden variant came from Cowden, a small village and civil parish in the Sevenoaks District of Kent. Great Cowden dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 when it was first listed as Coledun [4] and literally meant "hill where charcoal is made," from the Old English "col" + "dun." [5]

Alternatively, the family could have originated in Scotland at "Cowden in the parish of Dalkeith, Midlothian. There is also a Cowden near Dollar but Cowden near Dalkeith is more probable source of the name." [6]

Early History of the Cowden family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cowden research. Another 145 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1550, 1595, 1599, 1634, 1685 and 1689 are included under the topic Early Cowden History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cowden Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Cowden are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Cowden include: Cutting, Cudden, Cudding, Cuttin, Cutten, Cuttan, Cuddan, Cuddin, Cuddon, Cuding, Cuting, Cuden, Cutin, Cutine, Cudan, Cudane, Coudan, Couding, Coutting, Coutten, Couttan, Couttin, Cutton and many more.

Early Notables of the Cowden family

Distinguished members of the family include Francis Cuttinge (c. 1550-1595/6), English lutenist and composer. He "was one of the most distinguished composers of lute music towards the close of the reign of Elizabeth and the beginning of that of James. Nothing is...
Another 41 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cowden Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cowden Ranking

In the United States, the name Cowden is the 7,845th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [7]


United States Cowden migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Cowden or a variant listed above:

Cowden Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Eman Cowden, who arrived in Virginia in 1650 [8]
Cowden Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Robert Cowden, who landed in America in 1806 [8]
  • John Cowden, who landed in America in 1808 [8]
  • Anne Cowden, who arrived in New York, NY in 1817 [8]
  • David Cowden, who landed in New York, NY in 1817 [8]
  • William Cowden, who arrived in New York, NY in 1817 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Cowden migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Cowden Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Agnes Cowden, aged 19, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "Pacific" from Liverpool, England

Australia Cowden migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Cowden Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Samuel Cowden, (b. 1809), aged 17, English labourer who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Earl St Vincent" on 20th April 1826, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land), he was executed in 1830 [9]

Contemporary Notables of the name Cowden (post 1700) +

  • Violet "Vi" Cowden (1916-2011), born Violet Thurn, an American aviator, member of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) during World War II, one of the first women to fly American military planes
  • Albert Buckner Cowden (1879-1958), American football and basketball coach
  • John Peter Cowden (1917-2006), American radio broadcast actor, perhaps best known for his voice work on "Little Orphan Annie"
  • William "Bill" Cowden (1920-2007), American basketball player, active from 1940 to 1942, member of the Stanford Athletic Hall of Fame
  • William J. W. Cowden, American Republican politician, West Virginia Republican State Chair, 1888-92; Postmaster at Wheeling, West Virginia, 1889-93 [10]
  • Julia Ann Cowden, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Texas, 1964 (alternate), 1972 [10]
  • George D. Cowden, American politician, U.S. Consular Agent in Lobos, 1924 [10]
  • F. Cowden, American politician, Mayor of Sapulpa, Oklahoma, 1955-56 [10]
  • Boyd Cowden, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Oklahoma, 1952 [10]
  • Blake Cowden, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Texas 3rd District, 1988 [10]
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

St. Francis Dam
  • Mr. Earl Cowden, American resident in Santa Clarita killed when the St. Francis Dam failed and flooded the area in 1928
  • Mrs. Corinne "Carrie" Cowden, (nee Gains), American resident in Santa Clarita killed when the St. Francis Dam failed and flooded the area in 1928
  • Miss Alice May Cowden, American resident in Santa Clarita killed when the St. Francis Dam failed and flooded the area in 1928
  • Miss Marguerite J. Cowden, American resident in Santa Clarita killed when the St. Francis Dam failed and flooded the area in 1928
  • Mr. William Dee Cowden, American resident in Santa Clarita killed when the St. Francis Dam failed and flooded the area in 1928
  • ... (Another 1 entries are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Joel Beman Cowden, American Seaman Second Class from Missouri, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [11]


  1. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  3. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  5. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  6. 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)
  7. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?". NameCensus.com, https://namecensus.com/last-names/
  8. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  9. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th September 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-st-vincent
  10. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 13) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  11. Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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