Show ContentsCowdery History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Today's generation of the Cowdery family bears a name that was brought to England by the migration wave that was started by the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Cowdery 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 of England in 1066. "Benedict de Coudray was witness to a charter of Roger de Menilwarin to Deulacresse Abbey (Mon. ii.) and Fulco de Coudray held one fee from Abingdon Abbey." [1]

Early Origins of the Cowdery family

The surname Cowdery was first found in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 where John de Coudray (no county) was listed. A few years later, the Writs of Parliament listed William de Coudraye, 1307. [2]

Early History of the Cowdery family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cowdery research. Another 100 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1618, 1619, 1588, 1664, 1616, 1684, 1616, 1600, 1577, 1590 and 1530 are included under the topic Early Cowdery History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cowdery Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Cowdery were recorded, including Cowdrey, Cowdray, Cowderey, Cowderoy, Corderoy, Cordroy, Cowdroy, Cowdry, Cowdery and many more.

Early Notables of the Cowdery family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Abbott Monsire Cowdrey; and Daniel Cawdry (Cawdrey) (1588-1664), an English clergyman, member of the Westminster Assembly. He was the youngest son of Robert Cawdry. [3] Zachary Cawdry (1616-1684), author of the 'Discourse of Patronage,' was born in 1616 at Melton Mowbray, of which town his father, also called Zachary, was vicar. [3] Jeremy Corderory (fl. 1600), was an English divine, "the son of a Wiltshire gentleman. He was sent about 1577...
Another 76 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cowdery Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Cowdery migration to the United States +

The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Cowdery arrived in North America very early:

Cowdery Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Cowdery, who settled in Virginia in 1656
  • William Cowdery, who landed in Virginia in 1656 [4]
  • Edward Cowdery, who arrived in Maryland or Virginia in 1665 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Cowdery (post 1700) +

  • Mae Virginia Cowdery (1909-1953), American poet and participant in the Harlem Renaissance
  • Warren A. Cowdery (1788-1851), American editor of the Latter Day Saints' Messenger and Advocate
  • Oliver H. P. Cowdery (1806-1850), American Latter Day Saint apostle, the Second Elder of the church
  • John J. Cowdery (1930-2013), American politician, Republican member of the Alaska Senate (2001-2009)
  • L. E. Cowdery, American politician, Mayor of Rochester, Minnesota, 1879-80 [5]
  • John Cowdery (b. 1930), American Republican politician, Member of Alaska State House of Representatives, 1983-84, 1997-2000; Member of Alaska State Senate, 2000-09 [5]
  • Jabez F. Cowdery, American politician, Member of California State Assembly, 1873-75, 1880-81 [5]
  • Benjamin R. Cowdery, American politician, Secretary of State of Nebraska, 1889-91; Appointed 1889 [5]
  • Nicholas Richard Cowdery AM QC (b. 1946), Director of Public Prosecutions for the Australian state of New South Wales
  • Sir John Cowdery Kendrew CBE, FRS (1917-1997), English biochemist and crystallographer who shared the 1962 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

  1. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. 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)
  5. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 13) . Retrieved from on Facebook