Cowdray History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Cowdray is a name that came to England in the 11th century wave of migration that was set off by the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Cowdray 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 Cowdray family

The surname Cowdray 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 Cowdray family

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

Cowdray Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Cowdray have been found, including Cowdrey, Cowdray, Cowderey, Cowderoy, Corderoy, Cordroy, Cowdroy, Cowdry, Cowdery and many more.

Early Notables of the Cowdray 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 Cowdray Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Cowdray migration to the United States +

For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Cowdray were among those contributors:

Cowdray Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Cowdray, who landed in New York in 1831 [4]
  • M Cowdray, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [4]


  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)


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