Cowe History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The earliest origins of the Cowe surname date from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name reveals that an early member was a jackdaw. Checking further we found the name was derived from the Old English word coo. This was in turn derived from the Old Norse word ka, which was their word for jackdaw. Thus the original bearer of this name must have reminded his contemporaries of a jackdaw and was referred to as "Cowe" as a nickname.

Early Origins of the Cowe family

The surname Cowe was first found in Lancashire, where the Cowe family held a family seat from ancient times. The earliest known bearer of the name was Osbert Ka, who was recorded in the Pipe Rolls of Lancashire in 1188.

Early History of the Cowe family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cowe research. Another 103 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1188, 1221, 1783, and 1860 are included under the topic Early Cowe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cowe 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 Cowe 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 Cowe include: Coe, Coes, Cowe, Kow, Cawe, Kowe, Coo, Ku, Koo and others.

Early Notables of the Cowe family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Cowe family to Ireland

Some of the Cowe family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Cowe 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 Cowe or a variant listed above:

Cowe Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Alester Cowe, who arrived in Boston, Massachussets in 1652
  • Coner Cowe, who arrived in Virginia in 1658 [1]
  • Francis Cowe, who landed in Maryland in 1668 [1]
Cowe Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • George Cowe, who arrived in Virginia in 1713 [1]

Australia Cowe migration to Australia +

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

Cowe Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

New Zealand Cowe migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Cowe Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Charles Cowe, (b. 1858), aged 4 months, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Mystery" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 29th March 1859 [3]
  • Mrs. Ann Cowe, (b. 1828), aged 30, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Mystery" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 29th March 1859 [3]
  • Miss Margaret A. Cowe, (b. 1852), aged 6, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Mystery" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 29th March 1859 [3]
  • Mr. William Henry Cowe, (b. 1855), aged 3, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Mystery" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 29th March 1859 [3]


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 12th December 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Marion 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/marion1854.shtml
  3. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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