Show ContentsCowger History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Cowger is an Anglo-Saxon name. The name was originally given to a sailor or master of a type of small boat called a cog in Old English. A cogger was a person who sailed such boats. [1] [2]

The Latin forms are derivatives of MedLat coga, cogo ‘boat’ (c. 1200, 13th MLWL), for Middle English cogge, OFr cogue ‘small ship, cock-boat’, used by Chaucer of the ships in which Jason and Hercules sailed. A cogger (c. 1450) may have been a builder of cogs but was more probably a sailor or master of the cog." [3]

Early Origins of the Cowger family

The surname Cowger was first found in Lincolnshire, where the earliest entry was in the Latin form of the name, Arnaldus Coggorius who was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire for 1195. A few years later, Osbert (le) Coggere was found in the Pipe Rolls for Dorset in 1195. Roger le Cogere and John le Cogger were bailiffs of Dunwich in 1218 and 1219 respectively. [3]

Early History of the Cowger family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cowger research. Another 62 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1191, 1197, 1218, 1219, 1621 and 1628 are included under the topic Early Cowger History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cowger Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Cowger has appeared include Cogger, Coggere, Cogere, Coger, Coggorius, Cowger and others.

Early Notables of the Cowger family (pre 1700)

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

Cowger Ranking

In the United States, the name Cowger is the 15,549th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [4]

United States Cowger migration to the United States +

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Cowger arrived in North America very early:

Cowger Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Albion Cowger, aged 37, who immigrated to America, in 1909

Contemporary Notables of the name Cowger (post 1700) +

  • William O. Cowger (1922-1971), American Republican politician, mayor of Louisville, Kentucky (1961-1965) [5]
  • William Owen Cowger (1922-1971), American Republican politician, Member of Kentucky Republican State Central Committee, 1956-71; Mayor of Louisville, Kentucky, 1961-65 [6]

  1. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  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. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  5. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2013, January 23) . Retrieved from
  6. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 13) . Retrieved from on Facebook