Cowle History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The annals of Scottish history reveal that Cowle was first used as a name by descendants of the Pictish tribe of ancient Scotland. The Cowle family lived in Coull, in Aberdeenshire. There is also another place so named, in the Highland Region, which may have independently given rise to this surname.

Early Origins of the Cowle family

The surname Cowle was first found in Aberdeenshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Obar Dheathain), a historic county, and present day Council Area of Aberdeen, located in the Grampian region of northeastern Scotland in the parish of Coull.

"This place is supposed to have taken its name, which signifies a 'corner,' from its situation in the south-eastern extremity of the district of Cromar. " [1]

Coull Castle was an 13th-century castle to the south of Coull. Only traces of the castle can be found today.

Some of the first records of the family include: William de Cull who was one of the witnesses to a charter by John, Earl of Huntington to Norman filius Malcolm of the lands of Lesslyn etc., between 1219 and 1237; and John Cowl possessed a tenement in Glasgow in 1458. [2]

Further south in northern England, the Lay Subsidy Rolls of 1332 listed John de Couhill, of Rishton, Lancashire; and John de Coule, of Blackburn, Lancashire, 1332. [3]

Early History of the Cowle family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cowle research. Another 173 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1219, 1567, 1479, 1481, 1567, 1554, 1611, 1554 and 1570 are included under the topic Early Cowle History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cowle Spelling Variations

During the Middle Ages, there was no basic set of rules and scribes wrote according to sound. The correct spelling of Scottish names were further compromised after many haphazard translations from Gaelic to English and back. Spelling variations of the name Cowle include Coull, Coul, Cowill, Cowell, Cull, Cowles, Cowl, Cowle and many more.

Early Notables of the Cowle family (pre 1700)

Another 27 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cowle Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


New Zealand Cowle 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:

Cowle Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Cowle, aged 26, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Apelles" in 1874
  • Robert Cowle, aged 35, a farm labourer, who arrived in Otago aboard the ship "Dallam Tower" in 1875

Contemporary Notables of the name Cowle (post 1700) +

  • William Cowle, American Republican politician, Mayor of Syracuse, New York, 1892 [4]
  • Lawrence Cowle Phipps (1862-1958), American politician, United States Senator from Colorado(1919-1931)
  • Lawrence Cowle Phipps (1862-1958), American Republican politician, Vice-president and treasurer, Carnegie Steel Corporation; U.S. Senator from Colorado, 1919-31; Delegate to Republican National Convention from Colorado, 1920, 1924, 1928;


The Cowle Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Cole Deum
Motto Translation: Worship God.


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 13) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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