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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Where did the Scottish Cowles family come from? What is the Scottish Cowles family crest and coat of arms? When did the Cowles family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Cowles family history?

The current generations of the Cowles family have inherited a surname that was first used hundreds of years ago by descendants of the ancient Scottish tribe called the Picts. The Cowles 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.


Scribes in the Middle Ages did not have access to a set of spelling rules. They spelled according to sound, the result was a great number of spelling variations. In various documents, Cowles has been spelled Coull, Coul, Cowill, Cowell, Cull, Cowles, Cowl, Cowle and many more.

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, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cowles research. Another 161 words(12 lines of text) covering the years 1219 and 1567 are included under the topic Early Cowles History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Cowles Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


The cruelties suffered under the new government forced many to leave their ancient homeland for the freedom of the North American colonies. Those who arrived safely found land, freedom, and opportunity for the taking. These hardy settlers gave their strength and perseverance to the young nations that would become the United States and Canada. Immigration and passenger lists have shown many early immigrants bearing the name Cowles:

Cowles Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • John Cowles, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1635
  • Sarah Cowles settled in Virginia in 1654
  • Sarah Cowles, who landed in Virginia in 1654

Cowles Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Ira Cowles arrived in New York in 1820 with his apprentice
  • Mr. Cowles, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1822
  • Joseph R Cowles, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850

Cowles Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Elizabeth Cowles arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alfred The Great" in 1859
  • Edward Cowles arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alfred The Great" in 1859



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.


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  1. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  2. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  3. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  4. Fulton, Alexander. Scotland and Her Tartans: The Romantic Heritage of the Scottish Clans and Families. Godalming: Bramley, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-86283-880-0).
  5. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  6. 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).
  7. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  8. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. The Charters of David I The Written Acts of David I King of Scots, 1124-53 and of His Son Henry, Earl of Northumerland, 1139-52. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1999. Print.
  9. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  10. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  11. ...

The Cowles Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Cowles Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 10 June 2014 at 01:03.

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