Cowlet History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the name Cowlet begins with the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is derived from the given name Nicholas. A common diminutive of the name Nicholas was Col and Ard was a Norman French suffix that meant son of. "William Colet was resident in Normandy 1180-95 (Mag. Rot. Scac.); Humphry and William Colet in 1198." [1]

Alternatively, the name could have been an occupational name for a "colet, or acolyte, [one] who waited upon the priest and assisted in carrying the bread and wine, in lighting the candles, and performing all subordinate duties.' [2]

Early Origins of the Cowlet family

The surname Cowlet was first found in Oxfordshire where "the Colletts of this county are mostly found in the Oxford district. The name of Collet was represented in Oddington in the reign of Elizabeth. In the 13th century Colet was an Oxfordshire, Shropshire, and a London name. The "colet" was the old English form of "acolyte," a church servant, and it is remarkable that, as a rule, the homes of the Colletts are, or have been, in the vicinity of ecclesiastical centres." [3]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included: Colett de Sautre, Huntingdonshire; Walter Colet, Salop (Shropshire); and Dyonisia Colet, Oxfordshire and later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed

Coleta Elot; Henricus Tayllour, et Collette uxor ejus; and Johannes Colet. [2]

Early History of the Cowlet family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cowlet research. Another 151 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1202, 1433, 1486, 1480, 1467, 1519 and 1505 are included under the topic Early Cowlet History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cowlet Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Cowlet has been recorded under many different variations, including Collett, Colett, Collet, Coullet, Caullet, Cowlett, Cowllett, Colleyt, Coulett, Caulett, Caullett, Coullett, Collette, Colette, Collete and many more.

Early Notables of the Cowlet family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include John Colet (1467-1519), a humanist and divine, a friend of Erasmus who helped bring the new learning to England. He was the Dean of St. Paul's, and founder of...
Another 37 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cowlet Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Cowlet family

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Cowlet or a variant listed above: James Collett who settled in Virginia in 1654; Richard Collett, who settled in Virginia in 1642; William Collett, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1682.



  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. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.


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