Cowlett History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The generations and branches of the Cowlett family share a name that has its roots in the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. The name Cowlett comes 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 Cowlett family

The surname Cowlett 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 Cowlett family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cowlett 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 Cowlett History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cowlett Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Cowlett include Collett, Colett, Collet, Coullet, Caullet, Cowlett, Cowllett, Colleyt, Coulett, Caulett, Caullett, Coullett, Collette, Colette, Collete and many more.

Early Notables of the Cowlett 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 Cowlett Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Cowlett family

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Cowlett 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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