Cowlles History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Today's generation of the Cowlles family inherits a name that was first used by the Scottish tribe known as the Picts. The first family to use the name Cowlles 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 Cowlles family

The surname Cowlles 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 Cowlles family

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

Cowlles Spelling Variations

Repeated and inaccurate translation of Scottish names from Gaelic to English and back resulted in a wide variety of spelling variations with single names. Cowlles has appeared Coull, Coul, Cowill, Cowell, Cull, Cowles, Cowl, Cowle and many more.

Early Notables of the Cowlles family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Cowlles family

Many Scottish families suffered enormous hardships and were compelled to leave their country of birth. They traveled to Ireland and Australia, but mostly to the colonies of North America, where many found the freedom and opportunity they sought. It was not without a fight, though, as many were forced to stand up and defend their freedom in the American War of Independence. The ancestors of these Scots abroad have rediscovered their heritage in the last century through the Clan societies and other organizations that have sprung up across North America. Immigration and passenger ship lists show some important early immigrants bearing the name Cowlles: John Coule who settled in Virginia in 1654; Francis Coull arrived in Philadelphia in 1856; Martin and Sam Cowl arrived in San Francisco in 1850; Ira Cowles arrived in New York in 1820 with his apprentice.



The Cowlles 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)


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