Show ContentsFowels History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Fowels is thought to be a nickname for 'the fowl.' "A West-country form of Fowell and Fowle, a fowl, a bird; compare Vivash and Visick for Fiveash and Fishwick. Especially compare Vowler for Fowler. The genitive of Vowle is Vowles; compare Brooks for Brook, or Williams for William, (a) Bapt. 'the son of Voel,' an ancient Welsh personal name. Just as Hoel became Howell, so Voel has become Vowell. It is probable that, so far as Vowell is concerned, (a) is the chief parent." [1]

Early Origins of the Fowels family

The surname Fowels was first found in Devon where they held the manor of "Fowelscombe, in this parish, the original seat of the Fowel family, created baronets in 1661." [2]

Normandy was their origin; of this there is no doubt. "John, Robert, Hugh, Geoffry de Fauvel [were found in] Normandy, 1180-95 (Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae). William Fauvel held from Oliver de Tracy, Devon, 1165. [3] The name changed to Fauel, Fouel, Voghill, Vowell, and Fowell; the family was seated at Bolters Combe, Devon, and from it descended the Baronets Fowell and the Vowells." [4]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included the following entries all in Oxfordshire: Walter le Fowel; Matthew le Fowel; and John le Fouel. [1]

Early History of the Fowels family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fowels research. Another 227 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1510, 1600, 1080, 1091, 1163, 1399, 1538, 1619, 1275, 1578, 1586, 1609, 1608, 1620, 1593, 1674, 1640, 1648, 1656, 1598, 1664, 1646, 1660, 1623, 1677, 1659, 1677, 1666, 1665, 1692, 1689, 1692 and 1654 are included under the topic Early Fowels History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fowels Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Fowels include Fowell, Fowl, Fowall, Fowel, Phowel, Phowell, Vowell, Voules, Vowels, Vowels, Fowls, Fuggle, Foul, Vowl and many more.

Early Notables of the Fowels family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Sir Edmund Fowell, 1st Baronet (1593-1674), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1640 to 1648 and in 1656; Edmund Fowell (c. 1598-1664), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1646 and 1660; Sir John Fowell, 2nd Baronet (1623-1677), an English politician who sat in the House...
Another 60 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fowels Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Fowels family

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants: Edmond Fowell, who came to Virginia in 1666; James Fowell, on record in the Windward Islands in 1722; John Fowell, who received a land grant in Virginia in 1666.

  1. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital
  3. Liber Niger Scutarii ("Black Book of the Exchequer"), containing reports by county on feudal holdings in England in 1166 (reign of Henry II)
  4. 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) on Facebook