Show ContentsGowdy History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Gowdy was first used in the Scottish/English Borderlands by an ancient Scottish people called the Strathclyde-Britons. It was a name for someone who lived in Edinburghshire, where the family was found since the early Middle Ages. Gowdy is an ancient Scottish name that evolved from the Goldie, which derives from the Old English personal name Gold.

Early Origins of the Gowdy family

The surname Gowdy was first found in Edinburghshire, where the name appears from about 1598 onwards and later in the forms Gowdie, Gaudie, Goddie. "Robert Gowdie was a writer in Edinburgh, 1643 and John Gawdie was one of 'those who ere matriculat in the Companie of Merchands of Edinbergh,' 1687. William Goudie in Ayr, 1689. The surname was early carried to the north appearing in Shetland first in 1576 in the person of Gawane Gadie of Lougasettar, Dunrossness." [1]

Early History of the Gowdy family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gowdy research. Another 126 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1643, 1567, 1783, 1847, 1576 and 1689 are included under the topic Early Gowdy History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gowdy Spelling Variations

Spelling and translation were hardly exact sciences in Medieval Scotland. Sound, rather than any set of rules, was the basis for spellings, so one name was often spelled different ways even within a single document. Spelling variations are thus an extremely common occurrence in Medieval Scottish names. Gowdy has been spelled Goudie, Gouday, Goudey, Goudy, Gowdy, Gowdie, Gadie, Goodie, Gady and many more.

Early Notables of the Gowdy family (pre 1700)

Another 33 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gowdy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gowdy Ranking

In the United States, the name Gowdy is the 11,225th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [2]

Ireland Migration of the Gowdy family to Ireland

Some of the Gowdy family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 32 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Gowdy migration to the United States +

Such hard times forced many to leave their homeland in search of opportunity across the Atlantic. Many of these families settled along the east coast of North America in communities that would become the backbones of the young nations of the United States and Canada. The ancestors of many of these families have rediscovered their roots in the 20th century through the establishment of Clan societies and other patriotic Scottish organizations. Among them:

Gowdy Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Thomas Gowdy, who was on record at Long Cane in Abbeyville, South Carolina in 1756
Gowdy Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • R Gowdy, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Gowdy (post 1700) +

  • John W. Gowdy (1869-1963), Scottish-American Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church and The Methodist Church
  • Bruce Gowdy, American guitarist
  • Henry "Hank" Morgan Gowdy (1889-1966), American professional baseball catcher and a first baseman
  • Curtis Edward Gowdy (1919-2006), American sportscaster, eponym of the Curt Gowdy Media Award
  • Theodore M. Gowdy, American politician, First Selectman of Somers, Connecticut, 1888 [4]
  • John Kennedy Gowdy (1843-1918), American Republican politician, Chair of Rush County Republican Party, 1880-90; Rush County Auditor, 1883-91; Indiana Republican State Chair, 1891-97; U.S. Consul General in Paris, 1897-1905 [4]
  • Herbert Ward Gowdy (b. 1874), American Republican politician, Member of Michigan State House of Representatives from Berrien County 1st District, 1919-22; Defeated, 1910; Member of Michigan State Board of Agriculture, 1924-29 [4]
  • George W. Gowdy, American politician, Representative from Connecticut 1st District, 1892 [4]
  • Allen Gowdy, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from Enfield, 1906 [4]
  • Mrs. Angela Mary Gowdy B.E.M. (b. 1931), British former paediatric nurse, was appointed Medallist of the British Empire Medal 29th December 2018 for services to Home Start Garioch, to the RSPB and to Charity in Aberdeenshire [5]
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Gowdy 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: Honestas
Motto Translation: Honesty.

  1. 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)
  2. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  3. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  4. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 21) . Retrieved from
  5. "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, on Facebook