Gower History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

When the ancestors of the Gower family emigrated to England following the Norman Conquest in 1066 they brought their family name with them. They lived in the district north of Paris which is known in Old French as Gohiere. There are also numerous places in Normandy called Gouy, to which the Anglo-Norman French suffix er was added to make "Gower."

Early Origins of the Gower family

The surname Gower was first found in Yorkshire, where a family of Gower, ancestors of the Duke of Sutherland, held a family seat in Stittenham Township. "Descended from Sir Nicholas Gower, knight of the shire for this county in the reign of Edward III., and seated at Stittenham from about the same period." Another reference is more specific, "All of Antiquities agree that this family is one of the oldest in the county of York, though they differ as to its patriarch, whom some say will have to be Sir Alan Gowers, said to be sheriff of that county at the time of the Norman Conquest, while others with greater probability assert that it descended from on Guhyer, whose son, called William Fitz-Guher of Stittenham, was charged with a mark for his lands in the sheriff's account in 1167." [1] It is generally agreed that Gower the Poet was from the Stittenham stock. [1] Today Stittenham is a township in the parish of Sheriff with as few as 92 inhabitants in the late 1800s. [2]

Important Dates for the Gower family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gower research. Another 269 words (19 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1195, 1198, 1130, 1347, 1330, 1408, 1365, 1543, 1577, 1585, 1638, 1711, 1726, 1780, 1742, 1814, 1767, 1833 and 1700 are included under the topic Early Gower History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gower Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Gower has been recorded under many different variations, including Gower, Gowers, Gowar, Gowars, Goward, Gore, Goher, Gurr, Goer and many more.

Early Notables of the Gower family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Henry Gower, a bishop of St. David's around 1347; John Gower (c. 1330-1408), an English poet and acquired the Lordship of Aldington, Kent in 1365, He was probably nephew and heir-male of Sir Robert Gower of Kent, remembered mainly for three long poems; Sir Thomas Gower (1543-1577), the son of Sir Edward Gower, a knight of Stittenham, Yorkshire, was the marshal of Berwick; George Gower was a sergeant-painter around the year 1585, and the grandson of Sir John Gower of...
Another 87 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gower Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Gower family to Ireland

Some of the Gower family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 36 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gower migration to the United States

To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Gowers were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America:

Gower Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Gower, who settled in Virginia in 1606
  • Richard Gower, who settled in Virginia in 1637
  • Nicholas Gower, who settled in Virginia in 1638
  • John Gower, who settled in Virginia in 1653
  • John Gower, who arrived in Virginia in 1653 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Gower Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Abel Gower, who landed in Virginia in 1725 [3]
  • Letitia Gower, who landed in Virginia in 1725 [3]
  • Mary Gower, who arrived in Virginia in 1725 [3]
  • Philip Gower, who settled in America in 1754
  • Nicholas Gower, who settled in Pennsylvania in 1761
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Gower Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Gower, who landed in New York in 1835 [3]
  • Stephen S Gower, who arrived in New York, NY in 1836 [3]
  • Elizabeth Gower, who arrived in New York in 1839 [3]
  • Jesse Gower, who landed in New York in 1839 [3]
  • Mr. Gower, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [3]

Gower migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Gower Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John Gower, who settled in Greenspond, Newfoundland in 1871 [4]

Gower migration to Australia

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Gower Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Gower a gardener, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Winchester" in 1838 [5]
  • Mary Ann Gower, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Winchester" in 1838 [5]
  • John William Gower, English convict from London, who was transported aboard the "Anson" on September 23, 1843, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [6]
  • Ann Gower, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hooghly" in 1846 [7]
  • Sarah Gower, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hooghly" in 1846 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Gower migration to New Zealand

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Gower Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Gower, aged 21, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bolton" in 1840
  • John Gower, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1842
  • J. W. Gower, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Midlothian" in 1859
  • Joseph Gower, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Telegraph" in 1863
  • Susannah Gower, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Telegraph" in 1863
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Gower (post 1700)

  • Thomas C. Gower, American politician, Mayor of Greenville, South Carolina, 1870-71 [8]
  • Romulus H. Gower, American politician, Member of North Carolina State House of Representatives from Johnston County, 1891-92, 1905-06 [8]
  • Robert Gower, American politician, Delegate to Iowa State Constitutional Convention 22nd District, 1857 [8]
  • John C. Gower (b. 1941), American Republican politician, Brown County District Attorney, 1967-71; Member of Wisconsin State Assembly 4th District; Elected 1972, 1974 [8]
  • James H. Gower, American politician, Delegate to Iowa State Constitutional Convention from Cedar County, 1844 [8]
  • Cornelius A. Gower (1845-1932), American Republican politician, Michigan superintendent of public instruction, 1878-81; Appointed 1878 [8]
  • Constant W. Gower, American Republican politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Hartland; Elected 1904, 1930 [8]
  • Andrew Gower (b. 1989), English actor, best known for his role in the BBC Three supernatural drama Being Human
  • Sir Henry Dudley Gresham Leveson Gower (1873-1954), English cricketer who played first-class cricket for Oxford University and Surrey and captained England in Test cricket
  • Mark Gower (b. 1979), English footballer
  • ... (Another 9 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

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Citations

  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  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. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) WINCHESTER 1838. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1838Winchester.htm
  6. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Anson voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1843 with 499 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/anson/1843
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HOOGHLY 1846. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1846Hooghly.htm
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 21) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
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