Gowerley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Gowerley family

The surname Gowerley was first found in Lothian, where "Ingelram de Gourlay is believed to have accompanied William the Lion from England in 1174, and witnesses one of his charters about 1200." [1]

Another source notes a Latin version of the forename (Ingelramus) and adds he "held land in Clydesdale and in Lothian. His son, Hugh de Gerley, possessed lands in Fife and Lothians, and some time after 1180 witnessed a charter by Ingelram de Balliol of the church of Inuerkileder to Abbey of Arnbroath. A later lngeramus Gerle was witness, 1244, Hugh Gurle and William Gerle were present at a conference at Roxbergh, 1254, and William, son of William Gerlay, made a gift to Abbey of Newbattle, 1293. " [2]

The invasion by King Edward I of England in 1296 forced many to either "render homage" to the king or lose their lands, frequently dying by the sword. "Several of the name rendered homage in 1296, viz. Roger Gourlay, William de Gurleye, Huwe de Gerleghe, and Patrick de Gerleghe, parson of the church of Loghorwerde, all four of the county of Edinbergh (Bain, II, p. 208). Adam de Gurle of Roxburghe also rendered homage, and as Adam de Goerlay appears as witness at Roxburgh, 1304." [2]

Early History of the Gowerley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gowerley research. Another 233 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1174, 1300, 1320, 1303, 1435, 1328, 1330, 1380, 1392, 1395, 1529, 1546 and are included under the topic Early Gowerley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gowerley Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Gourlay, Gurley, Gourley, Gourlie and others.

Early Notables of the Gowerley family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Gowerley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Gowerley family to Ireland

Some of the Gowerley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 74 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Gowerley family

Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Jane Gourley who settled in New England in 1804 with her husband William; George, James, John, Mark, Phillip, Robert and Samuel Gourley, all arrived in Pennsylvania between 1840 and 1860.



The Gowerley 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: Profunda cernit
Motto Translation: He comprehends profound things.


  1. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 2 of 3
  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)


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