Owlcote History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Owlcote family

The surname Owlcote was first found in Northamptonshire at Holcot, a parish in the union of Brixworth, hundred of Hamfordshoe. [1] The parish dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086, where it was first listed as Holecote. [2]

Conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the village and lands of Holcote, held by William Peveral from the Bishop of Bayeux.

The place name literally meant "cottages in the hollows," from the Old English "hol"+ "cot." [3]

It was here in Northamptonshire that the first record of the family was found. Peter de Holecot was listed in the Assize Rolls of 1202. Later, Robert de Holecote was found in the Feet of Fines for Essex in 1273-1274, but back in Northamptonshire, Henry de Holecote was recorded in the Assize Rolls of 1314-1316. [4]

Further to the north in Scotland, one source notes that the family were from "some place in England. There were lands named Holcote in Northamptonshire held by David I. Wautier de Holcote of Roxburghshire rendered homage, 1296. William Alket, burgess of Aberdeen, 1275 (Fraser, p. 11) may represent the same name." [5]

Early History of the Owlcote family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Owlcote research. Another 115 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1291, 1349, 1328, 1878, 1834, 1024 and 1586 are included under the topic Early Owlcote History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Owlcote Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Holcote, Hollcote, Holcott, Holcott, Hulcott, Hulcote, Holecote, Hulecote, Holecott, Wholcott, Wholecote, Wholcote, Olcott, Olcote, Ollcott, Ollcote, Alkett, Alket, Owlcott and many more.

Early Notables of the Owlcote family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Robert of Holcott (d. 1349), English divine, "said to have been a native of Northampton, but the statement seems a mere inference from his surname, Holcot being a village in Northamptonshire. It has been conjectured that he was a kinsman of Robert of Holcot, who sat, according to Bridges (Northamptonshire, i. 9 b), as a knight of the shire in the parliament of 1328-9; but the latter appears in the parliamentary return (Accounts and Papers...
Another 82 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Owlcote Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Owlcote family

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Owlcote or a variant listed above: the name represented in many forms and recorded from the mid 17th century in the great migration from Europe. Migrants settled in the eastern seaboard from Newfoundland, to Maine, to Virginia, the Carolinas, and to the islands..



  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. ^ 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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