Row History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Row is rooted in the ancient Norman culture that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. It was a name for someone who was a person with red hair. Looking back even further, we found the name was originally derived from the Old French nickname le rous, meaning redhead. [1] Further to the north in Scotland, the name has a different meaning, specifically "row, signifies a low, small, narrow peninsula." [2]

Early Origins of the Row family

The surname Row was first found in Norfolk where Turchil le Roux was granted lands by King William after his attendance upon him at Hastings. His son Ralph the Red (Roux) went with King Henry to the Crusades and held the Castle of Pont-echanfre near Bernai in Vexin Normandy. He died in the wreck of the "Blanche Neuf" with the King's two sons and their estates became divided. [3]

In Somerset, "Leighland, in the parish of Old Cleeve, was the property of the Poyntz family. From them it descended to the Rowes, in the reign of William III. John Rowe, as I learn from the parish register of Arlington, married Ursula Chi chester, on 25th November, 1697, yet left no issue ; but to him William Widdicombe, Esq., devised his estate of Bickham, adjoining. Robert Rowe, the nephew of the said John, married Prudence Chichester, 15th August, 1706, and had several children ; one of them, Elizabeth, became the wife of John Needham, of Hilston, county Monmouth." [4]

Early History of the Row family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Row research. Another 119 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1368, 1426, 1441, 1477, 1581, 1747, 1581, 1644, 1559, 1592, 1661, 1592, 1607, 1674, 1718, 1715, 1626, 1677, 1654, 1657, 1705, 1640, 1719, 1674, 1737, 1641, 1717, 1525, 1580, 1525, 1580, 1595, 1672, 1641, 1717 and are included under the topic Early Row History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Row 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 Rowe, Roe, Row and others.

Early Notables of the Row family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Thomas Roe (c. 1581-1644), an English diplomat, chancellor of the Order of the Garter; Sir Thomas Rowe, Lord Mayor of London in 1559; Owen Rowe, (c. 1592-1661), English haberdasher in London, one of the regicides of King Charles I; Sir William Rowe, Lord Mayor of London in 1592; Sir Henry Rowe, Lord Mayor of London in 1607; Nicholas Rowe (1674-1718), English poet and miscellaneous writer, appointed Poet Laureate in 1715; John Rowe (1626-1677), an English clergyman, lecturer to Westminster Abbey (1654); and his son, Thomas Rowe (1657-1705), an English nonconformist minister, tutor...
Another 126 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Row Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Row Ranking

In the United States, the name Row is the 18,472nd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [5]

Ireland Migration of the Row family to Ireland

Some of the Row family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 68 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Row migration to the United States +

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 Row or a variant listed above:

Row Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Nicholas Row, who settled in Virginia in 1623
  • Nicholas Row, who landed in Virginia in 1623 [6]
  • Teague Row, who landed in Virginia in 1655 [6]
  • Avis Row, who settled in Virginia in 1663 along with Walter
  • Isaac Row, who landed in Maryland in 1665 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Row Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Scipio Row, who arrived in Virginia in 1701 [6]
  • Joshua Row, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 [6]
  • Matthew Row, who landed in Virginia in 1714 [6]
  • James Row, who arrived in Virginia in 1715 [6]
  • Hans Jurch Row, who landed in New York in 1715-1716 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Row Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • George Row, who landed in America in 1820 [6]
  • John Row, who landed in Tippecanoe County, Ind in 1845 [6]
  • Mr. J. Row, (b. 1827), aged 21, Cornish miner departing from Penzance aboard the ship "Mountaineer" arriving in the United States on 29th May 1848 [7]
  • Frederick Row, who arrived in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1863 [6]

Canada Row migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Row Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. John N. Row U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [8]
  • Mr. William Row U.E. who settled in Digdeguash, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1784 [8]
  • Cpl. Frederick Row U.E., (Rowe) who settled in Home District [York County], Ontario c. 1786 he served in Butlers Rangers [8]
Row Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Row, aged 19, a farmer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Thomas Hanford" from Cork, Ireland
  • Catherine Row, aged 30, a dressmaker, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Thomas Hanford" from Cork, Ireland
  • Martha Row, aged 22, a dressmaker, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Thomas Hanford" from Cork, Ireland
  • Rebecca Row, aged 15, a dressmaker, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Thomas Hanford" from Cork, Ireland
  • Miss J A Row, who arrived in Victoria, British Columbia in 1862

Australia Row migration to Australia +

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

Row Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Row, who arrived in Kangaroo Island aboard the ship "Lady Mary Pelham" in 1836 [9]
  • John Row, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Royal Admiral" in 1838 [10]
  • Catherine Row, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Royal Admiral" in 1838 [10]
  • Thomas Row, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Florentia" in 1849 [11]
  • Thomas Row, aged 23, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Florentia" [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Row 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:

Row Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Simon Row, aged 40, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Tyne" in 1841
  • Susannah Row, aged 39, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Tyne" in 1841
  • William Row, aged 20, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Tyne" in 1841
  • George Row, aged 18, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Tyne" in 1841
  • Samuel Row, aged 17, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Tyne" in 1841
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Row (post 1700) +

  • Jess Row (b. 1974), American short story writer
  • Volney R. Row, American Republican politician, Mayor of Portsmouth, Ohio, 1895-97; Defeated, 1897 [12]
  • Roy Row, American politician, Mayor of Batesville, Arkansas, 1959 [12]
  • Golden Franklin Row (b. 1884), American Republican politician, Member of West Virginia State House of Delegates from Barbour County, 1953-54, 1957-58; Defeated, 1954 [12]
  • C. W. Row, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Louisiana, 1916, 1924 [12]
  • Thomas Row (1786-1864), English hymn-writer from Hadleigh, Suffolk
  • Frank Leonard Row (1877-1950), pioneering Australian rugby union player and a state and national representative
  • Norman Edward Row (1883-1968), Australian rugby union player
  • Rándall Row Arias (b. 1971), former Costa Rican footballer


The Row 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: Innocens non timidus
Motto Translation: Innocent but not fearful.


  1. ^ Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  2. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Oliver, George, Collections Illustrating the History of the Catholic Religion in the Counties of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Wilts, and Gloucester London: Charles Dolman, 61, New Bond Street, 1857. Print
  5. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  6. ^ 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)
  7. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to New York 1820 - 1891 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_new_york_1820_1891.pdf
  8. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  9. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) LADY MARY PELHAM 1836. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1836LadyMaryPelham.htm
  10. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ROYAL ADMIRAL 1838. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1838RoyalAdmiral.htm
  11. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) FLORENTIA 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Florentia.htm
  12. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 10) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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