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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: English-Alt, English

Where did the English Rowe family come from? What is the English Rowe family crest and coat of arms? When did the Rowe family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Rowe family history?

The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought many new words to England from which surnames were formed. Rowe was one of these new Norman names. It was specifically tailored to its first bearer, 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.

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A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Rowe, Roe, Row and others.

First found in Norfolk where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rowe research. Another 241 words(17 lines of text) covering the years 1581, 1644, 1559, 1592, 1661, 1592, 1607, 1674, 1718, 1715, 1626, 1677, 1654, 1657, 1705, 1640, 1719, 1674, 1737, 1641 and 1717 are included under the topic Early Rowe History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 285 words(20 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rowe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Rowe family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 123 words(9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Rowe or a variant listed above:

Rowe Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Mary Rowe, who landed in Virginia in 1620
  • Mary Rowe and her husband settled in Virginia in 1624
  • Henry Rowe settled in Boston in 1630
  • Nicholas Rowe, who landed in Portsmouth, NH in 1640
  • Matthew Rowe, who arrived in New Haven, Conn in 1650


Rowe Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Jacob Rowe, who arrived in Virginia in 1758

Rowe Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Frederick Rowe, who arrived in Maryland in 1804
  • Peter Rowe, aged 23, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Robert Rowe, aged 32, landed in New York in 1812
  • Pierce Rowe settled in Charleston in 1820
  • George Rowe, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1834


Rowe Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Mary Rowe, aged 21, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the ship "Perceval" from Plymouth

Rowe Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • James Buttress Rowe arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "South Australain" in 1837
  • Jane Rowe arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "South Australain" in 1837
  • James Rowe arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "South Australain" in 1837
  • Sophia Rowe arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "South Australain" in 1837
  • John Rowe arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Recovery" in 1839


Rowe Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • William Rowe, aged 39, a labourer, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Gertrude" in 1841
  • Frances Rowe, aged 38, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Gertrude" in 1841
  • Anthony Rowe, aged 21, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Olympus" in 1842
  • Matthias Rowe arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Lord Burleigh" in 1856
  • H. Rowe arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Lord Burleigh" in 1856


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  • William Leonard Rowe (1931-2015), American professor emeritus of philosophy at Purdue University
  • Brigadier-General Guy Ichabod Rowe (1886-1969), American Commanding Officer Jeffersonville Quartermaster Depot (1944-1945)
  • John Rowe (1715-1787), early American property developer and merchant
  • James Nicholas "Nick" Rowe (1938-1989), United States Army officer who escaped captivity during the Vietnam War, recipient of the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star - 2, Purple Heart - 2 and many other distinctions
  • Dave Rowe (1854-1930), American Major League Baseball center fielder
  • Thomas Rowe, American Professor of pharmacology at the University of Florida
  • Misty Rowe (b. 1952), American actress
  • Mr. John Rowe (d. 1915), English Trimmer from Bootle, Lancashire, England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
  • Mr. Edward M. Rowe (d. 1912), aged 31, English Saloon 1st Class Steward from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Mr. George Thomas Rowe, aged 32, English Quartermaster from Gosport, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on collapsible C

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  • The Marriage of Catherine & David: a History of Southwestern Pennsylvania Families by LaVonne R. Hanlon.
  • The Families of Johann Martin Rau and Johann Conrad Bohne by Nancy Ann Dietrich.
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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.

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  1. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  2. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  3. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  5. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  6. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  7. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  9. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  10. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  11. ...

The Rowe Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Rowe Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 24 August 2015 at 14:23.

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