Rowles History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Rowles is one of the many new names that came to England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Rowles family lived in Yorkshire. Their name, however, is a reference to Roullours, in Calvados, in the arrondissement of Dieppe, Normandy, the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. [1]

Early Origins of the Rowles family

The surname Rowles was first found in Yorkshire where they were undertenants in the honor of Richmond being descended from the distinguished Norman family of Rollos of Roullours in Calvados, arrondisement of Dieppe, in Normandy. A century later it appears that William de Rollos, Lord of Bourne in the county of Lincoln to the south, was also a branch of this distinguished family.

Richard Rolle (1290-1349) was an English religious writer, Bible translator, and hermit. He is also known as Richard Rolle of Hampole or de Hampole. He studied at Oxford.

Farther to the south in the parish of Whitstone, Cornwall, "The manor of Nethercot, which has its site in this parish, though it extends into that of Week St. Mary, belonged to the Rolles of Heanton." [2]

Early History of the Rowles family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rowles research. Another 213 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1792, 1568, 1736, 1633, 1589, 1656, 1647, 1671, 1669, 1735, 1705, 1708, 1630, 1686, 1656, 1664, 1665, 1672, 1673, 1622, 1660, 1654 and 1660 are included under the topic Early Rowles History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Rowles Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Rolls, Rowles, Rolston, Rolleston, Rollesby, Rolles, Rholes and many more.

Early Notables of the Rowles family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Robert Rolle (d. 1633) of Heanton Satchville, Devon; and his son, Henry Rolle (1589-1656), an English judge and Chief Justice of the King’s Bench; Sir Samuel Rolle (d. 1647); and his son, Dennis Rolle (d. 1671) of Great Torrington, a lawyer of the Inner Temple; and his son, Samuel Rolle (1669-1735) of Hudscott Manor...
Another 62 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rowles Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Rowles migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Rowles or a variant listed above were:

Rowles Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Richard Rowles, who settled in Virginia in 1622 with his wife and child
  • John Rowles, who landed in Virginia in 1622 [3]
  • Richard Rowles, who landed in Virginia in 1622 [3]
  • Henrie Rowles, aged 22, who arrived in St Christopher in 1635 [3]
  • Georg Rowles, who landed in Virginia in 1637 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Rowles migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Rowles Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Elisa Rowles, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750

Australia Rowles migration to Australia +

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

Rowles Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss. Emma Rowles, English convict who was convicted in Monmouth, Monmouthshire, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Baretto Junior" on 5th April 1850, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [4]
  • Robert Rowles, aged 20, a farm labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Sultana" [5]
  • Joseph Rowles, aged 26, a farm labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Sultana" [5]

New Zealand Rowles 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:

Rowles Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Rowles, aged 22, a labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cartvale" in 1874
  • Mr. James Rowles, (b. 1847), aged 27, British settler travelling from England aboard the ship "Varuna" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 27th May 1874 [6]
  • Mrs. Ruth Rowles, (b. 1852), aged 22, British settler travelling from England aboard the ship "Varuna" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 27th May 1874 [6]
  • Miss Amy Rowles, (b. 1873), aged 7 months, British settler travelling from England aboard the ship "Varuna" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 27th May 1874 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Rowles (post 1700) +

  • Jimmy Rowles (1918-1996), American jazz pianist
  • Richard Rowles (b. 1973), Australian former light middleweight boxer
  • John Rowles OBE (b. 1947), New Zealand singer


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. 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. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/baretto-junior
  5. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SULTANA 1852. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/sultana1852.shtml
  6. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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