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.

Rowles Ranking

In the United States, the name Rowles is the 8,249th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [3]


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 [4]
  • Richard Rowles, who landed in Virginia in 1622 [4]
  • Georg Rowles, who landed in Virginia in 1637 [4]
  • Christopher Rowles, who arrived in Maryland in 1649 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Rowles Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mr. Edward Rowles, (b. 1879), aged 25, Cornish engineer travelling aboard the ship "St Paul" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 8th May 1904 en route to Hancock, Michigan, USA [5]
  • Mr. John Rowles, (b. 1867), aged 37, Cornish miner, from St Agnes, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "St Paul" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 24th September 1904 en route to Hancock, Michigan, USA [5]

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
  • Mr. Joseph Rowles who was convicted in Buckingham, England for life, transported aboard the "David Malcolm" on 13th May 1845, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) and Norfolk Island [6]
  • Robert Rowles, aged 20, a farm labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Sultana" [7]
  • Joseph Rowles, aged 26, a farm labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Sultana" [7]

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 [8]
  • 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 [8]
  • 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 [8]

West Indies Rowles migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [9]
Rowles Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Henrie Rowles, aged 22, who arrived in St Christopher in 1635 [4]

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. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 21st June 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/david-malcolm
  7. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SULTANA 1852. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/sultana1852.shtml
  8. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  9. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies


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