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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, Irish


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The surname Rowley was first found in Cheshire where the family claim to be of Saxon blood but the earliest record of the name was in the time of Edward II., when Randolph de Rowley was seated at Carmichan. [1] There are also parishes named Rowley in Yorkshire and Staffordshire. The Assize Rolls of Yorkshire list Adam de Ruelay in 1219 [2] and the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list Adam de Roulay in Yorkshire. There was a significant branch in Somerset as seen by Gervase Rolegh and John Roley who were listed there during the reign of Edward I. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls lists Johannes de Rouley in 1379. [3]

Spelling variations of this family name include: Rowley, Rowly and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rowley research. Another 149 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1513, 1571, 1547, 1559, 1560, 1690, 1768, 1585, 1626 and are included under the topic Early Rowley History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 137 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rowley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Rowley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 119 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Rowley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Henry Rowley, who landed in New England in 1634
  • Christopher Rowley, who landed in Maryland in 1656
  • Jno Rowley, who arrived in Virginia in 1665
  • Joseph and John Rowley settled in Barbados in 1686

Rowley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • George Rowley, who arrived in America in 1801
  • Ann Rowley, aged 30, arrived in Massachusetts in 1812
  • Thomas Rowley, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1833
  • Nelson B Rowley, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • David, George, Henry, Samuel, Thomas, and William Rowley all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1870

Rowley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • James Rowley, English convict from Surrey, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on July 3, 1822, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • John Rowley arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Morley" in 1840
  • Charlotte Rowley arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Morley" in 1840
  • George Tattle Rowley arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Morley" in 1840
  • Eliza Rowley arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Morley" in 1840


Rowley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • John Rowley arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Gertrude" in 1863
  • Timothy Rowley, aged 31, a labourer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Maori" in 1864
  • Catherine Rowley, aged 27, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Maori" in 1864
  • John Thomas Rowley, aged 1, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Maori" in 1864
  • John C. Rowley, aged 27, a plumber, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Wild Duck" in 1873


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  • Jeremy Rowley, American character actor and comedian
  • Christopher Rowley (b. 1948), American Compton Crook Award winning writer of science fiction and fantasy
  • Janet Davison Rowley (1925-2013), American human geneticist, the first scientist to identify a chromosomal translocation as the cause of leukemia, awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009
  • Cynthia Rowley (b. 1958), American fashion designer
  • James Jose Rowley (1908-1992), American administrator, director of the U.S. Secret Service (1961-1973)
  • William Spencer "Bill" Rowley (1865-1939), English football goalkeeper
  • Beth Rowley (b. 1981), English singer-songwriter
  • Geoffrey Joseph Rowley Jr. (b. 1976), English professional skateboarder, co-owner of Flip Skateboards
  • Paul Rowley (b. 1975), English retired rugby league footballer
  • Hugh Campbell Rowley (1854-1882), English rugby union international who represented England from 1879 to 1882

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  • The Shepard Genealogy by Lowell Shepard Blaisdell.
  • One Branch of the Tree: Rowley 1630-1986 by Ralph Duane Rowley.
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  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)

Other References

  1. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  2. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  3. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  4. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  5. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  6. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  7. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  8. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  9. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  10. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  11. ...

The Rowley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Rowley 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 20 May 2016 at 03:55.

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