Rowsell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Rowsell reached England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Rowsell family lived in Dorset. Their name, however, is a reference to Roussel, Normandy, the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.

Early Origins of the Rowsell family

The surname Rowsell was first found in Dorset 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.

Early History of the Rowsell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rowsell research. Another 112 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1012, 1486, 1550, 1555, 1613, and 1700 are included under the topic Early Rowsell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Rowsell Spelling Variations

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 Rowsell, Rowsel, Russell and others.

Early Notables of the Rowsell family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir John Russell, (c.1486-1555), lord high steward and lord keeper of the privy seal under Henry VIII and Edward VI, created 1st...
Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rowsell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Rowsell Ranking

In Newfoundland, Canada, the name Rowsell is the 113rd most popular surname with an estimated 307 people with that name. [1]

Ireland Migration of the Rowsell family to Ireland

Some of the Rowsell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Australia Rowsell migration to Australia +

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

Rowsell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Henry Rowsell, (b. 1774), aged 48, English Farm Labourer who was convicted in Somerset, England for life for theft, transported aboard the "Caledonia" in 19th June 1822, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [2]
  • William Rowsell, a carpenter, who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • George Rowsell, aged 19, a farm servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Sultana" [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Rowsell (post 1700) +

  • Peter "Spud" Rowsell, English yachtsman and boatbuilder based in Exmouth, Devon, England
  • Joanna Katie Rowsell Shand MBE (b. 1988), British twelve-time gold medalist cyclist and Olympic gold medalist
  • Harry Cecil Rowsell OC (1921-2006), Canadian veterinarian, pathologist, animal welfare advocate and humanist
  • Edmund Lionel Penning Rowsell (1913-2002), British journalist
  • Erick Rowsell (b. 1990), British road racing cyclist

HMS Hood
  • Mr. Leslie D Rowsell (b. 1924), English Boy 1st Class serving for the Royal Navy from Bridport, Dorsertshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the HMS Hood sinking [4]
  • Mr. Graham H Rowsell (b. 1914), English Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Portsmouth, Hampshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the HMS Hood sinking [4]


The Rowsell 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: Che sara sara
Motto Translation: What will be will be.


  1. ^ The order of Common Surnames in 1955 in Newfoundland retrieved on 20th October 2021 (retrieved from Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland by E.R. Seary corrected edition ISBN 0-7735-1782-0)
  2. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 30th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/caledonia
  3. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SULTANA 1852. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/sultana1852.shtml
  4. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm


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