Rowson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Rowson family first reached the shores of England in the wave of migration after the Norman Conquest of 1066. Their name is derived from the Norman given name Ralph. This name, which also occurs as Ralf, Rolf, and Raoul, is adapted from the Old French given name Raol.

Early Origins of the Rowson family

The surname Rowson was first found in Yorkshire 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 Rowson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rowson research. Another 101 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1470, 1547, 1478, 1483, 1476, 1517, 1543, 1615, 1693, 1616, 1656, 1692 and 1849 are included under the topic Early Rowson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Rowson Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Rawson, Rawsone and others.

Early Notables of the Rowson family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Rawson, Viscount Clontarff (c. 1470-1547.) He was descended from an ancient family seated at Water Fryston in Yorkshire; his father, Richard Rawson, was from 1478 to 1483, senior warden of the Mercers' Company, and in 1476 served as alderman in London, subsequently becoming sheriff. In 1517 Rawson was made Treasurer of Ireland. A brother Richard (died 1543) was chaplain to Henry VIII and archdeacon of Essex. Edward Rawson (1615-1693), was an English settler to America from Dorset...
Another 85 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rowson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Rowson family to Ireland

Some of the Rowson 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.


United States Rowson migration to the United States +

Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Rowson or a variant listed above:

Rowson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Robert Rowson, aged 26, who landed in Virginia in 1813 [1]

Canada Rowson migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Rowson Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mary Rowson, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750

Australia Rowson migration to Australia +

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

Rowson Settlers in Australia in the 18th Century

Contemporary Notables of the name Rowson (post 1700) +

  • Susanna Rowson (1762-1824), née Haswell, English-born, American writer, poet and playwright, best known as the author of the novel Charlotte Temple in 1791, the most popular best-seller in American literature at the time
  • James Rowson (b. 1976), American former Minor League Baseball player and current hitting coach for the Minnesota Twins
  • Martin Rowson (b. 1959), English cartoonist and writer whose cartoons appear frequently in The Guardian and the Daily Mirror
  • Leslie Rowson (1903-1977), English cinematographer who collaborated on several films with the director Michael Powell
  • Guy Rowson (1883-1937), English politician, Member of Parliament for Farnworth (1929-1931) and (1935-1937) Parliamentary Private Secretary to Clement Attlee
  • Jonathan Rowson (b. 1977), Scottish chess grandmaster and writer
  • David Rowson (b. 1976), Scottish former footballer who played for the Scotland U21 Team (1996-1997)


The Rowson 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: Laus virtutis actio
Motto Translation: The Praise of Virtue is Action


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 29th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/barwell


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