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


Sowards is a name of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from the baptismal name Siward, which was an Old English personal name. Baptismal names began to appear as surnames relatively late in the growth of the naming tradition. This is a little surprising, given the popularity of biblical figures in the Christian countries of Europe. Nevertheless, surnames derived from baptismal names grew in popularity during the Middle Ages, and have become one of the foremost sources for surnames.

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The surname Sowards was first found in Devon where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Sowards have been found, including Seward, Sewerd, Saward and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sowards research. Another 169 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1053, 1641, 1658, 1701, 1657 and 1715 are included under the topic Early Sowards History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Another 46 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sowards Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Some of the Sowards family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 81 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Among the first immigrants of the name Sowards, or a variant listed above to cross the Atlantic and come to North America were : John Seward settled in Virginia in 1622; James Seward settled in Virginia in1655; Martin Seward arrived in Barbados in 1690; William Seward settled in Barbados in 1654 and later moved to the mainland..

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  • Robert Sowards (b. 1968), American professional golfer with nine professional wins
  • Robert Sowards (b. 1968), American professional PGA golfer
  • Jack B. Sowards (1929-2007), American Hugo Award nominated screenwriter, best known for writing the story and screenplay for the 1982 movie Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
  • James R. Sowards (1892-1980), American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Kentucky, 1948
  • George C. Sowards, American Democrat politician, Postmaster at Hurricane, West Virginia, 1935-53
  • A. H. Sowards, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Kentucky, 1888
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Citations



    Other References

    1. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    2. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
    3. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
    4. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
    5. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
    6. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    7. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
    8. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
    9. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
    10. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
    11. ...

    The Sowards Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Sowards 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 15 January 2016 at 10:58.

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