Sowdeley is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England
with the Norman Conquest
of 1066. The Sowdeley family lived in Gloucestershire
, at Sudely.
Early Origins of the Sowdeley family
The surname Sowdeley was first found in Gloucestershire
where they held a family seat
at Sudely Castle. Conjecturally they are descended from the holder of these estates, Harold FitzRalph, said to be the illegitimate son of King Harold, CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
but counter claims say that he was the son of the Earl of Hereford. He was granted these lands by Duke William of Normandy
after the Conquest of England
in 1066 A.D. The Domesday Book
survey of 1086 A.D., shows Harold as holding 6 mills. The Castle was erected soon after as a defense against the Welsh
intrusions to the west.
Early History of the Sowdeley family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sowdeley research.Another 217 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 114 and 1140 are included under the topic Early Sowdeley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Sowdeley Spelling Variations
Endless spelling variations
are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Sudeley, Sudely, Sudly, Sodely, Soudley, Soudly, Soudely and many more.
Early Notables of the Sowdeley family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Sowdeley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Sowdeley family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the political and religious persecution within England
at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Sowdeley or a variant listed above: John Sudley who settled in Carolina in 1717.