Sowdely is one of the thousands of new names that the Norman Conquest
brought to England
in 1066. The Sowdely family lived in Gloucestershire
, at Sudely.
Early Origins of the Sowdely family
The surname Sowdely 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 Sowdely family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sowdely research.Another 217 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 114 and 1140 are included under the topic Early Sowdely History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Sowdely Spelling Variations
Multitudes of spelling variations
are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans
introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Sudeley, Sudely, Sudly, Sodely, Soudley, Soudly, Soudely and many more.
Early Notables of the Sowdely family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Sowdely Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Sowdely family to the New World and Oceana
Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland
, North America, and Australia
in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England
. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Sowdely or a variant listed above: John Sudley who settled in Carolina in 1717.