Sowdley is one of the many new names that came to England
following the Norman Conquest
of 1066. The Sowdley family lived in Gloucestershire
, at Sudely.
Early Origins of the Sowdley family
The surname Sowdley 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 Sowdley family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sowdley research.Another 217 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 114 and 1140 are included under the topic Early Sowdley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Sowdley Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations
. When the Normans
became the ruling people of England
in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Sudeley, Sudely, Sudly, Sodely, Soudley, Soudly, Soudely and many more.
Early Notables of the Sowdley family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Sowdley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Sowdley family to the New World and Oceana
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England
. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Sowdley or a variant listed above were: John Sudley who settled in Carolina in 1717.