England in the enormous movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Sowdly family lived in Gloucestershire, at Sudely.
Early Origins of the Sowdly family
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 Sowdly family
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Sowdly Spelling Variations
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 Sowdly family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Sowdly 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 Sowdly or a variant listed above: John Sudley who settled in Carolina in 1717.
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