Vowell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Vowell is a name whose ancestors lived among the Picts, a tribe in ancient Scotland. The Vowell family lived in the place called Foulzie in the parish of King Edward in the county of Aberdeen. The surname Vowell belongs to the category of habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

Early Origins of the Vowell family

The surname Vowell was first found in Aberdeenshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Obar Dheathain), a historic county, and present day Council Area of Aberdeen at Foulzie. James Fowlie was listed in Bartholl Chapell in 1741. [1] Further to the south in Greenhow in the North Riding of Yorkshire, the Foulis family gained a family seat during the reign of James I. Originally held by the D'Arcys, that family had lost the lands during the reign of Henry VIII when it was reverted to the crown. [2]

Nearby, in Ingleby-Greenhow, the family of Foulis bought the lands from the Eures. From this branch , Henry Foulis, the historian and divine, was born at Ingleby manor-house in the middle of the 17th century. "The parish is now almost exclusively the property of Sir William Foulis, Bart., who is lord of the manor. Ingleby manor-house, the seat of Sir William Foulis, is a stately mansion of stone, finely situated on an eminence; it contains some oak carvings, and an ancient portrait of Queen Elizabeth." [2]

Early History of the Vowell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Vowell research. Another 202 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1198, 1248, 1295, 1305, 1422, 1429, 1469, 1486, 1552, 1688, 1645, 1711, 1638, 1669, 1634, 1626, 1629, 1800 and 1654 are included under the topic Early Vowell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Vowell Spelling Variations

The appearance of the printing press and the first dictionaries in the last few hundred years did much to standardize spelling. Prior to that time scribes spelled according to sound, a practice that resulted in many spelling variations. Vowell has been spelled Fowlie, Fowley, Fowlis, Foulis and others.

Early Notables of the Vowell family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan at this time was Sir James Foulis, Lord Colinton (d. 1688), a Scottish judge; and his eldest son, James Foulis, Lord Reidfurd (1645?-1711), a Scottish judge; Henry Foulis (1638-1669), an English academic theologian and controversial author; Sir Alexander Foulis, made a Baronet June 7th 1634; Sir David Foulis, 1st Baronet Foulis was Custos Rotulorum (keeper of...
Another 59 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Vowell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Vowell Ranking

In the United States, the name Vowell is the 9,489th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [3]

Ireland Migration of the Vowell family to Ireland

Some of the Vowell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Vowell migration to the United States +

The expense of the crossing to the North American colonies seemed small beside the difficulties of remaining in Scotland. It was a long and hard trip, but at its end lay the reward of freedom. Some Scots remained faithful to England and called themselves United Empire Loyalists, while others fought in the American War of Independence. Much of this lost Scottish heritage has been recovered in the last century through Clan societies and other patriotic Scottish organizations. A search of immigration and passenger lists revealed many important, early immigrants to North America bearing the name of Vowell:

Vowell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Vowell, who landed in Maryland in 1674 [4]

Australia Vowell migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Vowell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Charles Vowell, aged 42, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Caroline" [5]
  • Sarah Vowell, aged 17, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Caroline" [5]

New Zealand Vowell migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Vowell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Vowell, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Trevelyan" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 28th March 1874 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Vowell (post 1700) +

  • Sarah Jane Vowell (b. 1969), American historian, author, journalist, essayist, social commentator and actress from Muskogee, Oklahoma, best known for her voice work as Violet Parr on The Incredibles series
  • Jack Vowell (1927-2006), American politician, businessman, and academic
  • Arthur Stewart Vowell, Canadian surveyor in British Columbia in 1898, eponym of the Vowell Commission and Glen Vowell, an Indian reserve community
  • Arthur Wellesley Vowell (1841-1918), Irish-born, Canadian politician who represented Kootenay in the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia from 1875 to 1876

Fraterville mine
  • Mr. Jacob L. Vowell, American coal miner at Fraterville mine in Tennessee, on the 19th May 1902 when an explosion collapsed the mine; he died [7]
  • Mr. Elbert Vowell, American coal miner at Fraterville mine in Tennessee, on the 19th May 1902 when an explosion collapsed the mine; he died [7]
  • Mr. Benjamin. M. Vowell, American coal miner at Fraterville mine in Tennessee, on the 19th May 1902 when an explosion collapsed the mine; he died [7]
  • Mr. George Vowell, American coal miner at Fraterville mine in Tennessee, on the 19th May 1902 when an explosion collapsed the mine; he died [7]
  • Mr. W. H. Vowell, American coal miner at Fraterville mine in Tennessee, on the 19th May 1902 when an explosion collapsed the mine; he died [7]
  • ... (Another 1 entries are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


The Vowell Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Mente manuque praesto
Motto Translation: Ready with heart and hand.


  1. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  4. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  5. ^ South Australian Register Thursday 26th April 1855. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Caroline 1855. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/caroline1855.shtml
  6. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  7. ^ News paper article Fraterville Mine Disaster retrieved on 6th August 2021. (Retrieved from http://www.tn.gov/tsla/exhibits/disasters/fraterville.htm).


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