Fowler Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History


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Fowler Surname Name Meaning, Origin, History, & Etymology

medieval fowler
medieval fowler

This is an occupational last name referring to a person who was a bird catcher or hunter, or gamekeeper, a sportsman who pursued wild fowl, often killing the birds with a bird bolt, net, or fowling piece.This was a common and important job during medieval times and the Middles Ages throughout Europe, Christendom, and the Holy Roman Empire, including the British Isles. The name derives from the Old English word fugelere and the Middle English word foulere, meaning hunter of wild birds, words that ultimately derive from the Anglo-Saxon word fugol (bird). The earliest known bearer of this surname, and the progenitor or ancestor of this family was Richard le Fowler, born between 1025 and 1085 AD, who was a Norman Knight who came to England with William the Conqueror in 1066 AD during the Norman Invasion.

Spelling Variations
Some spelling variants or names with similar etymologies include Fouler, Foulier, Foulare, Fowlare, Foweller, Foular, Folar, Foweler, Fouwler, Fowller, Fowleer, Ffowler, Fowloer, Faowler, Foghler, Foeglere, Foggheler, and others.

Popularity & Geographic Distribution
The last name Fowler ranks 264th in popularity in the United Status as of the 2000 Census. The name ranks particularly high in the following seven states: South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama,  Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Alaska.

The surname Fowler frequency/commonness ranks as follows in the British Isles: England (298th), Scotland (483rd), Wales (245th), Ireland (1,524th) and Northern Ireland (1,341st). In England, it ranks highest in counties Rutland and Lincolnshire. In Scotland, the surname ranks highest in Ross and Cromarty. In Wales, it ranks highest in county Brecknockshire. In Ireland, it ranks highest in county Wexford. In Northern Ireland, it ranks highest in Tyrone.

The name is also present throughout the remainder English speaking world:  Canada (499th), New Zealand (266th), Australia (337th), and South Africa (1,367th).

The 1890 book Homes of Family Names by H.B. Guppy, states the following in regard to this surname: This name is irregularly distributed in most parts of England. It is, however, best represented in the counties of Gloucester and Dorset, and is scattered over the midlands, being rare or absent in the south – east quarter of England as defined by a line drawn from the Wash to the Solent”.

Early Bearers of the Surname
One source claims earliest known bearer of this surname was Richard Fugelere who was documented in the Assize Court Rolls of Lancashire in 1218 AD (although several earlier bearers are discussed in the Fowler pedigree section lower down on this page). The Hundred Rolls of 1273 AD, a census of Wales and England, known in Latin as Rotuli Hundredorum lists one bearer of this surname: John the Foeglere in county Wiltshire. Kirby’s Quest records two bearers in county Somerset, England in 1327 AD: William le Foggheler and Henry le Fogheler. The Poll Tax of Yorkshire in 1379 AD lists two bearers of this last name: Ricardus Foghler and Rogerus Foghler. The name was also present in various forms in Scotland since medieval times and the Middle Ages. In Latin, the name was spelled Oiselarius. In Scotland, around 1200 AD, Dauid oiselarius witnessed a charter by William Wascelyn of the lands of Newetyl to the monks of Lundors. A one Nicholas dictus Fuler had a charter of lands of Whitsone circa 1315 AD. John Fouler was on an inquest taken at Berwick-on-Tweed in 1270 AD. Gilbert Fouler was sheriff of Edinburgh in 1358 AD. Andrew Fowlar was admitted burgess of Aberdeen in 1451 AD. John Folar was tenant under the Bishop of Glasgow1513 AD. Robert Fouler, portioner of Meikle Allann, took the Test in Ross-shire, 1685 AD.

Fowler Family Tree & Fowler Genealogy
The following is a discussion of six different noble, royal, landed, or aristocratic families bearing this last name.

Fowler of Preston Hall

preston hall
preston hall

This family has long been seated (held land and titles) in Herrington, county Durham, England. Ralph Robinson, a gentleman of Herrington, grandson of Barnard (who in turn was the great-great-grandson of William Robinson of Hayning who lived in 1502 AD), in 1690 AD, married Mary, daughter and co-heiress of Christopher Hutton of Newcastle-on Tyne and Catherine Bowes, and had several children, including Christopher Robinson. This Christopher married Elizabeth Kempe and they had an only son named Marshall. This Marshall Robinson was an Esquire of Herrington, and or Ormesby, county York, England, who married his cousin, Sarah, daughter and co-heiress of James Appleton of Yarm, and had six issue with her as follows: Ralph (succeeded his father at Herrington and Ormesby, had daughter named Anne), Marshall, Reverend Christopher (married Agnes Wallis or Carham, had issue), James (Postmaster of Sunderland, married Arabella Walker of Northallerton), Elizabeth (married Reverend Luke Yarker of Leyburn), and Mary (married Reverend John Gilby, Rector of Barnston). His son Marshall Robinson, Esq., in 1785, married Sarah, daughter of George Hickes, of Yarm, and had two sons with her: David (married Isabella Fawell, had son named David Burton) and Marshall. The younger son, Marshall Fowler, was an Esquire of Preston Hall who was born in 1789. He was a Justice of the Peace and Deputy Lieutenant for North Riding of York. In 1824, he married Mary Frances, eldest daughter of Henry Stapylton of Norton, and had the following issue with her: David, Robinson (Barrister-at-Law of the Inner Temple, Stipendiary Magistrate at Manchester, Justice of the Peace for Durham and Lancashire, married Olivia Staplyton Sutton and later Anne Agnes Erskine), Henry (born 1830, officer in the 43rd Regiment), and Marshall (heir). He died in 1878 and was succeeded by his son Marshall. This Marshall Fowler was an Esquire of Preston Hall, county Durham, England, who was a Justice of the Peace born in 1834. The Fowler Coat of Arms (mistakenly called the Fowler Family Crest by those unfamiliar with heraldry) is blazoned as follows: Vert, a chevron between two cinquefoils pierced in chief, and a stag trippant in base or. Crest: A stag trippant or. They were seated at Preston Hall, Stockon-on-Tees, county Durham, England, in modern day United Kingdom or Great Britain.

Fowler of Pendeford

Pendeford Hall
pendeford hall

This branch of the Fowler family tree begins with Roger Fowler, of Broomhill, Norfolk, England, who descended from an ancient Buckinghamshire family. He married the sister and co-heir of Right Reverend Rowland Lee, Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, and had five sons with her: Rowland (of Bromhill), Bryan (seated at St. Thomas’s in Stafford), William (seated at Harnage Grange in Salop, progenitor of the Fowlers of Harnage Grange), James, and Thomas. Roger served in the Scotch Wars and he died during the reign of King Henry VIII of England (1509-1547). His son James, inherited from his uncle, the manor of Pendeford, which along with other lands, had been conferred upon the Prelate at the dissolution of the monasteries. Four generations down from him came Charles Fowler, Esquire of Pendeford, son of Walter and Elizabeth, daughter of S. Hunton (a descendant of Anne Plantagenet). Charles lived in 1694 and married Sarah, daughter and heir of Robert Leveson, Governor of Dudley Castle, and had had three sons and one daughter with her. He was succeeded by his eldest son Richard. This Richard Fowler was an Esq. of Pendeford, who married Dorothy, daughter and heir of Humphrey Whadwock of Corley, and had two sons with him, as well as two daughters named Sarah (married John Lane) and Elizabeth (married William Ingle). He was succeeded by his nephew, Thomas. Thomas, Esq. of Pendeford, son of Thomas Fowler and Barbara Newton, married Miss Leversage, and had four issue with her as follows: Thomas (heir), Barbara (married Thomas Lane of The Grange, Essex), Mary (married her cousin, Richard Inge of Shrewsbury), and Diana (married Reverend Mr. Walker). He died in 1796 and was succeeded by his son Thomas. This Thomas Leversage Fowler, Esquire of Pendeford, married his cousin, Harriet Fowler, and had three sons and three daughters with her: Thomas, Richard (assumed the surname of Butler on succeeding to the estate of Barton in county Stafford), William (of Birmingham, had issue), Elizabeth (married Samuel Gerrard Tayllho), Sarah, and Mary. He died in 1815 and was succeeded by his eldest son, Thomas. This Thomas died without issue in 1851 and was succeeded by his brother Richard. This Richard Fowler Butler, Esq. of Pendeford Hall and Barton Hall, was a Deputy Lieutenant and Justice of the Peace, who in 1819, first married Elizabeth Anne, daughter of William Wynne, and later in 1837, Eliza, daughter of R. Faux of Cliff House, and thirdly, Agnes, daughter of John Peel of Burton. He had issue with all three wives as follows: Richard Owen Wynne, Eleanor Harriet (married Henry Head Burgoyne), Sarah Catherine, Mary, Robert Henry, and two others sons who died in their infancy. He assumed the additional surname of Butler, becoming Richard Fowler Butler, on succeeding to the Barton Hall Estate. He was in the army and served in the Peninsula War and served at the Battle of Waterloo. He died in 1864 and was succeeded by his eldest son, Richard Owne Wynne Fowler-Butler. This son in turn died in 1865, and was succeeded by his half brother Robert. Robert Henry Fowler-Butler was an Esquire of Pendeford Hall and Barton Hall, county Stafford, England who was also a Captain in the 7th Fusiliers. He was born in May of 1838, and in 1864, he married Agnes de Courcy, only daughter of the late Reverend J. de Courcy O’Grady, of Knockany, county Limerick, and had issue with her, including a son named Richard, born in 1845. The Fowler Coat of Arms (erroneously called the Fowler Family Crest by some) is blazoned in heraldry as follows: Quarterly, 1st and 4th, sable, on a pile or, three covered cups of the field within a border of the second, for Butler: 2nd and 3rd, azure, on a chevron engrailed argent between three lions passant guardant or, as many crosses formee sable, for Fowler, &c. Crests: 1st: A covered cup or, surmounting two palm branches in saltire very, between two wings quarterly, gold and sable, for Butler; 2nd: A  cubit arm habited azure holding in the hand proper, a lure vert feathered argent, lined or, twisted round the arm, for Fowler. Mottoes: Vigilante for Fowler and Depressus extollor for Butler. This family was seated at Pendeford Hall, Wolverhampton and Barton Hall, Burton-on-Trent, Stafford, both in England.

Fowler of Braemore
The Fowler genealogy or ancestry traces back to an old family of yeoman descend, which has been of good repute in the parish of Ecclesfield, county York, England, since 1617 AD, when they first settled there. John Fowler, Esquire of Wincobank, was born in 1774. In 1773, he married Hannah, daughter of John Webster, and he had a son with her named John. This son John was an Esquire of Wadsley Hall. He married Elizabeth, daughter of William Swann of Dyke’s Hall, and had with her issue as follows: John, William (of Whittington, married Juliet Anne Adam, had issue named Harry Aldam, Reginald William, Juliet Helen, Edith Katherine, and Hebe Constance), Henry, Charles (married Fanny Creswick of Sheffield, had son named Charles Nathaniel), Robert (married Helen Mary Eddison of London, had children named John Eddison, Archibald Robert, Thomas, Ethel Mary, William Edward Eddison, Ernest Clive, and Harry Betram), Frederick (of Sheffield, married Phoebe Arabella Pearson of Sheffield, had issue named Mabel Frances, Ida Maud, Hilda Mary, and Winifred Lee), Elizabeth (married John Whitton), Annie, and Mary (married Henry Tuke Holmes). His son John Fowler was an Esquire of Braemore, county Ross, as well as a Justice of the Peace and Deputy Lieutenant, born in July of 1817. In 1850, he married Elizabeth, daughter of George Broadbent of Manchester, and had four children with her as follows: John Arthur (married Alice Janet Clive Bayley), Percival, Montague, and Evelyn. The Fowler Coat of Arms has the following heraldic blazon or armorial (sometimes erroneously called the Fowler Family Shield): Quarterly, azure and sable, three crosses pattee between two chevronels or, in chief two lions passant guardant of the last, and in base an owl argent. Crest: An owl argent collared and charged on the breast with a cross pattee gules wreathed about the head with ivy vert and resting his dexter claw on a cross pattee or. Motto: Sapiens qui vigilat. They were seated at Braemore, Lock Broom, county Ross, as well as Thornwood Lodge, Campden Hill, Kensington.

Fowler of Gunton Hall
The Fowler genealogy begins with Thomas Fowler, Esquire of Gunton, son of Thomas and Anne, who married Mary Soame, daughter of Robert Cook of Aylsham, and had issue including John Ives Cook, Thomas Cook, Mary Anne, Jane, Robert Cook, Frederick (married Helen Rackham of Aylsham, had issue named Herbert, Alfred, and Helen), Charlotte (married Henry Mussenden Leathes of Heringfleet Hall, had issue named Hill Musende, Carteret, Henrietta, and Jane), Maria (married Comte des Augins of Montmorency), and Catherine (married Barnes Caldecott of Ormesby, had issue named George, Jane, and Helen). His son Robert Cook Fowler was an Esquire of Gunton Hall, Suffolk, England and was a Justice of the Peace and Captain of the H.E.I.C.S was born in 1800, and in 1837, married Georgiana, daughter of George Gooch of Broadstairs, Kent, with his wife Amelia, daughter of John Kerrich, and had five children with her as follows: George Gooch, Ernest William (married James Duncan Thomson of Sunny Bank), Georgiana Emily Sarah, Emily Alice, and Adeline Maude.  The Fowler Coat of Arms (mistakenly called the Fowler Family Crest by some) is blazoned in the European art of heraldry as follows: Azure, on a chevron between three lions passant guardant or, as many crosses formee sable. Crest: A cubit arms habited azure grasping in the hand a lure vert feathered argent and lined or, twisted round the arm. They were seated at Gunton Hall, Lowestoft, Suffolk, England, in modern day United Kingdom or Great Britain.

Fowler of Walliscote House
The Fowler genealogy of this branch of the family tree begins with Reverend Robert Fowler, Rector of Warboys, who in 1776, married Levine, daughter and co-heir of Colonel Merrick of the Grenadier Guards, and died in 1822, leaving a son also named Robert.

Battle of Pulo Aura
Battle of Pulo Aura, where Robert M. Fowler fought

This son was Vice-Admiral Robert Merrick Fowler. In 1813, he married Caroline Matilda, daughter of James Dashwood of Valla Wood of Wycombe and Kirklington, and fathered the following children with her: Robert Dashwood, Reverend Charles Augustus (Rector of St Margaret’s, married Emily Milman, had eleven children), George Campbell (Captain in the Royal Navy, married Catherine N. Pocock and had 13 children), Cranborne Strode (of Oriel College, drowned on the Thames in 1841), and Sarah Levine (married J. Parkinson of Kinersley Castle in county Hereford). He died in 1860. His son Robert Dashwood Fowler was an Esquire of Walliscote House, county Oxford, England who was also a Justice of the Peace and Post Captain of the Royal Navy. He was born in 1814, and in 1855, he married Marion Helen, daughter of General Sir James Sutherland, and had a daughter with her named Helen Alice Levine. The Fowler Arms (mistakenly called the Fowler Family Shield by those unfamiliar with heraldry and armorial bearings) has the following blazon: Fowler and Merrick, quarterly. Crest: An owl (???) rising from a ducal coronet, wings expanded proper. The family seat was at Walliscote House, near Reading, in England, in modern day United Kingdom or Great Britain.

Fowler of Rahinston


This branch of the Fowler family tree begins with Robert Fowler, D.D., son of George of Skendleby Thorpe and Mary Hurst, who was educated at Westminster School and Trinity College at Cambridge, and was a Chaplain to King George II. In 1771, he became the Bishop of Killary (???) and Kilfenora, Ireland. He was sworn to the Privy Council and became a member of the Order of St. Patrick, and also became its first Chancellor in 1783. He married Mildred, eldest daughter of William Dealtry of Gainsborough, and had the following issue with her: Robert, Mildred (married Edmund Butler, Earl of Kilkenny), and Frances (married Honorable Reverend Richard Bourke). His son, Right Reverend Robert Fowler, was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church Oxford who was appointed Dean of St. Patrick’s and became Archdeacon of Dublin and later Bishop of Ossory and Ferns. In 1796, he married Louisa Gardiner, eldest daughter of Luke, Viscount Mountjoy, and had two sons with her: Robert and Luke (of Wellbrook, Reverend who was Rector of Aghour and Kilkenny, married Elizabeth Wynne of Hazlewood, had issue named Colonel Charles John, Arthur Robert, Edward Willoughby, and Louisa Frances Florence). His eldest son, Robert, was an Esq. of Rahinston and Rathmolyon, born in 1797. He was a Justice of the Peace and Deputy Lieutenant. In 1820, he married Anne, daughter of John Crichton, and had two sons and two daughters with her: Robert, John Richard (married Elizabeth Law of Kilbarrack House),  Jane Margaret (married Gartside Tipping of Crumsal Hall, had children named Henry Thomas, Robert Francis, Walter, Louisa Jane Letita, Ann Selina, Mildred Harriet, and Alice), and Louisa Catherine (married James Henry Sclater of Newick Park, had issue named James Robert Charles, Francis Saunderson, Henry, Arthur William Bassett, John Edward, Cecil Jane, Catherine, and Jane). He secondly married Lady Harriet Eleanor (??)desforde(??)-Butler, daughter of James, and had the following children with her: James Haddington, Grace Louisa, Harriet Selina, Jane Mildred (married James Edward Bateman of Dashwood), Mary, and Emily. He died in 1868. His son Robert Fowler was born in March of 1824. He was an Esquire of Rahinston and Rathmolyon, county Meath, Ireland, as well as a Justice of the Peace and Deputy Lieutenant. In 1856, he married Letita Mabel, daughter of Henry Barry Coddington of Oldridge, and had seven issue with her: Robert Henry (born 1857), John Sharman (born 1864), George Hurst, Francis Fitzherbert, Louisa Marian, Florence Mary, and Eleanor Katherine. The Fowler Coat of Arms has the following heraldic blazon: Azure, on a chevron argent between three lions passant guardant or, as many crosses formee or. Motto: Esto pernox. They were seated at Rahinston House, Enfield, county Meath, Ireland.

Other Fowler Pedigree & Family Trees
The ancestor or progenitor of this family was Richard le Fowler, born between 1025 and 1085 AD, who was a Norman Knight who came to England with William the Conqueror in 1066 AD. His son was Henry le Fowler, born in England around 1090 AD. Henry in turn had a son that was Sir Richard le Fowler I who was born in 1130 AD in Foxley, Buckinghamshire, England. He accompanied Richard the Lionheart to the Holy Land during the Crusades. He married a daughter of the DeBussel family and had two sons with her: Richard Boteler and Richard Fowler II. The later, known as Sir Richard Fowler II, “The Foolish”, was born in Foxley, England in 1150 AD. He had two sons: Richard III and John. His son John Fowler was born in Foxley, Buckinghamshire, England in 1210 AD. He had a son named Reginaldus who was born in Shryvenham, Berkshire in 149 AD. He had two issue: Johannes and Elizabeth.  His son Johannes was born prior to 1269 AD in Shrivenham, Berkshire, England. He had a son named John. This John Fowler was born in 1294 in Berkshire, England. He married Isabel Foxley, and had a son with her. This son was John Fowler Sr. who was born in Shryvenham in 1320 AD. He married Miss de Hartleigh and had a son with her named John Jr. who was born in Sherborne, Oxfordshire around 1340 AD. He married Margaret Loveday and had sons with her named Henry and John. His son Henry Fowler was born in Foxley, Buckinghamshire, England prior to 1380 AD, and married Isabel Barton. They had a son together named William. This Sir William Fowler was born in Foxley around 1400 AD. He married Cecil Englefield and had the following issue with her: Thomas, Cecily (Rocks), Richard, Walter, Sybil, Henry, Alice, Jane, and William. His son William was born in Rycote in 1450 AD. He married Margaret Colwick and had a son with her named Roger. This Sir Roger Fowler was born prior to 1470 AD in Foxley, Bisley, Wiltshire, and married Johanna Harman in 1520. They had the following children together: Katherine, Thomas, Henry, Alice, and Elizabeth (Stedman). His son Thomas was born around 1529 in Bisley, Gloustershire, England and he married Alice Stevens with whom he had two sons: Hamilton and William. His son Hamilton was born in Wiltshire, England around 1545. He married Millicent Agnes Thurgood and had a son with her named Phillip. This Phillip was born in Wiltshire in 1565 AD. He married Anne Browne and had two sons with her: Philip and William. His son Philip Fowler was born around 1591 in Marlborough, England and he went to colonial America, Massachusetts. He married a woman named Mary in 1659 in Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts, and had fathered the following children with her: Margaret (Osborne), Elizabeth Randall, Mary Chandler, Samuel Sr., Esther Collins, Hester, Joseph Phillip, Thomas, and Benjamin. His son Samuel Fowler Sr. was born in Marlborough, England around 1618. He married Margaret Norman and had the following issue with her prior to his 1717 death in Salibury, Essex, Massachusetts: William, Sarah, Mary (Goodwin), and Samuel Jr. His on Samuel Jr. was born in Massachusetts around 1660 and he married Hannah Wathen, with whom he fathered the following children: Samuel, Hannah (Hackett), Susannah (Jones), Jacob, Mary (Chase), Abraham, Thomas, Lydia (Norton), and Judith. His son Jacob was born in Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts in 1690. He lived in South Hampton, New Hampshire, and he married Mary Jones and had two issue with her: Ann (Collins) and Abner. His son Abdner was born in Salisbury, MA in 1719. He married Sarah Flanders and had two children with her: Sarah (Colby) and Abner. His son Abner was born in South Hampton, Rockingham, New Hampshire in 1746. His daughter Sarah (also called Sally) was born in 1742 in the same town and married Ezekiel Colby Sr. in Buffalo, Erie, New York, whim whom she had the following issue prior to her 1817 death in Vermont: Jerusha, Ebenezer, Eunice Blood, Mirian (Davis), Ezekial Jr, Abner, Henry, John, Sally, Nathan, and Abigail.

John Fowler, son of Thomas (discussed above), was born in Amesbury, Massachusetts in 1671, He married Hannah Leavitt and had a son with her named Samuel. This Samuel was born in Massachusetts in 1703. He married Abigail Morgaridge and had a son with her named Lemuel. This Lemuel Fowler was born in Newbury, MA in 1736. He married Mary Boulter and had a daughter with her named Elizabeth, who was born in Newburyport MA in 1768 and married Alexander Campbell, with whom she had a son named William Henry Campbell, born in 1880 and died in 1881.

Early American and New World Settlers
John Fowler, age 24, came to the Barbados aboard the Hopewell in February 1634.
George Fowler, age 22, came to the Virginia aboard the Primrose in July 1635.
Francis Fowler, age 23, came to Virginia as part of the muster of Captain Roger Smith.
William and Margarett Fowler, both 30 years old, came to Elizabeth Cittie, Virginia aboard the Abigall in 1621.
John Fowler, along with William Spence, owned 300 acres of land in Archer’s Hope Virginia in the seventeenth century.
James Fowler was a convicted rebel sent to Barbados in the late seventeenth century aboard the Dorchester Gaole.
Joshua Fowler came to the New World aboard the John & Mary in May 1679.
Christopher Fowler owned one servant and five slaves in the parish of St. Michael’s, Barbados in 1680.

The book Genealogical Guide to the Early Settlers, mentions five bearers of this last name:
1) William Fowler of Milford, 1639, one of the seven pillars at the foundation of the church in that year, was later a representative and lieutenant and an assistant of the colony. He had two sons named William and John and passed away in 1661.
2) Philip Fowler, of Ipswich, a cloth worker by trade, came in 1634 aboard the ship Mary & John, along with Benjamin, Joseph, and Margaret. He was a freeman in 1634. He died at the age of 87 (or perhaps 80) in 1678.  His wife was named Martha and had had with her issue named Thomas (1636), Philip (circa 1646), and Philip (circa 1646).
3) Ambrose Fowler of Windsor, who in 1646, married Joan Alvord, and had issue with her named Abigail (1647), John (1648), Mary (1650), Samuel (1652), Hannah (1654), Elizabeth (1656), and Ambrose (1658). He was a freeman in Connecticut in 16557 and later, in around 1668, moved to Westfield, where he died in 1704.
4) Henry Fowler of Providence, 1655, who swore allegiance in 1666.
5) John Fowler, of Milford, 1639, born in England, who in 1647, married Mary, daughter of George Hubbard and had issue named Abigail (1648), Mary (1650), Abraham (1652), John (1654), Mehitable (1656), and Elizabeth (1658). He was a deacon and representative. He died in 1677.

Other early settlers in colonial America bearing this surname who immigrated in the eighteenth century include Rachel Fowler (Virginia 1701), Toby Fowler (Virginia 1703), Jane Fowler (Virginia 1703), James Fowler (Virginia 1709), and Bartholomew Fowler (Virginia 1711).

In Canada, two of the earliest settlers bearing this name were Eliza and Thomas Fowler, who came to the province of Nova Scotia in 1750. In Australia, one of the first bearers of this last name was George Fowler, a convict from Hertfordshire, England who came to New South Wales (then a penal colony) aboard the Ann in 1809. In New Zealand, a one John Fowler came to the city of Wellington in 1840.

Early Americans Bearing the Fowler Family Crest
Charles Bolton’s American Armory (1927) contains four entries for this surname:
1) Azure on a chevron argent between three lions pass guard three crosses formeé. Crest: a crowned owl. Motto: Ad astra per aspera. On same bookplate: Azure two bars dancette argent a label of three points gules. Crest: a cross argent with three plates above. Engr. bookplate by S. L. Smith of Josiah Minot Fowler?
2) Ermine on a canton gules an owl or (Barton arms). Bookplate C. Fowler, R. I.

Samuel Fowler House
Samuel Fowler House, built 1810 for American Rev. veterna Samuel Fowler, Jr.

3) Quarterly 1: Azure on a chevron or between three lions pass guard three crosses pattée sa; 2: Per fess or and sable a lion ramp counterchanged; 3: Argent a chevron between 3 griffins’ heads sable; 4: Argent a fess gules. In chief a label azure of four points. Crest: an owl affrontée ducally gorged. Motto: Watch and pray. Bookplate —– Fowler, N. Y.
4) Quarterly azure and or. In the first quarter a flute argent in bend. Crest: a lion’s head erased or. Framed water color. “By the name of Fowler” and palm branches. The Samuel Fowler House, Danversport, Mass. Framed water color. “By the name of Fowler” and palm branches. The Samuel Fowler House, Danversport, Mass.

Crozier’s General Armory (1904) contains one entry for this name:
1) Philip Fowler of Ipswich, Massachusetts, originally from Salop, England. Arms: Azure, on a chevron between three lions passant guardant, or, as many crosses formee, sable. Crest: An own argent ducally gorged or.

Matthew’s American Armoury and Bluebook (1907) contains one entry for this name:

Thomas Powell Fowler
Thomas Powell Fowler

1) Thomas Powell Fowler was born in Newburgh, New York in October of 1851. He graduated from Columbia Law School and held numerous positions in the railroad and insurance industries. In 1876, he married Isabelle Dunning and had nine issue with her as follows: Benjamin D. (1892), Thomas P. (1893), Augustus L. (1896), Ruth D., Louisa O., Isabel W., Alice D., Katharine S., and Eleanor G.R. He bore the following arms: Quarterly, 1st: Azure on a chevron between three lions passant guardant as many crosses formee sable, 2nd: per fesse argent and sable, a lion rampant counter-changed, 3rd: Argent, a chevron between three bears’ heads erased sable; 4th: Argent, a fesse gules, in chief a label of four points azure. Crest: An owl argent ducally gorged or. Motto: Watch and pray. He was the son of Isaac S. Fowler (born 1822) and Mary Ludlow Powell. He descended from William Fowler of London, England who came to America in 1637 AD.

I have identified sixFowler family mottoes:
1) Sapiens qui vigilat (He is wise who watches)
2) Possunt quia posse videntur (They can because they think they can). This is a quote from the Roman poet Virgil, from his epic poem Aeneid composed in the first century BC.
3) Ad astra per aspera (Through hardships to the stars)
4) Watch and pray
5) Vigilante (Vigilant)
6) Esto pernox (Be halved?)


Sir John Fowler, 1st Baronet
Sir John Fowler, 1st Baronet, 1817-1898

We have 17 coats of arms for the Fowler surname depicted here. These 17 blazons are from Bernard Burke’s book The General Armory of England, Ireland, and Scotland, which was published in 1848. The bottom of this page contains the blazons, and in many instances contains some historical, geographical, and genealogical about where coat of arms was found and who bore it. People with this last name that bore an Fowler Coat of Arms (or mistakenly called the Fowler Family Crest)

1) Fowler of Islington, Crest, Barker’s Grants
2) Fowler of Salop, Quarterly, by Cooke
3) Bryan Fowler of Sowe (?), county Stafford, coat and crest
4) Daniel, son of William Fowler, of Stonhouse, county Gloucester, crest 13 March 1606
5) Edward Fowler, D.D., Bishop of Gloucester, confirmed 20 July 1693, by T. St. George, Gart. And Clar.
6) Francis Leveson Fowler, of Kingerton, son and heir of Richard, of Harnage Grange, Salop, adopted heir to Sir Richard Leveson, late of Trenthham, county Stafford, K.B., assumed the Leveson arms by virtue of special warrant 1 August 1664, by W. Dugdale
7) Samuel Fowler, rector of Blunham, Bedfordshire, brother Edward, Bishop of Gloucester, exemplified 31 January 1695, by T. St. George

Sir Robert Nicholas Fowler, 1st Baronet
Sir Robert Nicholas Fowler, 1st Baronet, 1828-1891

8) Thomas Fowler, of Calis, 1534, by T. Benolte, Clar.


There are hundreds of notable people with the Fowler surname. This page will mention a handful. Famous people with this last name include: 1) Joseph Smith Fowler (1820-1902) who was a US Senator from Tennessee born in Steubenville, Ohio, 2) John Fowler (1756-1840) who a farmer and political leader in Virginia and Kentucky, sometimes called Captain John Fowler, who was a member of the US House of Representatives for a decade between 1797-1807,

3) Sir Robert Nicholas Fowler (1828-1891), 1st Baronet, who was the Mayor of London and a member of Parliament born in Gastard, Wiltshire, 4) Thomas Fowler (1777-1843) who was an inventor best known for the thermosiphon, an early heat exchanger which circulates fluid, 5) Frank Oliver Fowler (1861-1945) who was the 29th Mayor of Winnipeg, Canada in 1922, 6) Robert George Fowler (1884-1966) who was an early pioneer in aviator, being the first person to conduct a west to east transcontinental flight, born in San Francisco, California,

Elizabeth Lilian Maud Fowler7) Elizabeth Lilian Maud Fowler (1886-1954) who was an Australian politician who was a member of the New South Wales Parliament and was the country’s first female mayor (of Newtown in 1938), 8) Earl B. Fowler Jr. (1925-2008) who was a Vice Admiral of the United States Navy who was born in Jacksonville, Florida, 9) Peter Randall Fowler (1959) who is an Australian golfer born in Hornsby, New South Wales, nicknamed “Chook” who won the BMW International Open in 1993, and 10) Kevin Fowler (1959), known by his stage name Kevin Spacey, is an American actor born in South Orange, New Jersey, known for roles in famous movies such as American Beauty, Seven, Superman Returns, and Pay It Forward, as well as the Netflix show House of Cards.

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (Ricott, co. Bedford). Az. on a chev. ar. betw. three lapwings or, as many crosses pattee sa. Crest—An owl ar. ducally gorged gu.

Horton Hall
Horton Hall

2) (St. Thomas, co. Stafford; descended from Sir Richard Fowler, of Foxley, co. Buckingham, a Crusader, temp. Richard I., who, by his extraordinary vigilance, having saved the Christian camp from a nocturnal surprise, received the honour of knighthood on the field from his sovereign, who says tradition, caused the crest which Sir Richard then bore a hand and lure, to be changed to the vigilant owl). (Harnage Grange, co. Salop, bart., extinct 1773; descended from William Fowler, second brother of Brien Fowler, Esq., of St. Thomas). (Pendeford, co. Stafford; descended from James Fowler, youngest brother of Brien Fowler, Esq., of St. Thomas). Az. on a chev. (another, engr.) betw. three lions pass. guard. or, as many crosses formee (another, moline) sa. Crest—An owl ar. ducally gorged or. Another Crest—A cubit arm habited az. holding in the hand ppr. a lure vert, feathered ar. lined or, twisted round the arm.

3) (Stonehouse, co. Gloucester; granted 13 March, 1606). Quarterly, az. and or, in the 1st quarter a hawk’s lure and line of the second. Crest—An ostrich’s head or, betw. two wings ar. holding in the beak a horseshoe az.
4) (co. Leicester). Gu. a chev. betw. three herons’ heads erased ar.
5) (Islington, co. Middlesex, bart., extinct 1656, Sir Thomas Fowler, first bart., 1628, was descended from Thomas Fowler, Esq., owner of the Manor of Berners, or Barnersbury, Islington, 1548). Az. on a chev. ar. betw. three herons or, as many crosses formee gu.
6) (co. Oxford. In a glass window in Waterstoke Church, to William Fowler and Cicely, his wife. Visit. 1574). Ar. (another, or) three wolves’ heads erased gu. a bordure of the last charged with eight castles or.
7) (co. Salop). Ar. three leopards’ heads sa. in chief a lion pass. gu.
8) (Horton Hall, and Leek, co. Stafford). Az. (another, gu.) on a chev. ar. betw. three lions pass. guard. or, as many crosses pattee sa.

Bishop Edward Fowler
Bishop Edward Fowler

9) (granted 1693; Edward Fowler, Bishop of Gloucester, 1697). Per pale gu. and sa. on a chev. or, betw. three lions pass. guard. erm. crowned gold, as many quatrefoils vert. Crest—A stork ar. membered gu. holding in the bill a cross formee fitchee or.
10) Or, two wolves’ heads erased gu. a bordure engr. of the last charged with eight escallops of the field.
11) Ar. three cocks or, beaked and legged gu. collared az.
12) (granted to John Fowler, Esq., of Clifton, co. Gloucester). Quarterly, per pale indented az. and or, in the 1st and 4th quarters a hawk’s lure, and in the 2nd and 3rd a lion pass. counterchanged. Crest—An ostrich’s head couped or, in the beak a horseshoe sa. betw. two wings ar. each charged with two cinquefoils in pale az.
13) (Windlesham House, Bagshot, co. Surrey). Az. on a chev. ar. betw. three lions pass. guard. or, as many crosses pattee sa. Crests— 1st, Fowler: An owl ar. ducally crowned or; 2nd, Englefield: An arm erect vested per pale az. and gu. cuff ar. the hand holding a branch of laurel ppr. Motto—Sapiens qui vigilat.
14) (Gunton Hall, co. Suffolk). Same Arms. Crest—A cubit arm vested az. grasping in the hand ppr. a hawk’s lure vert, string twisted round the arm.
15) (Thornwood Lodge, Kensington, and Braemon, co. Ross). Quarterly, az. and sa. three crosses pattee betw. two chevronels or, in chief two lions pass. guard. of the last, and in base an owl ar. Crest—An owl ar. collared and charged on the breast with a cross pattee gu. wreathed about the head with ivy vert and resting his dexter claw upon a cross pattee or. Motto—Sapiens qui vigilat.
16) (Scotland). Az. a cross or, betw. a pelican of the second feeding her young in the 1st and 4th quarters, and a cinquefoil ar. in the 2nd and 3rd.
17) (Gastard House, Chippenham, co. Wilts; Thomas Fowler, Esq., of Gastard House, m. Lucy, dau. of Nicholas Waterhouse, Esq., of Everton, Liverpool, and d. 1851, leaving an only son, Robert Nicholas Fowler, Esq., of Gastard House, J.P., M.A., Alderman of the city of London, Commissioner of Lieutenancy for the City, Sheriff of London and Middlesex, 1880-1881, M.P. for Penryn and Falmouth, 1868—1874. Elected M.P. for London, 1880). Az. on a chev. betw. three lions passant. guard. or, us many crosses formee sa. Crest—A cubit arm erect, habited az. holding in the hand ppr. a lure vert, feathered ar. lined or, twisted round the arm. Motto—Possunt quia posse videntur.

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