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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) Az. three bars dancettée or.
2) Sa. three poleaxes ar.

Origin, Meaning, Family History and Lowden Coat of Arms and Family Crest

Lowden Origin:


Origins of Lowden:

Listed in many forms such as Loudoun, Lowden, Loudham, Lowdham, and Laudham, this is an old Anglo-Scottish surname. If Scottish, it acquires from an area known as "The lands of Loudoun" in the county of Cunningham, in the division of Ayrshire, itself an ancient part of the 9th-century British kingdom of Strathclyde. The structure of the place name is the Northern English word "low," which means a flame or beam, itself from the Norse-Viking word "loge," and the Gaelic "doun," which means a slope. In some examples, it may be a form of the surname and place name "Lothian," John de Loudonia was the inspector of Berwick in about 1327, while Patrick Louthyan was a citizen of Linlithgow in 1445. In England, the origin of the name may be the similar, or more likely it is from one of the different hamlets like Loudham in Suffolk, Lowdham near Nottingham, both converts as the home of Hlud, a first name, or Lowden near Chippenham, which has the similar meaning as the Scottish name.


More common variations are: Lowdeny, Loden, Louden, Lowdon, Lawden, Loyden, Lowten, Loaden, Lodden, Lohden.


The surname Lowden first appeared in Perthshire, an old district in the new Conference Area of Perth and Kinross, located in central Scotland, where they held a family seat from old times, some say well before the Norman invasion and the entrance of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of James de Loudun, dated about 1189, in the "Land charters of Scotland." It was during the time of King William who was known to be the “Lyon", dated 1165-1214. The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation. It came to be known as Poll Tax in England.

United States of America:

Individuals with the surname Lowden landed in the United States in three different centuries respectively in the 17th, 18th, and 19th. Some of the people with the name Lowden who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included James Lowden settled in Virginia in 1635. Augustine Lowden and Augustine Lowden, both arrived in New England in 1660. Edward Lowden came to Nevis in 1661.

People with the surname Lowden who landed in the United States in the 18th century included Thomas Lowden arrived in New England in 1738. Jonathan Lowden came to America in 1758. John Lowden landed in America in 1792.

The following century saw more Lowden surnames arrive. Some of the people with the name Lowden who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included Robert Lowden came in New York, NY in 1815. Mary Lowden arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1834. Jane Lowden, who landed in New York, NY in 1845.


Some of the individuals with the surname Lowden who landed in Australia in the 19th century included Jane Lowden arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Aliquis." Bessy Lowden arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Fitzjames."


Some of the population with the surname Lowden who arrived in New Zealand in the 19th century included James Lowden landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1836. Joseph Lowden and Phebe Lowden, both arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Gertrude" in the same year 1841.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Lowden: United States 2,607; England 1,097; Australia 442; Canada 417; South Africa 201; Germany 134; Scotland 105; New Zealand 80; Northern Ireland 72; France 49.

Notable People:

Frank Orren Lowden (1861–1943), was an American leader.

George Lowden (born 1951), is a British guitar manufacturer.

Gordon Lowden (1927–2012), was a British analyst.

Hunter Lowden (born 1982), is a Canadian shipper.

Jack Lowden (born 1990), is a British actor.

John Lowden (born 1953), is a British art professor.

Luke Lowden (born 1991), is an Australian football player.

Sue Lowden (born 1952), is an American politician.

Lowden Coat of Arms Meaning

The two main devices (symbols) in the Lowden blazon are the bars dancettee and axe. The three main tinctures (colors) are azure, or and sable .

Azure is the heraldic colour blue, usually quite a deep, dark shade of the colour (there is a lighter blue that sometimes occurs, known as celestial azure). If colour printing is not available then it can be represented by closely spaced horizontal lines in a scheme known as “hatching” 1. The word is thought to originate from the Arabic lazura and it represents the colour of the eastern sky. It is also said to be the colour associated by the Catholic Church with the Virgin Mary and hence of particular significance 2.

The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.3. Along with, argent, or silver it forms the two “metals” of heraldry – one of the guidelines of heraldic design is that silver objects should not be placed upon gold fields and vice versa 4. The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo.5.

Sable, the deep black so often found in Heraldry is believed to named from an animal of the marten family know in the middle ages as a Sabellinœ and noted for its very black fur 6. In engravings, when colors cannot be shown it is represented as closely spaced horizontal and vertical lines, and appropriately is thus the darkest form of hatching, as this method is known 7. Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy 8.

The bar is a thin, horizontal stripe across the centre of the shield, usually in groups of two or three (any more and there would be confusion with barry, a treatment of horizontal lines of alternating colours). It is also possible to place decorative edges along bars, typically these are smaller than those found on the major ordinaries like the fess and pale, but have the same design and share the same meanings. Dancettee (sometimes spelled dancetty or dancy) is a bold, zig-zag pattern, perhaps the most distinctive of the patterned edges. Purists might argue that the French variant denché Is not the same, being of larger size and with the points being 90º, but there is much variation in actual practice so the difference is perhaps not that meaningful. Wade, quoting Guillim suggests that dancettee be attributed to mean water, in the same fashion as undy or wavy, and one can understand this allusion.

The Axe appears in many forms in heraldic art, coming from both the martial and the craft traditions, indeed someone today would have a hard time telling their common hatchet from a turner’s axe, but it is likely that those in the middle ages were more familiar with each. 9 Obviously the axe from a craft tradition may symbolise the holder being a practitioner of that craft, but the axes from a martial background are suggested by Wade to indicate the “execution of military duty”. 10

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  • 1 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
  • 2 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P150
  • 3 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27
  • 4 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85
  • 5 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 6 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable
  • 7 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
  • 8 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
  • 9 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Axe
  • 10 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P100