Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Rowdon Name
Origins of Rowdon:
The Rowdon surname is a habitational name, taken on from a place name in West Yorkshire. The place name comes from the Old Norse “rauor” meaning “red,” and “du-n,” or “hill.” Other records show the name translated as “a dweller in the rough valley.”  Today, Rawdon is a village in the City of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England.Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person’s name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Rowdon family name include Rawdon, Rawden, Rawdan, Rawdyn, Rawdin, Rowdon, Rowdon and many more.
More common variations are: Rowdeon, Rodon, Rowdon, Rawdon, Rowton, Roddon, Roydon, Riodon, Rodion, Rodoni.
The surname Rowdon was first found in West Riding of Yorkshire where the village of Rawdon dates back to before the Domesday Book where it was listed as Roudun and was held be Robert de Bruis.  Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Rawdon. The name was derived from the Old Norse word rauthr + the Old English word dun and meant “red hill.”  “Rawdon, in the parish of Guiseley in this county, is the original seat of this ancient family, which is traced to Thor de Rawdon, whose son Serlo lived in the reign of Stephen.”
United States of America:
Individuals with the surname Rowdon landed in the United States in three different centuries respectively in 17th, and 18th. Some of the people with the name Rowdon who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included Richard Rowdon, who settled in Lynn, MA sometime between 1620 and 1650. Mathew Rowdon, who arrived in Virginia in 1650. The following century saw much more Rowdon surnames arrive. Some of the people with the surname Rowdon who arrived in the United States in the 18th century included Sarah Rowdon, who arrived in America in 1769.
Rowdon Coat of Arms Meaning
The four main devices (symbols) in the Rowdon blazon are the pheon, griffin, lion passant and chequy. The three main tinctures (colors) are or, gules and azure .
The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.. 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 . The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo..
The bold red colour on a heraldic shield is known as gules. It has a long history within heraldry, it is known that one of those who besieged the scottish castle of Carlaverock in 1300 was the French knight Euremions de la Brette who had as his arms a simple red shield.. The word gules is thought to come from the Arabic gule, or “red rose” . Later writers associated it with the precious stone ruby and the metal iron , perhaps because of the red glow of iron in the heat of the blacksmith’s forge.
The bright, strong blue color in Heraldry is known in English as azure, and similarly in other European languages – azul in Spanish, azurro in Italian and azur in French. The word has its roots in the Arabic word lazura, also the source of the name of the precious stone lapis lazuli . Despite this, those heralds who liked to associate colours with jewels chose instead to describe blue as Sapphire. According to Wade, the use of this colour symbolises “Loyalty and Truth” .
Given the martial nature of the origins of Heraldry, in the identification of knights and men-at-arms it can come as no surprise that mediaeval weaponry of all types are frequently to be found in a coat of arms . The pheon is a specific type of arrow head with barbs and darts and hence quite distinctive in appearance. Like the other symbols related to arrows, Wade suggests the symbolism is that of “readiness for military service”.
In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? As heraldry developed a whole menagerie of imagined creatures came into being, and their various representations became more or less standardised in form and appearance. The griffin is perhaps the most common of these creatures, being a chimera with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. . It is most often in the pose known as rampant segreant, on its hind legs with claws and wings extended. Vinycomb has much to say on the subject of the griffin, perhaps summarised in his belief that it represents “strength and vigilance”.]
There can be no animal more clearly associated with Heraldry than the lion, majestic King of the Beasts. Originally it appeared only in one pose, erect, on one paw, with the others raised but such was the popularity of this figure, and the need to distinguish arms from each other, that it soon came to be shown in an enormous range of forms . The lion passant is an example of these modified form, showing the creature on all fours, as if walking proudly. In common with all reprensentations of the lion it can be taken to be an “emblem of deathless courage”.