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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

Or, three bars gules. Crest—A rose gules seeded and barbed proper.

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

Stowers Origin:

Origins of Stowers:
Listed as Stow, Stowe, Stower, Stowers, this interesting surname is English.  It is habitational deriving from the pre 7th Century word "stow" meaning a meeting place, but more definitely a "holy place." The name was originally given to a person who lived or worker (Stower) by a retreat, monastery or temple.  Many places in England are named with this component including Stow cum Quy in Cambridgeshire and spelled Stoua in the famous Domesday Book, of 1066, while other places called Stow are to found in the divisions of Buckinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Staffordshire.  Amongst the remaining early records of the surname in the diocese of Greater London is that of Agnnes Stowers who named at the parish of St Mary at Hill, in March 1582.

More common variations are: Stoers, Stwers, Stowrs, Strowes, Sowders, Stewers, Stowars, Stowres, Stawers, Stouers.

The surname Stowers was first discovered in Hampshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Estate.  The Saxon command of English history declined after the Battle of Hastings in 1066.  The language of the courts was French for the next three centuries, and the Norman environment predominated.  But Saxon surnames remained, and the family name first mentioned in the 12th century when William held estates in that shire in 1162.

The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of Winobus de Stoue, dated 975, in the Book of Ely. It was during the reign of King Edward, who was known as the Martyr, dated 975-978.  Surname all over the country became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation.  It came to be known as Poll Tax in England.  Surnames all over the country began to develop with unique and shocking spelling varieties of the original one.

Many of the people with surname Stowers had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.

United States of America:
Individuals with the surname Stowers landed in the United States in two different centuries respectively in the 17th, and 18th.  Some of the people with the name Stowers who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included Richard Stowers, who landed in Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1630.  Nicholas Stowers, who arrived in Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1631.

The following century saw much more Stowers surnames arrive.  Some of the people with the surname Stowers who arrived in the United States in the 18th century included John Stowers, who arrived in Mississippi in 1798.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Stowers:
United States 7,524; Samoa 729; New Zealand 540; England 317; Australia 292; France 73; Switzerland 36; Canada 11; Russia 6; Germany 3.

Notable People:
Christopher James Stowers (born August 1974) is an old outfielder in Major League Baseball.  He played for the Montreal Expos in 1999.

Craig F. Stowers (born 1954) is the 18th and current Chief Justice of the Alaska Supreme Court, who was selected by Republican Governor Sean Parnell in 2009 to replace retiring Justice Robert Eastaugh.  He was one of seven candidates promoted to the Governor by the Alaska Judicial Council out of a record 25 applicants.  Born in Daytona Beach, Florida and developed in Yorktown, Virginia, Stowers earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Blackburn College in 1975.

Freddie Stowers (1896–1918), was a Corporal in the United States Army who posthumously got the Medal of Honor for his actions in World War I.
George Stowers (born 1979), is a Samoan international soccer player.
Harry Stowers (1926-2015), was an American jurist.
James E. Stowers (born 1924), was the founder of American Century Investments and the Stowers Institute for Medical Research.
Julia Stowers (born 1982), is an American swimmer.
Saleisha Stowers (born 1986), is an American fashion model.
Shannon Stowers was a New Zealand rugby league player for the Auckland Lions.

Stowers Coat of Arms Meaning

The two main devices (symbols) in the Stowers blazon are the bars and rose. The two main tinctures (colors) are gules and or.

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.1. The word gules is thought to come from the Arabic gule, or “red rose” 2. Later writers associated it with the precious stone ruby and the metal iron 3, perhaps because of the red glow of iron in the heat of the blacksmith’s forge.

The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.4. 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 5. The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo.6.

The bar is a thin, horizontal stripe across the centre of the shield 7, usually in groups of two or three (any more and there would be confusion with barry, a treatment of horizontal lines of alternating colours). Bars can be a distinctive and easily recognised device, early examples include those awarded by Henry III of England to the family MAUDYT Argent, two bars gules.

Natural objects abound in heraldry, and one category that gives especial delight are the many flowers and flowering plants that frequently occur 8. The rose is also of this type, being drawn, at least a little, realistically and often to very pleasing effect. It has long been present in English heraldry, and as a badge and symbol played an enormous in English history throughout the conflict between rival dynasties known as the War of the Roses. In addition to these familial uses, Wade suggests that red roses signify “beauty and grace” and the white represents “love and faith”. 9

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Steven Stowers commented on 21-Sep-2018
There is no actual Stowers family "Coat of Arms". The earliest adoption of the "Family Crest" was used by the father of Nicholas De Stour, William, in the 16th Century. It was most likely derived from a bastardization of St.Owen, who was given the Coat of Arms of Or, three bars gules. It is most likely that when Nicholas' grandson Nicholas was about to immigrate to the USA, they paid a genealogist who asserted that they had claim to the Coat of Arms, most like contributed to the spelling, S-T-O-W-E-N. That being St. Owen, which in manuscripts would have possibly appeared as StOwer. I base this information off of my personal research and paid professional research by the Heraldry Society. None the less, I think that it is all very interesting, and have enjoyed my journey in discovering my past.


  • 1 The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180
  • 2 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 313
  • 3 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 4 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27
  • 5 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85
  • 6 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 7 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Bar
  • 8 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P262
  • 9 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P132-133