Last name: Bowden

This interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and has two possible sources. It can either be topographical, describing a "dweller by the top of a hill", from the Olde English pre 7th Century phrase, "bufan dune", meaning "above the hill"; or it may be locational from any of the places called Bowden or Bowdon. Bowden in Devonshire and Derbyshire, and Bowdon in Cheshire are composed of the Olde English elements "boga", arched or rounded, and "dun", hill; hence, an "arched or rounded hill"; while Bowden in Leicestershire, recorded as "Bugedone" in the Domesday Book of 1086, comes from the Olde English female personal name "Burcge" (masculine "Buga"), and "dun"; hence, "Burcge's hill". There are places of the name in Scotland, from the Gaelic "both an duin", translating as "house on the hill", but the name is not widespread here. In the modern idiom the surname can be found recorded as Bowden, Bowdon and Bawdon. The surname was first recorded in the beginning of the 13th Century (see below), and other early recordings include: Richard de Bouldone, Parson of the parish of Edilstone, who rendered homage in 1296, according to the Documents Relating to Scotland; John de Boghedon, who appeared in the Place Names of Devonshire in 1333; and William de Bolden, who was Abbot of Kelso in 1370, as recorded in the Monastic Annals of Teviotdale. John Bowden, aged 24 yrs., was an early American settler in Virginia in July 1635, having arrived there on the "Paule" of London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Boulden, which was dated circa 1200, in "Liber S. Marie de Calchou: Registrum Kelso 1113 - 1567", Scotland, during the reign of King William "The Lion" of Scotland, 1165 - 1214. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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Im a Bowden from Toronto, Ontario, Canada!

gareth bowden
im a bowden from stoke on trent England .

thomas bowden
Im Thomas bowden from toronto canada ive researched and found that the bowden name is of norman origin and that the bowden family fought along side duke william of normandy and after defeating the anglosaxon army they were granted lands by william the conquerer for there distinguished assistance in the battle of hastings 1066 making them lords or landlords also knights at the expense of the king in time of military service. My great grandfather harold bettis bowden came from plymouth, not too far fromfrom the town of bowden in devon,England and knights in the

Hello, I am William Jody Bowden from Central Alabama. I have always been interested in the origin of our name. Most of my family have past on , and i don't have many Bowden family members here that i know of..

steven bowden
im a bowden from lancashire and nice to see there is a few more out there, not the most common name to see about, hello all you Bowdens, wonder if we are related somehow along the line

Hi I am a Bowden from Birmingham UK. About to start researching family tree. These comments are great. I also did not realise there were so many of us. Different parts of my family pronounce Bowden differently (cause of some debate) Some pronounce 'Bow' as in bow and arrow, whereas others pronounce @Bow' as in the bow of a ship. appreciate other peoples thoughts.

Dawn Bowden
Hi, I'm a Bowden from Bristol so guessing that we probably originated from Devon! I pronounce it Bow as in "take a bow", not "bow tie"!

John Bowden
I am John Bowden from around the Dayton ohio area! All I know is the main area where my family lived was in Monterey Tenn. Other than that I really know very little about my family's history!

Chris Bowden
There are a sprinkling of Bowden's here in Alaska. Our family has been here since the early 1900's. Before that we seemed to have come from the Seattle area.

Andrew Bowden
Hi, im a Bowden from Taunton Somerset .Im suprised to see so many Bowden's living in the states.This was also the first i'd heard of a town called Bowden in Devon . Will have to visit it now.

tom bowden
do any other bowdens find that the cleft chin is prominent in bowden males? i have one my dad has one and my great grandpa had one.

Kelly Bowden
My brother and I both have cleft chins and we pronounce it "take a bow" also. So interesting :)

Andrew Bowden
Father and Nephew also sporting the cleft chin . Very interesting .

Matt Bowden
My dad's family was in boston. I'm the first to break a long history of Bowden males in my lineage with the names "Perry Sxxxxx Bowden." My father is Scott. His Father was Stanely. I was to be Seth but my mom didn't like the names. I have no idea where we came from. But my grandad Stanley's father is known as "The Doctor." They were in Georgia before the war. Stanley served in the Navy.

Alexander Gordon
Is Bowden & Gordon from same same origin? Meaning is the same + area, except Gordons left Norway - probably to be free from the monarchs & their religions to practice their pagan lifestyles.

I am a Bowden from Norwich Norfolk and it's great to see all you lovely Bowdens out there as there is not many in Norfolk. We also pronounce it as bow not the tie.

Jesse Bowden
My father's family is from California that's where his brothers and sisters still live. My whole life I've only ever met one other Bowden. We also pronounce it like "take a bow".

I am from Connecticut, USA and I pronounce it like bow tie as well.


I am a Bowden who as far as I know my family originates from Salisbury England, now living in Cumbria. Its amazing to see how many Bowdens there are

Steve Bowden

Im from Vancouver BC Can. and have never meant another Bowden. We pronounce Bow as in "crossbow" There is a town Bowden in Alberta. I love my last name.!

Naomi Bowden King

I live in SC but was born in Muncie Ind. My dads family came from Fentress county Tenn. I think they came up from the Carolinas. (not sure) we pronounce it like take a bow. I have tried to research our bunch but we have so many Johns and Marys it gets confusing. lol. Im glad to see there are several Bowdens around.

Morgan Bowden

I'm in England and my family pronounce it as in "bow down"!

christine bowden
I live in Buxton Derbyshire UK we pronounce it bow - tie

Kayleigh bowden
I am a bow(tie)den from the uk! & also my family is huge! Wouldnt surprise me if we were all related some how! :D its crazy how many ways to pronouce! & some people actually say my last name as 'bow down' which is quickly corrected to 'bow tie!! (:

Pamela Bowden Keen
We pronounce it Bow (Down)den. My father is from Alabama and is a Red head and also has a cleft chin.

Amanda bowden
I'm from Maryland USA I pronounce it bow as in taking a bow and last part I pronounced den as in where a bear lives

Keith Bowden
I am a Bow(down)den. I was born in NE Arkansas and raised in Central and SW Arkansas. I do not know many other Bowdens in my area, but there seemed to be a lot in NE Arkansas. I have heard elsewhere that a "bowden" was also once known as visible homes who welcomed weary travelers, but that's probably just a long tale. I'm not sure if anyone read recently about the food services employee who was fired for feeding hungry school children for free, but she is a Bowden. Being topographical, rather than based entirely in lineage, it stands to reason that we hail from a diverse biological stock rather than from a concentrated bloodline. That gives us a head up in the evolutionary race, lol.

John Richard Bowden
I am a Bowden from Sydney Australia, my father told me that the way that our name was pronounced was based on if you were Catholic (supporting Scotland ) Bowden as in bow and arrow, or Church of England Bowden as in bow down.

Lisa Bowden
I am a Bowden; on my dad's side he is one of five, whom were born and brought up in Lancashire UK. We pronounce our surname as a; Bow (&arrow) maker who lives in a Den.

Terry Larson
My biological father's name was Charles Bowden. He & my mother got married in either Council Bluffs, IA,or Omaha, NE in the summer of 1945. Mother, finding him to be a drunk & womanizer, left him soon after. I never met him. He was from "the south" - perhaps Virginia or Florida (I'm not sure what caused me to think it was one of those 2 states.) Nothing was ever talked about. Mother married again in 1947 to the man I've always known as Dad. I recently did an DNA test. In comparing my test with that of my half sibling, it appears that Charles Bowden's ancestry was largely "West Europe," which includes France, Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, southern Denmark, Switzerland, northern Italy & Austria. Perhaps he, too, had an unknown father. There was a Charles Bowden who was killed by his common-law wife (looks like self-defense - it appears that she was never charged) in Davenport, IA in September, 1955. I was never able to find an age, but apparently they liked to frequent the bars. He had other children by other women - I met 2 older half sisters - my mother & their mother became good friends, but I knew nothing about anything when I met them (around 1958 - I was 12). I think it was pronounced like take a bow, but I could not say that with absolute certainty. I am 70 now & am still searching for some knowledge about the unexplained part of me.

Kent Douglas Bowden Sr.
(Bow) tie (Den) Born 1961 in the Rock n Roll Capital of the World Cleveland , Ohio USA from the blood line of Frederick Douglas Bowden of Atlanta

Andrew Bowden
If you put 'Bowden' coat of arms into google a yellow and black design with a knights helmet comes up.Can anyone confirm if this is genuine?

Stuart Bowden
It's definitely 'baʊ' as in kow-tow and frown, in my case. People constantly ignore my corrections, as they do when spelling my first name with an 'ew', it infuriates me. My father was from Chiswick in west London (that's in the UK, for the 'colonials' among us), but I have managed to trace tenuous historical connections with the Borders village of Bowden in Roxburghshire. Both my father (b. 1930 d. 1985) and paternal grandfather bore the given name of William.

Dave Bowden
I am a Bowden from Manchester UK My father has gone though our family history back to the 17th century and we pronounce our bow&arrow den but they are numerous ways of pronouncing the name due to the people of the old days not being able to read or spell

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