This interesting surname, recorded in English Church Registers under the variant spellings Bowen, Bowhen, Bowine, Bohen etc., has two distinct possible origins, the first and most likely being a patronymic form of the ancient Celtic personal name Owain, written as "Ouen" or "Ouein" in the Old Welsh. This name was adapted from the Latin Eugenius meaning "well-born", but there are some who claim that the source was the Old Welsh "oen", lamb. The forms Bowen, Bohin etc., result from the fusion of the Welsh patronymic prefix "ab" with the personal name. One, John Bwoen was noted in the 1305 "Register of the Freemen of York City", and a Riseus Abowen alias Apowen appears in "Records of Gloucestershire", dated 1558. Bohin may also be an Anglicized form of the Old Gaelic (Irish) "O Buadhachain". The Gaelic prefix "O" indicates "male descendant of", plus the personal byname Buadhachan, "Victorious". An O' Bohen of County Leitrim was noted in "Fiant Litterae Patentes", dated 1559. On July 13th 1700 Elizabeth, daughter of Samuel Bohin, was christened in Wotton under Edge, Gloucestershire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Madocus ap Oweyn, which was dated 1292, "The Pipe Rolls of Shropshire", during the reign of King Edward 1st, "the Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017