Recorded in a number of spellings including Boughen, Bougen, Bohane, Bowen, Boghan and others, this interesting surname has two origins. Firstly, it can be Welsh and a patronymic form of the personal name "Owain", itself coming from the Latin "Eugenius", meaning well-born or noble, with the patronymic element "ab" or "ap", meaning son of; hence, "son of Owen". Secondly, it can be of Irish origin, and an anglicized form of the Gaelic "O'Buadhachain", the prefix "O", meaning grandson or descendant of, and "Buadhach", a personal name meaning "victorious". The surname dates back to the late 13th Century (see below), whilst John Bowen was recorded in the 1305 Register of the Freemen of the City of York. Charles Bowen, the First Baron Bowen (1835 - 1894) was a High Court judge, whilst perhaps less fortunate Thomas Bowen, aged 26 yrs., a famine emigrant, sailed from Liverpool aboard the "Cambridge", bound for New York, in May 1846. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Madocus ap Oweyn, which was dated 1292, in "Placita de Que Warranto", Shropshire. This was during the reign of King Edward 1st of England, 1272 - 1307. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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