Fowler (surname)

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For uses of "Fowler" other as a surname, see Fowler (disambiguation).

Fowler is an English and/or Scots surname with a linguistic origin in the Old English fugelere, indicative of a person occupied as a bird-catcher.[1][2][3]

Notable Fowlers[edit]

Notable people who share this surname include:

Born after 800[edit]

Though his surname is not "Fowler" per se, Henry I is included here as an example of usage of the term in relation to a name prior to the broad introduction of surn Gregory

Gregory fowler was a first nations that came to Canada and he was a nomad. Nomad means a person who lives off the land

  • Henry the Fowler, or Henry I of Germany (861–936), Duke of Saxony and King of the Germans

Richard Fowler of Foxley, for the purpose of illustrative example, was an English commanding officer during the Third Crusade.

The early traces of the name of Fowler date from the time when noble invaders from the northern areas of Europe altered the history and the map of Europe by their invasions and raids of what is now France and England. The name Fowler comes from the Anglo-Saxon 'Fugal", meaning fowl. It is of Anglo-Norman origin, however most of the Fowlers in America are of English descent.

Henry the Fowler became King Henry I of Saxony in 919. He united the Saxons and the Franks into what is now Germany. Some of his descendants were such good warriors that the King of France, impressed with their fighting activities and bravery offered them the area of France known as Normandy today if they would fight his battles. Many of the Fowlers had taken part in the invasion of France under the Norseman, Rolfe, about 927. In 1066 at the Battle of Hastings many Fowlers accompanied the Duke of Normandy, called William The Conqueror, and later William I, of England, when the Normans defeated King Harold. Fowlers helped to put down the powerful earls trying to revolt against the new king. They helped to build castles uniting the new kingdom where a semi-barbaric country existed before. The king demoted the earls, promoted education and set up a form of taxation. It is in these early records of taxation in England that the name Fowler first appears. Agents of the king were sent through the countryside to make land and personal property appraisals of all his subjects. The results of these inquiries were listed in the Domesday Book of 1086. This record has become an invaluable historical source today for the names of early property owners in England, and the property of the Fowlers were among those first listed.

In 1191 in Buckinghamshire, England, Richard Fowler of Foxley, accompanied King Richard the Lion Hearted to Palestine during the Third Crusade. Richard Fowler came into prominence at this time when he took with him and maintained during this crusade a body of English bowmen, all of whom were his own tenants from Buckinghamshire. This crusade was described as a glorious but fruitless effort to recover Palestine from the Saracens, however, Richard Fowler's services were considered so brilliant that the King knighted him and bestowed upon him the crest with the Fowler coat-of-arms, and a grant of land in Abbey-Cwyn-hir in England. The Fowlers of America are considered direct descendants of Sir Richard of Foxley, this hero of the third Crusade.

It was during the Third Crusade that the Fowler coat-of-arms came into existence. Tradition has it that Richard Fowler trained his company of bowmen in the skilled use of bow and spear. At Acre, near Jerusalem, a crucial stage had been reached by the Crusaders in 1191 when the Infidels surprised the camp one night. Richard Fowler and his skilled bowmen were keeping watch and through their gallant fighting, held the Infidels at bay until the rest of the army had been awakened, thus saving the forces of Richard Coeur-de-Leon from destruction. In reward for his service Richard Fowler was created nobleman and received with this honor a large grant of land and of course the privilege of a coat-of-arms. The Fowler coat bears a helmet of silver, representing nobility; above the helmet is a wreath—symbol of chivalry, the emblem presented the favorite knight by a lance during a tournament.

The silver flourishings behind the helmet represent the crest of honor, while the blue flourishings represent the mantle flowing from the helmet for protection. The silver ends of the mantle also represent protection. The shield is blue and bears three lions--"Passant and Guardant"—two on the upper part of the shield and one on the lower, also bears silver chevrons upon which are three crosses. The chevrons were devrived from the war saddle and crosses represent military distinction. The motto is "Sapiens Qui Vigilat," meaning "It is the wise one who watches." The Fowler coat-of-arms, Burks periods, and is registered with the Institute of American Genealogy.

Born after 1500[edit]

Born after 1600[edit]

  • Edward Fowler (1632–1714), English churchman, Bishop of Gloucester
  • Eliza Haywood (born "Elizabeth Fowler" 1693–1756), English writer, actress and publisher
  • Constance Aston Fowler (born "Constance Aston"), English author and anthologist

Born after 1700[edit]

Born after 1800[edit]

Born after 1900[edit]

Born after 1950[edit]

Born after 2000[edit]

  • Gabriel Fowler (born 2000), American actor and writer


The "Fowler" surname evolved from an original use of "Fugelere" in the early 13th Century.[3] The surname is uncommon in the United States, appearing with a rank of 250 in the 1990 Census and a rank of 267 in the 2000 Census, 27½% of the American population being accounted for surnames in the ranks of 1 to 250.[4] In 19th Century England, "Fowler" was widespread, appearing in 35 of the 39 historic counties, with higher density in the north of England, in the 1891 Census of England and Wales.[5] Meanwhile, in 19th Century United States, "Fowler" appears in every surveyed state in both the 1880 US Census and 1840 US Census, showing a higher concentration in New York state in each case.[6][7]

Fictional characters[edit]

See also[edit]

Human name disambiguation pages


  1. ^ Seary, E. R.; Sheila M. P. Lynch (1988) [1977]. Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland (Google Books). Canada: McGill-Queen's University Press. p. 188. ISBN 0-7735-1782-0. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "Fowler Name Meaning and Origin". Family Facts. The Generations Network, Inc. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ a b "Surname: Fowler". SurnameDB. Name Origin Research. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ "Name Search Results" (Database query). United States Census Bureau. 2000-09-07. Retrieved 2008-01-31. NAME (last):FOWLER; %FREQ:0.042; CUMM FREQ:27.535%; RANK:250 
  5. ^ "Fowler Families Living in England and Wales in 1891". Family Facts. The Generations Network, Inc. Retrieved 2008-02-01. 
  6. ^ "Fowler Family History Facts 1880". Family Facts. The Generations Network, Inc. Retrieved 2008-02-01. 
  7. ^ "Fowler Family History Facts 1840". Family Facts. The Generations Network, Inc. Retrieved 2008-02-01.