Origin of the Name Cowley
The origin of the name Cowley
was found in the allfamilycrests.com archives. The name Cowley is a locality name meaning 'of Cowley', from parishes found in Counties Gloucestershire, Middlesex and Oxfordshire. This name is usually of English descent and is found in many ancient manuscripts in that country. Examples of such are a Roger de Couele and an Alex de Coueleye of County Oxfordshire who were recorded in the 'Hundred Rolls', England , in the year 1273.
Names were recorded in these ancient documents to make it easier for their overlords to collect taxes and to keep records of the population at any given time. When the overlords acquired land by either force or gifts from their rulers, they created charters of ownership for themselves and their vassals. It was by creating, maintaining and updating these reference books that they were able to maintain their authority and enforce laws.
In Ireland this name and its variants were introduced into Ulster Province by settlers who arrived from England and Scotland , especially during the seventeenth century. It was the 'Plantations of Ireland ' in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that marked the end of Gaelic supremacy in Ireland . While the influx of settlers in the wake of the earlier Anglo-Norman invasion of the twelfth century resulted in a full integration into Irish society of the new arrivals, the same never occurred with the Ulster Planters who maintained their own distinct identity.
The Cowleys were one of the famous 'Ten Tribes of Kilkenny'. Some Cowleys of Connaught Province and of County Donegal may have changed their name from MacAuley which is of Gaelic origin.
The Cowley coat of arms came into existence centuries ago. The process of creating coats of arms (also often called family crests) began in the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this. The new art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own coat of arms, including all Cowley descendants.