Day: August 13, 2011

Surname Saturday – Stowell

The Stowell surname in my tree is from my maternal side of the family.  The earliest person with this surname that I have been able to find so far is my 3x great grandfather William Stowell.  As far as I can tell he was born about 1802 in the small hamlet of Bell Busk in the Yorkshire Dales, England.

I have a total of 23 Stowell’s including my 2x great grandfather John Stowell and his daughter Ellen Stowell, my great grandmother.

Since then the name has been given as a first name to one of my uncles.

According to surnamedb Stowell is a locational name from a number of places named with the Olde English pre 7th Century “stan”, meaning stony, and “wella”, meaning a spring or stream.

These places include Stowell near Northleach in Gloucestershire, recorded as Stanuuella in the Domesday Book of 1086; Stowell in Somerset, appearing as Stanwelle in the Domesday book; Stowell in Wiltshire, entered as Stowelle in the Charter Rolls of that county in 1300; and also Stawell near Bridgewater in Somerset, recorded as Stawelle in the Domesday Book and Stanwelle in the 1279 Hundred Rolls of Somerset.

My Stowell’s migrated across the Pennines in the 19th Century and latterly are to be found in the Burnley and Padiham areas of Lancashire.

There are few variant spellings of the name including Stawell and Stowelle.

Early example of the surname include: Richard de Stawell (Wiltshire, 1273) and Lecia Stowelle (Cambridgeshire, 1273).  In 1591, one John Stowell of Somerset was entered in the “Oxford University Register”.  The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam de Stawell.  This was dated 1272, in the Hundred Rolls of Somerset